What is USPS General Delivery and Its Restrictions?

Usually, the mail carrier or the letter carrier brings our mail items and packages to our home. Isn’t this the most common way all the postal carriers work? But, do you know that there also exists a service where the postal service delivers the mails at the post office and not to the home of the addressee? In this article, we will talk about a service like this which is known as ‘General Delivery. You will get to know what is USPS General Delivery, how does it work, what are its restrictions, and the other know-how. So, let’s start:

What is USPS General Delivery?

The USPS has introduced this service for those users who do not have a permanent mailing address. A General Delivery is a facility that delivers a person’s mail to a specified post office, and the addressee picks his mail item from that post office himself. Through this service, you can get your mails easily despite having no address.

How to Use General Delivery?

General DeliveryTo avail this facility, the first thing you should do is to find out a post office in your vicinity that offers this kind of service. That post office should be reachable for you so that you can easily go and collect your mails. The USP of this service is that you do not need to have the street address of the post office. You can only mention the ZIP code, and the mails will start coming for you.

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So, you would have observed that using General Delivery is super easy. All you are expected to know is the ZIP Code. You must always remember the ZIP Code of the post office that receives your mails. This ZIP Code helps the carrier to know, where to deliver the mail. Also, you need to convey to your mail senders to follow the format given below. They must write the address as per the following format only:

Your Name

General Delivery

City, State, and ZIP Code

To check if this service is working properly, you can start with sending a mail to yourself and then collect it after few days. This way you will be confident that your general delivery address is correct.

General Delivery Restrictions:

The general delivery service has its restrictions. Let us get acquainted with it:

  • The postmaster will provide the mails to you only if you show your proper ID. Hence, you must carry a proper ID proof to pick up your held mails. You can use any one of these ID proofs or any other valid proof of identity:
    • Driving License
    • Passport
    • Voter Id Card
  • Though the post office has not defined any time limit for what period you can avail the General Delivery service, the postmaster has a right to terminate your post office mails if you receive many mails and the post office cannot keep more mails for you due to some reason. If the postmaster finds that you have a habit of not collecting the mails beyond the limit of 30 days, in that case also you can face the problem.
  • The General Delivery Mail does not work on holidays and Sundays.
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You need not get bothered by the restrictions, especially the last one. You can ask for an additional time if the postmaster approves it. Also, to use this service, you don’t need to fill any form. You can speak to the postmaster that you want to use this service and he will help you. The postmaster, who is the controlling authority of this service, will take a call that for how long you can use this service.

3 Comments on “What is USPS General Delivery and Its Restrictions?”

  1. I had a certified letter send to general delivery in Gonzales FL when i went to pick up th agent said he returned it cause he didn’t recognize my name I didn’t realize i had to inform them prior. Since we r traveling across country this is difficult if each post office has a different rule. What can i do for next time

  2. Since the post office has not defined any time limit for what period I can avail the General Delivery service, what right or what reason does the local postmaster have to terminate my post office mails if I receive less than twenty parcels a month?

  3. On May 31, 2019 I received a Temporary Change of Address Confirmation #1914 9900 0030 0860 to be in effect June 1st to Sept. 25th for General Delivery mail.
    We go to the Pinetop Post Office once a week to pick up our mail. The most pieces we have picked up in a week is 4, and no parcels or packages.
    We were surprised yesterday when informed that we could only do General Delivery for a month and a half. She told us we would have to rent a P.O. Box or have it sent to an address here. We are in an RV park and will probably be moving around to other spots in the area before the end of Sept.
    We do not feel we are over-using or abusing the system and would like to know what our options are.
    Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

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