How to Track a USPS Package (Even Without Your USPS Tracking Number)
It can be so frustrating when you're waiting for a package and you don't know where it is. But don't worry, with this simple guide you'll be able to track your USPS package every step of the way.
But what if you've sent a package and misplaced the USPS tracking number? Or maybe you're waiting for a package and want to know exactly where it is? No worries! There are several ways to track your USPS package – with or without a tracking number.
PS. If you have your USPS tracking number, simply type it in at the top of this page and click “track package”, or download our easy-to-use Circuit package tracker app.
What items can be tracked by USPS?
Whether you’re sending an envelope or a package, not all USPS services include package tracking. Some services cost extra for tracking, such as the commercial mailing service USPS Marketing Mail.
Here are the services that include USPS package tracking:
- Priority Mail
- Priority Mail Express
- First-Class Package Service
- USPS Retail Ground (tracking for packages only)
- Media Mail (tracking for packages only)
First-Class Mail is an affordable service that does not include end-to-end tracking. However, you can pay for the extra service of tracking information. In the case of international mail, tracking is included with many, but not all, international mailing services. Some destinations have restrictions on tracking.
How to find your USPS tracking number
To track your package, you’ll need the USPS tracking number. There are several places you can find your number, depending on how you paid for or sent the mail:
- The shipping or sales receipt you received at the post office when you sent the item, or from an online retailer.
- The sales receipt or e-receipt from a USPS self-serve kiosk.
- The online label record if you purchased the item through Click-N-Ship.
- The receipt for insurance, if you chose to purchase some.
- An email confirmation if you shipped using USPS.com.
- The bottom portion of the USPS tracking label, which peels off.
Postcards, and items sent by First-Class mail or USPS Marketing Mail may not have a tracking number. In those instances, if you want to track the package, you have to add the extra service of tracking, or mail it with a different service.
The important thing to remember is that you need the tracking number, so save your information. If you don’t have a receipt, you should have an electronic copy of the number on your USPS account. USPS online service agents and those at the Post Offices can’t recover lost tracking numbers.
What does your USPS tracking number look like?
Although international tracking numbers are different, most of the numbers look like this:
9400 1000 0000 0000 0000 00
If you’ve forgotten how you sent the item, or want to see the expected delivery, you can enter the USPS Tracking number and look up "Product Information." This gives you the type of mail class you chose, and the progress of your package. If your item has a status of "Alert," a delay could have occurred because of weather or other natural disaster or event.
What if you lost your USPS tracking number? You won’t have much success tracking your package without a number, unless you set up an Informed Delivery account.
Let’s look at how to do that.
How to track a USPS package without a tracking number
Since you need a number to track a package, and USPS agents can’t help you recover a tracking number, you’re out of luck if you lose it. If the package doesn’t arrive, you can file a Missing Mail search request. To do that, you need the mailer’s address and the recipient’s address, the date of mailing, and a description of the package.
The best way to track a package without tracking number is by setting up a USPS Informed Delivery Account. It allows you to digitally preview your mail, manage package deliveries, and track your packages. Best of all, it doesn’t cost anything.
Here’s how to do it:
- Set up a USPS account.
- Go to the Sign Up for Free section of Informed Delivery at USPS.
- Enter your address to determine if it is eligible for Informed Delivery.
If your address is eligible, login to your usps.com account and select “Informed Delivery” in the top right of your profile page.
- Select “Enroll” and scroll down to the Informed Delivery box under “Account Management.”
- Select the appropriate boxes to agree to the terms and conditions and certify your address, then select “Enroll in Informed Delivery” to continue.
- Complete the identity verification questions, if you didn’t when setting up your account.
Then you’ll be able to:
- Track packages. Use informed delivery to check the delivery status of packages, including when they're scheduled to arrive.
- Check on incoming mail and packages on the secure, online dashboard.
- View grayscale images of the exterior, address side of letter-sized mail that is scheduled to arrive.
- Leave delivery instructions if you won't be home to accept a package.
