Does USPS Deliver At Night? (2023 Updated) (2023)

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The United States Postal Service is one of the most reliable mail carriers in the United States.

Despite problems with funding and older trucks, they always manage to deliver the mail.

If you’re waiting on a particularly important piece of mail, you may wonder if you’ll get it that night.

For example, if you didn’t receive any mail during the day, then maybe you’ll still get your mail later that night.

Here’s what you need to know about whether the USPS delivers at night or not.

Does USPS Deliver At Night?

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No, there is a very rare chance that the USPS will deliver your mail at night.

However, this situation is extremely rare.

In most cases, the standard delivery time of mail is between 8 AM and 5 PM.

Their offices also often close around 4 PM.

However, under certain circumstances, there’s a chance that a mail delivery worker is unable to get all their deliveries out during that standard time.

If the particular package has expedited shipping or another form of priority classification, they might still deliver it beyond the normal delivery hours.

In most cases, it’s even rarer to get mail later than 8 PM.

Although it’s rare, there’s a chance that you might get your mail at night.

Why Does The USPS Deliver Mail At Night?

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While it’s extremely rare for the USPS to deliver mail at night, there are a few factors that might occur which can make that happen.

Here are a few reasons the USPS might need to deliver mail at night.

1. Foul Weather

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One of the biggest reasons that a mail carrier will deliver at night is when foul weather occurs during the day.

As an example, a big snowstorm might cross the area and make traveling along the roads difficult or even impossible.

The mail carrier may have to wait or even take shelter until the storm passes.

Since this puts a major delay on their route, they’ll need to take extra time to deliver the mail.

That time might extend into the evening.

Severe weather like tornados or a hurricane can also force them to take shelter or delay their deliveries.

When this happens, they need to wait until the storm clears.

In the case of a hurricane, the mail carrier might have to wait a few days.

For a tornado, they may need to wait until authorities clear the roads.

If a major delay occurs during their route, they won’t be able to deliver their mail until that evening.

Even less extreme weather, like regular rain, can impact their route.

If enough rain accumulates, it might cause flooding.

A mail carrier may need to use a different route to get to the addresses that they need to deliver to.

Since they have to wind around different routes and find new ways to access the mailboxes, this adds time to their delivery schedule.

As a result, they might not finish before the standard time of delivery is over.

They’ll have to deliver at night instead.

Weather can play an integral role in whether the mail carrier delivers at night or not.

2. Holidays

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Another major factor that determines whether the USPS will deliver at night or not is if it’s the holidays.

During the holidays, the USPS sees a lot of mail and packages that they need to deliver.

While they often work alongside UPS and FedEx, they’re the ones taking care of the smaller packages, cards, and letters.

Since the USPS is often swamped with activity during the holidays, they tend to take longer to complete their deliveries.

That’s because they still have all their normal deliveries to make, too.

While some post offices make it a bit easier by hiring seasonal help, many don’t have the budget to support new hires.

As a result, all the deliveries fall on the shoulders of their existing workers.

Throw in some bad weather in certain regions of the country, and you have mail carriers who are late making their deliveries.

There’s also a lot of pressure on mail carriers to complete their deliveries before certain days.

December 25th is a major deadline for them.

As is January 1st.

Everyone wants their gifts to arrive on time, so they prefer that their packages arrive before those dates.

This puts a lot of pressure on mail carriers to deliver as much as possible.

It might push some to deliver at night to empty their trucks before the next day.

The holidays are a major reason the USPS will deliver at night sometimes.

3. Short-Staffed

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There’s no question that the USPS is having funding problems.

With most money going towards parcels rather than standard mail thanks to email, the organization doesn’t receive a lot of funding through stamps anymore.

They’re also not funded by the government.

They’re a business and rely on sales to make revenue and pay their employees.

The problem is that some post offices have very poor funding compared to others.

When this happens, the office has no choice but to let some of its employees go.

That ends up creating a staff shortage which impacts how quickly the office can get out mail.

When there’s a crunch to get all their mail out, then some carriers may feel the pressure to deliver past the standard delivery hours.

They might need to start delivering mail at night to empty their trucks.

If they don’t, then they might not ever be able to deliver all the mail in their trucks since they keep getting new mail every day.

Mail carriers might deliver at night when their post office is short-staffed.

4. Special Delivery Orders

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If someone has a particularly important piece of mail, they might call and work with the post office to have it delivered at night.

For example, if a piece of mail contains sensitive information, then the individual might not like the idea of it sitting in their mailbox for hours before they come home.

In very rare circumstances, they might be able to work with the post office to get a scheduled delivery time.

In most cases, this isn’t allowed since it costs the post office money.

At most, they might hold onto the piece of mail and wait for the individual to arrive at the office, itself.

However, if the individual pays for a certain type of mail, something beyond standard mail fare, then there’s a chance the office might be willing to work with them.

A mail carrier might deliver mail at night for certain types of mail.

How Late Does The USPS Deliver Mail?

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If you’re sitting at home and wondering if the mail is going to arrive, then you may wonder how long it takes for them to deliver mail.

The standard hours for delivering mail are from 8 AM to 5 PM.

If you haven’t received your mail during that period, then there’s a chance that you don’t have any mail for that day.

There’s also a very small chance that they might deliver your mail past 5 PM.

For example, during the holidays, it’s a bit more common for USPS workers to deliver mail and packages past 5 PM.

However, in most cases, mail carriers finish delivering mail by 5 PM.

