Whether you’re shipping a parcel or picking one up, do you need to take your ID to USPS?
We looked into whether USPS requires an ID and if so, for what services.. This is what we found..
Does USPS Ask For ID?
The United States Postal Service (USPS) requires your identification to receive specific products and to apply for certain services. The forms and levels of identification differ according to the service and/or product you need.
This article takes a look at USPS and the kind of ID they ask for: when and how you provide it, and the forms of ID which are not acceptable, and finally we take a quick look at United Parcel Service (UPS) and the kinds of ID they ask for.
What ID Do You Need To Open A Post Office Account?
You can create a personal (or business) Post Office Account with USPS online at any time. It’s free, and you don’t need ID to set it up. However, to use the services (that you manage through your account) you will need ID.
You can use this account to manage PO boxes, file domestic mail claims, print postage labels, purchase stamps and other items, request Parcel Pickup, and print custom forms online.
Simply head to the USPS create an account page, choose a personal or business account and follow the prompts.
What Does “Primary And Secondary ID” mean?
The terms “primary” and “secondary” refer to levels of identification. Primary identification shows your image (a photograph) and secondary identification shows your address (a utility bill).
Some USPS services and products will ask you for just one, and others will request both.
The more common primary forms of identification include:
- State issued driver’s license or a non-driver ID card
- US Armed Forces card or Uniformed Services ID card
- U.S. permanent resident or other identification card
- U.S. certificate of citizenship or naturalization
- Identification card issued by a federally or state-recognized tribal nation
- Matricula Consular card (Mexico)
- NEXUS card (Canada)
- Corporate identification card
- U.S. University identification card (for some services)
The most common secondary forms of identification include:
- A lease, mortgage, or deed of trust
- Voter or vehicle registration card
- Home or vehicle insurance policy
- Utility bill
- Form I-94, Arrival and Departure Record
Forms of identification which are not acceptable include:
- Social security cards
- Birth certificates
- Credit cards of any form
What USPS Services and Products Do I Need ID for?
The USPS have an excellent information page with a table containing the ID requirements for each service they offer. Here are answers to some of the most common ID queries:
- To get a PO box number and keys – you will need both forms of ID. One must show a photograph of you and one must show a physical address.
- To use Priority Mail Express, Certified Mail, Insured Mail, and Accountable Mail – you needa primary form of ID, which must show a photograph of you.
- To use Commercial Mail Receiving Agency – you need both forms of ID
- For “Change of Address” and “Collect on Delivery” – you need both forms of ID
- For purchasing and/or cashing money orders – you need a primary form of ID.
- For “Hold for Pickup” and “Parcel Return” – you need a primary form of ID
Does USPS Ask For An ID for Signature Services?
USPS Signature Service is a (value added) service that requires the recipient of the package to sign for it’s release. The service was added by USPS in 2011 and has two options: Adult Signature Required and Adult Signature Restricted Delivery.
Adult Signature Required means that someone at the recipient’s address who is over the age of 21 must sign for the package.
Adult Signature Restricted means that the specific addressee must sign for the package – and must also be over the age of 21.
Before either party can sign for the packages, they must show a primary form of identification.
This service is available to online and commercial customers using Express Mail, Priority Mai, Critical Mail, Parcel Select, and Parcel Select Ground, and associated fees and postage apply.
Do You Need An ID To Ship A Package With UPS?
United Parcel Service (UPS) also require a primary (photo) form of ID if you want to ship a package through them.
The name on the ID has to match the name of the person sending the shipment. This procedure includes all retail shipping locations and outlets worldwide.
However, if you have an account with them, and you have prepared your shipping label through this account, you won’t have to present identification during this process.
When picking up a package from a UPS location, you’ll also need a primary form of ID.
Want to learn more about USPS? Check out our related post to learn if USPS accepts FedEx returns, does USPS deliver at night and does USPS ship internationally.
Presenting the correct forms of identification is now mandatory for most postal and package delivery services. Forms of ID fall clearly into two categories: primary and secondary.
If you’re going to purchase a service or product from USPS, UPS, or any other carrier, make you’re carrying both forms of identification. You’ll be asked for one of them for sure, and likely both of them anyway.
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