- Schedule a package to be redelivered if you missed a delivery.
- Set up email and/or text notifications to track the delivery status of your packages.
If you’re the person waiting for the mail, and you don’t have a tracking number, then ask the person who sent the mail to provide you with the number. That will allow you to track the package until it arrives at your home.
How to send a package from USPS
By now you know that the United States Postal Service ( USPS ) is a fantastic way to ship your packages. Here are some tips on how they work:
- Choose the box, making sure your item will fit safely. A standard size helps avoid fees due to packages that can’t run through the USPS machines.
- Tape the box closed and ensure it is flat on all sides. Reinforce the closed flaps with packing tape.
- Print the shipping label or write the addresses with a permanent marker. The delivery address is written in the center of the package and your (return) address goes in the top left corner.
- If you’re uncertain about shipping, visit a post office where you can choose which service you want. Be sure to check that you get USPS tracking with your parcel. You can also use a self-serve kiosk.
- Postage will be calculated and applied and your package will be sent.
It’s even easier with an online account with USPS. Then you purchase printing services online and print the label for your package as well as the tracking label.
How to track a USPS package
It’s easy to track your package once you have your tracking number. You simply enter the tracking number into the USPS Tracking page, or, simply enter your tracking code at the top of this page.
You’ll get the current status of an item along with other tracking information:
- delivery and/or attempted delivery information
- date and time of delivery
- delivery location of the item
Or, if you have multiple packages from USPS and other carriers, download the Circuit Package Tracker app (available for Android or iOs).
Circuit Package Tracker has a handy map view that shows you exactly where your package is, or you can follow the trail of the package from start to finish. Use it to do a simple search to track packages from anywhere in the world.
USPS ships mail to more than 190 countries worldwide, so the Circuit Package Tracker will find your package anywhere in the world, including the USA, UK, Europe, Australia, Canada and South America.
Notifications make it easy to get updates on your package. Circuit Package Tracker lets you customize your alerts. Receive a notification instantly when there are any changes to your delivery. You can set it to get notifications for all updates, or choose to get only important changes.
Circuit Package Tracker will give you instant USPS tracking reports. It also gives you real-time information on your package, such as confirmation that it’s moving on its route. It works for more than USPS too, including UPS, FedEx, DHL, Royal Mail, and Canada Post. It can even auto-detect your shipping provider if necessary.
How to make a USPS lost package claim
It’s important to note that just because you can track your package, it doesn’t mean it will be delivered faster. It also doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to arrive. If it doesn't reach its destination, you may have to make a USPS lost package claim.
Here are some steps to take if you think your package has been lost:
- Visit Find Missing Mail on USPS.com.
- Submit a Missing Mail search request at MissingMail.USPS.com.
- File a claim if you have insured the parcel.
- Visit your local Post Office for assistance in filling out a Missing Mail request.
What and where do the USPS deliver?
The USPS delivers everything from letters and postcards to packages from various businesses or retailers. Customers can use USPS' various fast delivery options to send their items faster, including the Priority Mail and First-Class Mail choices.
The USPS delivers mail and packages to not only people throughout the United States but also to more than 190 countries worldwide. The USPS prides itself in delivering its mail to many places, even if it means using its Mule Train.
If you’re sending or waiting for a package with the USPS and you want to know exactly where it is, try Circuit Package Tracker for free.
USPS tracking FAQs
Can I track a USPS package without a tracking number?
You must keep your retail receipt after ordering a shipment through the USPS to make sure you can track whatever you want to review. You won't be able to track your package without a suitable USPS tracking number. Your USPS tracking data will feature 22 digits and will be sent to you after you pay postage on a qualifying shipping product.
Can you track a USPS package by address?
A USPS package has to be tracked using the tracking number, not the address to which it was sent. However, with the Informed Delivery service added to your USPS account, you can track packages you send as well as those sent to your address.
Can you track a package by name?
By setting up an Informed Delivery service with your USPS account, you can track your package, but not by name. Another option is to use the USPS Tracking Number included when you mail a parcel.