As such, if you’re still waiting for your mail by that time, then the mail you’re waiting for likely wasn’t on the truck for that day’s deliveries.

How Can You Tell If You’re Getting Mail From The USPS?

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If you don’t want to sit by your window and wait for the mail to arrive, then you may wonder how you can check to see if you’re getting mail for that day.

The USPS actually has a service for that.

It’s called Informed Delivery.

It’s a free service that you can sign up for on the USPS website.

With Informed Delivery, the post office sends you an email whenever you’re expecting mail.

Sometimes, they even take a picture of the mail and send it to you.

This allows you to see exactly what’s coming your way.

They’ll also inform you about any packages coming your way.

Keep in mind that Informed Delivery isn’t always 100% accurate.

For example, it may say that you’re receiving mail that day, but in reality, it might be the next day that it arrives in your mailbox.

That’s because things can happen on a carrier’s route which can force them to delay their deliveries until the next day.

Informed Delivery also makes managing your scheduled deliveries easier.

It provides three big features:

  • Tracking packages
  • Delivery instructions
  • Scheduling redeliveries

Let’s look at these in more detail.

1. Tracking Packages

With Informed Delivery, you can easily track your package.

Once the USPS gets a hold of the package, they’ll send you tracking information which you can use to determine when your package is arriving at your home.

This then helps you coordinate.

For example, you can have someone at home ready to accept the package on your behalf.

If you don’t have anyone to accept the package, you can always use the redelivery option to have the package arrive when you’re there.

Being able to track packages through Informed Delivery can make your life a bit easier to manage.

2. Delivery Instructions

If you don’t like the idea of the mail carrier leaving your packages on the porch or at the front door, then you can give them new instructions.

With Informed Delivery, you can leave a message about how to handle packages for you.

This is something you’ll want to do early since if you put the instructions on there too late, the mail carrier might miss them.

Delivery instructions are ideal for those who want to ensure the package ends up exactly where they need it.

You can even tell the mail carrier to leave the package with a trusted neighbor.

With Informed Delivery, you gain better control over how your deliveries happen.

3. Scheduling Redeliveries

The final feature of Informed Delivery that can assist you is being able to schedule redeliveries.

If you know that you’re not going to be at home and don’t like the idea of your package sitting out in the open, you can also schedule redelivery with Informed Delivery.

Redelivery tells the USPS to hold onto the package and send it out according to the instructions that you give.

In most cases, the delivery occurs the next day.

However, you can use your account on USPS to schedule a delivery.

Being able to have a package redelivered to you ensures that your package is handled with maximum safety and care.

With Informed Delivery, you can easily schedule your packages for redelivery.

How To Sign Up For Informed Delivery

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If you want to take advantage of the features that Informed Delivery offers, then you’ll need to know how to sign up for Informed Delivery.

The process is relatively simple.

First, you need to make an account with the USPS.

They’ll ask for personal information to verify your identity.

That’s because the USPS handles extremely sensitive information at times.

They don’t want just anyone to be able to know when your mail is arriving.

Once you verify your information, you’ll have the ability to turn on Informed Delivery.

At most, you can think of Informed Delivery as a notification system.

You can put in the email where you want to receive your notifications.

Whenever you get mail, you’ll receive an email with either a picture or just a notification that you’re getting mail.

The USPS makes it extremely easy to sign up for Informed Delivery.

Does Informed Delivery Work For Apartments?

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While Informed Delivery is usually available for homes, if you live in an apartment, then you may wonder if you can use the service.

In most cases, you can.

That’s because Informed Delivery works with a code system.

Each unit or home has a specific code that they use to sort and process their mail.

In order to sign up for Informed Delivery, your unit or apartment needs a specific code, too.

Most modern-day apartments use this code when building their units.

As such, Informed Delivery should be able to work with most apartment complexes.

However, old apartment complexes might not be able to use Informed Delivery since their units don’t have a specific, unique code tied to them.

The best way to determine if Informed Delivery works with your apartment is to sign up for the service.

What Happens If Informed Delivery Can’t Verify Your Identity?

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If you’ve tried to sign up for Informed Delivery, but it can’t seem to verify your identity, then you’re not out of luck.

You can verify your identity in person instead.

To do this, you need to click on the “Enroll in Informed Delivery” button.

One of the options that will pop up is the ability to verify in person at a post office.

After you click this option, you’ll receive a list of post offices near your location.

Only those with Identity Proofing services will show up.

Write down the address of the one you want to visit, then scroll down the page further until you see the “Continue to In-Person Proofing,” button.

Click that and you’ll go to another page that has information for you to read.

It will explain how the proofing process works and what you need to bring to the post office.

Keep in mind that if you fail to prove your identity within 72 hours, then you’ll need to wait for some time before you can try again.

Why Haven’t I Received Notifications With Informed Delivery?

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If you successfully signed up for Informed Delivery but haven’t received any notifications, then a few things might be happening.

The first is that you may just have no mail coming your way.

You only receive a notification when you have mail headed to your mailbox.

If there isn’t any mail, then you won’t have a notification.

You can usually troubleshoot this by checking your mailbox.

If mail has arrived and you haven’t received a notification about it, then you’ll want to call customer services.

Keep in mind that junk mail, or ads, don’t qualify as mail that Informed Delivery will notify you about.

Another reason is that your notifications are going to your Spam folder.

If your email system flags Informed Delivery as Spam, then all your notifications are going to go in that folder.

It’s worth checking there to see if your emails are going there instead.

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