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USPS “Delivered to Agent for Final Delivery” – Complete Guide

What does the USPS “Delivered to Agent for Final Delivery” update mean? You’re expecting a package and you have just received this alert.

Has your mail item been delivered? What exactly is an Agent? Let’s take a look.

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Delivered to Agent for Final Delivery – Meaning

“Delivered To Agent For Final Delivery” means that USPS has delivered the package to another person other than the addressee. This could be a family member, a doorman, a receptionist, co-worker, mail-locker service, or similar.

What is a USPS Delivery Agent?

hands handing over packages

Essentially, a delivery Agent is any individual deemed appropriate by a USPS carrier to accept a package on the behalf of the addressee.

As mentioned above, another individual living or working at the recipient address falls comfortably into this category, (as long as they are over the age of 12).

Parcel locker or concierge and front desk services can also be “Agents” that can accept and sign for USPS parcels on the behalf of someone else.

It is important to understand that no prior arrangement has to be made for this to happen.

A USPS delivery worker will use their best judgment to hand the package over to a trustworthy agent that will complete the delivery to the intended recipient. 

Does USPS Confirm the Identity of an “Agent”?

Man confirming ID

USPS does not have the technology, data, or infrastructure to officially confirm the identity of every agent that is used to accept packages on the behalf of others.

However, in the majority of instances where the agent clearly lives or works at the same address as the intended recipient, no problems arise.

USPS mail carriers will not hand over a large parcel to someone on your street for instance. Common sense prevails in most cases.

What To Do After The Update?

Delivered to Agent for Final Delivery

As mentioned above, a package being handed over to an agent is a standard procedure and it means that your item has been delivered.

You should check your USPS tracking date to see where the agent was when the package was handed over.

Very often this will be the delivery address, meaning a family member or housemate has signed for the package on your behalf. In essence, they have become your agent.

If the package was “Delivered to Agent for Final Delivery” at your work address you should call the reception or mail room of your work to begin locating the item.

The fact is, that the USPS carrier will scan the package with a GPS tracker at the location where it was handed over to the agent.

This will help you deduce where the package is and who might have it.

What Happens If Your USPS Package Says Delivered to Agent for Final Delivery, But is Missing?

girl shrugging

Having said all of the above, mistakes can and do happen.

What exactly should you do if you receive a “Package was Delivered To Agent” alert but later find that the item is missing?

First, you should exhaust all inquiries with potential agents, (i.e. others that live at your address or fellow co-workers if the delivery location was your work address).

If no individual seems to have signed for it, you should wait until the next business day for a potential USPS update.

Some USPS drivers will consider themselves an agent and will sign for the package on your behalf.

This can happen if they are at the end of their shift and find no one to deliver to.

They will act as the agent, sign for the package, and place it back on the truck for delivery the following day. (This has also happened for social distancing reasons during the pandemic; more on that below)

On rare occasions, Postal workers at the post office can also be deemed as delivery agents.

In this case, the package is handed back to the post office after a failed delivery at the recipient’s address.

This will become apparent after you have called the local post office or 1.800.ASK.USPS; which is your next step after waiting one business day for the package to surface.

USPS “Package Says Delivered To Agent” Signed COVID-19

USPS Delivered to Agent for Final Delivery covid 19 1

During the height of the pandemic, there were many instances where USPS workers were listing a mail item as “Delivered to Agent” and then signing it themselves as COVID-19.

USPS deliveries were being signed off like this to avoid unnecessary contact with recipients.

Staff was also instructed not to allow customers to sign the scanners.

It was a social distancing recommendation implemented by USPS to protect workers and customers.

Deliveries were still made to addressees however, not requiring a signature has helped to reduce contact overall.

As explained above, delivery to an agent is accompanied by a GPS location tag, making it possible to track where the parcel has been left.

However, USPS carriers signing for the package themselves is happening less now that the greater societal risk of the pandemic has subsided.

Tracking a Package that has been “Delivered to Agent for Final Delivery”

woman on a laptop

The standard methods of tracking your mail item apply after you have received a” delivered to agent” alert.

1. USPS Website

The Tracking page of the USPS website will show the details of the GPS location where the package was delivered to the agent.

This will allow you to target where and with whom the package has been left.

2. USPS Mobile App

To use the USPS app, head to the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store, download, and punch in your tracking number. This will provide you with details of the latest tracking updates.

You can also allow push notifications so that you will be alerted every time a new update arrives.

3. USPS Delivery Manager

If you are already signed up to Delivery Manager you will be able to track the whereabouts of all mail being shipped to your address.

You can also manage aspects of your mail such as placing a hold for pick-up or a redirect.

4. Phone Call

Calling the local post office or customer services on 1.800.ASK.USPS is the best approach if you prefer the old-fashioned way of actually getting a person on the phone.

Citing your tracking number will provide you with more information on the package location.

Necessary in circumstances where the package has been marked as “delivered to agent” yet is nowhere to be seen.

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