Does Circuit offer better tracking than USPS?
Yes! You might be worried about whether your USPS package is moving and if it'll get to its target destination. Circuit Package Tracker will help you with this. You can enter your USPS tracking number into Circuit to get real-time info on your package and confirm your package is moving.
Circuit Package Tracker will give you instant USPS tracking reports on any package so long as you have your tracking number.
Circuit Package Tracker also offers tracking services for all major international post offices and shipping services, including the USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, Royal Mail, and Canada Post. You'll only need to enter your tracking number and then select the carrier. Circuit Package Tracker can even auto-detect your shipping provider if necessary.
How late does the USPS deliver?
The USPS will complete its daily deliveries by 5 pm. local time, Mondays to Saturdays. Your package may be delivered in the morning if it's ready after 5 pm. in your area. If your USPS package tracking data shows your package is in your destined place after 5 pm., it likely won't be delivered until the next morning.
Sometimes a USPS carrier may deliver something beyond 5 pm., but they do not guarantee that you will get your package in the evening.
How long does it usually take to deliver an international package with USPS?
The USPS proudly ships mail to more than 190 countries worldwide. The timeframe for when they'll deliver an international package will vary surrounding the service you order and its destination. For example:
- Global Express Guaranteed offers shipping from one to three days in various major markets.
- Priority Mail Express offers deliveries in three to five days.
- Standard Priority Mail takes six to ten days to deliver.
- First-Class shipments do not have any specific timeframes for when your items will be delivered. You'd also have to spend extra on a USPS tracking number for First-Class mail.
The timeframe for international delivery may also vary surrounding:
- How remote the location for delivery is
- Whether there are rules or limitations on what someone is trying to ship
- Customs and security standards in different countries; USPS can suspend its delivery guarantees on shipments to some countries as necessary
How long will USPS hold a package?
The USPS offers a Package Intercept feature where you can ask that they hold the package. Your package will be held at a post office near you to pick up when you like. The USPS will hold your package for up to seven business days.
How do you sign for a USPS package?
You might need to sign for a USPS package if the sender has paid for it. You can sign for a package when the courier brings it to you.
For cases where you're not there when a courier tries to deliver a package for you to sign, you'll get a notice. The courier will return you to your local post office. Check the message for instructions on how you can pick it up. You could call to have it redelivered, but you'll also have the choice to visit your local post office to pick it up and sign for it yourself.
You'll have to sign for a USPS package if the shipment meets any of these criteria:
- Is a Priority Mail Express package
- Is Certified Mail
- Has an insurance policy of at least $500
- Includes collect on delivery rules
- Features a return receipt
- Has anything that requires an adult to pick up and sign for
How do you track a USPS package with Circuit?
You can track any USPS package with Circuit as long as you have the necessary USPS tracking number. You can use these steps:
- Look for the USPS tracking data for a package. The USPS tracking package number features 22 numbers scattered with five sets of four-digit numbers and one two-digit number at the end.
- Enter the tracking number into the box.
- Select the USPS option when choosing a carrier. Circuit Package Tracker can also automatically detect when you have a USPS tracking number.
- Click the Track My Package button. You'll get details on where your package is and when that data was last updated.
What do I do if I haven't received my package from USPS?
The USPS will mark your package as missing if it hasn't been delivered before the expected date. You can check Circuit to see where your package is in real-time if you have your USPS package tracking number.
You can contact a USPS customer service representative a few days from when your package was sent if it is still missing. Make sure you give the tracking number to help the USPS find your package.
What happens if the USPS loses my package?
Your package may be deemed lost if you haven't received it within enough time. Check your USPS shipping data with Circuit to see where your package is and report this data to the USPS through a Missing Mail search request. You'll need the following things to do this:
- The addresses of both who are sending the package and who's receiving it
- The mailing date
- The tracking number and the last known reported location of the package
- Details surrounding the shipment, including its contents and the appearance of the package
The USPS encourages you to file a Missing Mail request as soon as possible so that it is easier to find your packages.
