A USPS “No Access to Delivery Location” notification from the post office is frustrating.
Not only does it mean you have missed out on receiving your mail item or package, but it is also quite vague as to the reason why.
So what do you do after being told by USPS that they couldn’t gain access to the delivery address?
What does it mean? What are the reasons behind it and what steps should you take?
Let’s take a look…
What Does USPS “No Access to Delivery Location” Mean?
On the face of it, the meaning seems simple. USPS tried to deliver the mail item to your address and was unable to gain access to the delivery location.
For some reason, your mailman was unable to reach the delivery point for your mail.
However, it is slightly more complicated than that. The reason for this failed delivery can actually happen under various circumstances.
Main Reasons You Have Received a “No Access to Delivery Location” Update
USPS Cannot Reach Your Address
If a USPS postal worker cannot physically reach your address due to bad weather, road accidents, or construction, a “No Access to Delivery Location” will be reported.
The same applies if once at your address there was an obstruction that prevented delivery.
This could be renovation works to your home, or a utility company working in the street outside your house.
Even parked cars blocking access to the mailbox can cause non-delivery.
Essentially, if a USPS worker has attempted physical delivery of the mail item and is unable to reach your mailbox or doorstep, the no access alert can be the result.
No Record of the Delivery Address
If your mailing address is not in the USPS records, it can sometimes be reported as “No Access to Delivery Location” when a mail item is addressed to you.
This can happen with new-build homes. It might also happen if the record of your address is in the system incorrectly.
Also, if the shipper has written some of your address details incorrectly it may be flagged as not in the USPS national address database, causing a no access to delivery location update.
USPS Worker Avoiding Delivery
Now for the reason that we would like to not be true, but clearly does occur.
It is not unheard of for a USPS worker to state “No Access to Delivery Location” when they haven’t even made an attempt to deliver the item to your door.
There are many situations this might happen. The worker may be late on the delivery and plans to reach your address the following day. It might be the weekend and they wish to finish earlier.
Maybe, your address is out of their way and not convenient.
Clearly, all these explanations are totally against USPS policy. Online discussions where these reasons are cited cannot be verified as a result.
It would be naive to think that they don’t happen, however.
- Related Content: USPS Tracking Number Not Working: What to Do?
What Happens to Your Package After This Alert?
After the USPS worker has not been able to deliver your mail item successfully, it will be returned to the post office and held there.
Attempts at redelivery will be made, (unless your address is not in the USPS system).
You will also have an opportunity to contact the post office to organize alternative delivery options.
Steps to Take
So what should you do after you have been notified of a USPS “No Access to Delivery Location”?
There are four main steps you should take in the first instance.
1. Contact/Visit Your Local Post Office
Visiting or contacting your local post office is the first step. You can ask for clarification about the no-access situation.
This will help you to draw conclusions on how to stop the error from occurring in the future.
Furthermore, you will be able to find out the location of your package and arrange to pick it up.
In cases where you have visited your post office to discuss why access was unavailable, you may also be able to pick up the mail item directly.
If they are able to explain why the USPS worker’s access was blocked, you should make efforts to remedy the situation as soon as you can.
2. Call USPS Customer Service
Sometimes the local post office might not be able to help you, (or drag their heels to do so).
If this happens you should not hesitate to contact the main USPS customer services number (or via email).
The national USPS Postal Service Customer Service hotline is (800) 275-8777.
A representative there will be able to look further into your situation, and if needed, give the local post office more incentive to get to the bottom of it.
A call from the head office should be enough to get even the most complacent of post office managers to dig a little deeper.
3. Speak to Your USPS Mailman Directly
If you are able to catch your local USPS worker while they are on their round, you should definitely speak to them about the no-access issue to see what the problem is.
It might have been a one-off event, and they will be able to reassure you of this. If it is an ongoing problem, the information they provide can help you solve it.
The worker should also be able to update you on where the mail item is currently located or hand it to you if it is with them.
4. Add the Address to the USPS System
If after going through the steps above it turns out that your address is not in the USPS system, what should you do?
The answer is quite simple. You will need to make a request for your address details to be entered into the USPS database.
To do so you will need to call your local post office and ask to arrange a meeting with the postmaster and office manager.
You should explain the situation over the phone, and that you need to add a new address to the USPS database.
You will need to provide proof of identification and where possible documents such as a tenancy agreement or house contract of sale.
At the post office, you will be given a form to fill in. This will be digitized once complete, with your details and address added to the USPS Address Management System.
That should then be the end of your “No Access to Delivery Location” woes.
- Related Content: What Does Arrived at Hub USPS Mean?
USPS No Access to Delivery Location – Other Pro-active Steps
The steps above are the main ones to take after receiving a USPS “No Access to Delivery Location” update.
However, we still have a few other tips that can help you keep on top of your incoming mail items.
Let’s take a look…
Sign up for USPS Informed Delivery
USPS Informed Delivery is free to sign up to and will provide you with digital previews of your mail before it arrives.
The same service allows you to remotely manage your mail and packages scheduled for arrival.
Essentially, the post office creates greyscale scanned images of the exterior of mail items being sent to your address.
These can then be viewed online through your Informed Delivery dashboard.
This provides you with information on what mail to expect and helps you prepare for its delivery.
You can even request that the mail be sent to an alternative address or pick it up in person, which is something you might consider if you are having delivery access issues.
Install a Porch Camera
For security reasons, or because you suspect that your USPS mailman is not doing all they can to reach your address, a porch camera can help.
The technology is there now so that the footage is clear and can run for multiple hours.
If “complications” are arising with deliveries to your door, a porch camera could help you get to the bottom of it.
Use a Parcel Locker or P.O Box
If you would like to circumvent USPS deliveries to your door completely, you could opt for a parcel locker or P.O. Box.
This means that mail items will be delivered to the address of the locker or P.O. Box. These very rarely encounter any delivery access issues.
On the negative side, you will have to make arrangements to pick up your mail from the relevant location of the locker or box.
- Related Content: Does USPS offer a virtual address?
USPS “No Access to Delivery Location” can be frustrating. However, as we have seen, there are a few reasons it might occur, many of which can be cleared up by contacting USPS.
There are also steps that you can take to either remedy or prevent the situation from occurring.
By following the guide above, you should be able to achieve that.
I’m a 25 year veteran of USPS. I’m retired now, but as the editor of Mailbox Master, I can’t quite remove myself from the carrier industry just yet. 🙂