What happens if I miss my USPS delivery?
You'll get a Redelivery Notice in your mailbox or at your front door specifying that a mail carrier tried to deliver something to you but couldn't do so. The Redelivery Notice may include details on why the delivery couldn't be made. Some of these reasons include the shipment needing a signature or postage fee, an item not fitting a mailbox, or concerns about whether the item can stay in a secure place.
Check the instructions on your Redelivery Notice for info on how to pick up your package. You might be able to get it from a designated post office. An authorized person can also personally pick up your package if you can't be there, although that new person would have to give it.
You can also schedule redelivery at your property. The notice will feature a QR code you can scan or a web address with a tracking number you can enter.
What time will my USPS package arrive?
The answer here will vary surrounding the shipping option. The USPS features an assortment of shipping choices that you or you or the sender can select. You'll get your package in fewer than seven days in some cases, although the timing will vary surrounding your location, the size and type of shipment, and the service used here. You can check Circuit for updates on where your package is before it arrives.
Where is my USPS package?
Circuit will tell you where your USPS package is before it arrives at your property. It may be a shipping centre or other space for holding as it gets on its way to your home.
Sometimes your package might be near your property, but the USPS couldn't deliver it for some reason. They can redeliver your package the next day, or you can visit a post office where your package is being held.
There are also cases where your USPS package was delivered, but it was in another location where the courier thought it was safe from poor weather, theft, or other issues. Your packages may come separately from the rest of your USPS mail, so check all possible delivery locations.
Where is my USPS tracking number?
Check one of these features to find your USPS tracking number:
- A shipping receipt you got from your local post office
- A sales receipt for postal insurance you bought at your post office
- Email confirmation if you shipped something through USPS.com
- A shopping confirmation email from a retailer
- The bottom part of a USPS Tracking label
The number is 22 digits long in the US and shorter for international shipments.
Why is my USPS package not moving?
It's frustrating when your USPS package won't move as fast you want. You might have checked your package data on Circuit a few times, but you noticed the data isn't changing. There are many reasons why your package is struggling to move:
- The address for a shipment is either incomplete or wrong.
- Someone mis-sorted your package at a facility. The USPS handles thousands of packages each day, so there's a chance there could have been an error.
- Weather-related issues could be a factor, especially during serious rain or snowstorms. Tropical systems, earthquakes, tornados, and other severe weather emergencies can also be a risk in some places.
- The packaging for something may not be suitable for your order. A courier can stop delivering something if it appears the package is too dangerous or unstable. The packaging could have come apart, or the contents are too dangerous for the current package.
Don't hesitate if your USPS package isn't moving. It can take up to 48 hours for the tracking data to be updated.
Why is my USPS package pending?
You'll see before someone ships out your USPS package that it is "pending." The term means that a USPS clerk accepted the package, but it has not reached the first USPS sorting facility.
Your package may be pending due to the item being in an extended queue for processing. Your order will be processed after the earlier ones are finalized.
Sometimes your package is pending because whoever sends it does so as part of a more massive shipment. Many retailers might package a couple of dozen items together out of convenience and to simplify the shipping process. A USPS station still has to individually scan each item to make sure the shipment is moving.
Conclusion: How to Track a USPS Package
When you send a package in the mail, it’s a bonus to have the ability to follow its trail and find out when it’s delivered. USPS Tracking Service allows you to do that.
But if you don’t have a tracking number, it can be tricky. With our helpful tips like setting up an Informed Delivery Account, you can follow your package even without a tracking number.
And if you use the Circuit Package Tracker app, you’ll find it even simpler to keep an eye on your valuable mail, anywhere in the world.
We track packages accurately across thousands of carriers, including:
India Post, Yun Express, DTDC, UPS, LBC Express, China EMS, Trackon couriers, Pakistan Post, Ali Express, China Post, eCom Express, ECMS tracking, Flyt, SkyNet, Meest, CTT, TCS, JS Express, CJ Packet, AAA Cooper, Nova Poshta, and thousands more.