USPS General Delivery: The Ultimate Guide

USPS General Delivery is a tool by which you can get your USPS mails delivered to you even during your travels when you are not at your home. USPS General Delivery is the mailing service available to those who don’t have a permanent address or aren’t staying there at the moment. 

The service allows those customers to use a temporary mailing address to get their parcels delivered to them while they are on the road traveling or staying away from their homes.

USPS General Delivery is essential mailing service, especially for those away from their homes most of the time but still need to get their parcels delivered. There are a few crucial things that you need to understand to avail of this USPS service. 

So, here we are with all the details you need to access the USPS General Delivery service. Let’s dive in!

USPS General Delivery

Table of Contents

When Do You Need USPS General Delivery?

USPS General Delivery service comes handy in such cases when:

  • You don’t have a permanent mailing address
  • You are out of town and staying away from your home
  • You travel extensively and so need deliveries on the transit
  • You are staying at someplace without a reliable mailing service
  • You want P.O. Box service, but the P.O. Boxes are unavailable
  • You are frequently traveling from one place to another
  • You don’t prefer using a P.O. Box for deliveries

For all these above cases, you can opt to use the USPS General Delivery service to deliver your packages with the greatest ease at the address and time as per your convenience.

Read: How to Cancel PO Box? Find the Best Answer Here

How to Use USPS General Delivery?

The USPS General Delivery service is very easy to access. You just need to know a few technicalities and then simply order your package, address it to you through your preferred Post Office and pick it up when it arrives. 

Find below the step by step procedure to get your mails delivered even while you are traveling using the USPS General Delivery service:

Step 1: Pick the Location

Firstly, you need to anticipate the exact place where you would be when your mail arrives. For this, you need to determine how long your package will take to arrive. Depending on your situation, it can be anywhere between 2 days to 2 weeks. 

Once you get that information, pull out you are itinerary and figure out where you will be when your parcel arrives. Make sure that you take into consideration the buffer time in case your package gets delayed.

Step 2: Find the Main Post Office

Next, you need to find the main Post Office of the town or city you are visiting or staying in. In each ZIP code, there is always one main Post Office that handles all the important services. Although you can avail of the General Delivery service from any local post office that has access to service, the best result will be offered by the main Post Office. 

You have three options to know which one is the main Post Office in a particular area or which post offices in the area offer the General Delivery service. The first is to call the USPS services at 1-800-275-8777 and ask. 

The second is to open the USPS mobile app and look for “General Delivery” under the option “Service Available.” Third, you can simply check in with the local post offices to inquire about the same, and they will let you know. 

N.B.: The last option is the best to have the correct information real quick.

Step 3: Address the Package in the Correct Format

Next, you need to know what your General Delivery address will be. And it’s easy to access that information once you find out the main Post Office and ask them the address. For the address, you would need the name of the city and state as well as the ZIP code of the area. Also, get the street address, even if it’s optional.

Lastly, you would be required to use the following format as specified by USPS to avail their General Delivery service:

Your Name

General Delivery

[Optional: Post Office Street Address]

Town/City name, State, ZIP code

Here the “General Delivery” indicates the actual address line with no specific address attached to it. And, using the code “9999” as ZIP+4 is also important to indicate general delivery.

Step 4: Pick Up Your Package

Picking up your mail or parcel is simple—visit the Post Office, show them your I.D. and ask for your General Delivery mail. You might not need your identification details in cases where the postal staff know you personally.

Remember that the Post Office will hold your mail only for 30 days after it’s delivered and hence you must collect it within that period. 

You can use your Tracking Number to know the delivery status of your package. If you don’t have that option, you can directly call the local post office to know if your parcel has arrived. 

Whatever you do, don’t exceed the 30 days’ period; else, you might not be able to see the face of your package ever.

So, that was the four simple steps to avail the USPS General Delivery service to have your mails delivered while you are traveling.

Few things to be Careful of while accessing the USPS General Delivery Service

Last but not least, you need to be mindful of the following things while accessing the USPS General Delivery Service to avoid committing mistakes and causing unnecessary harassment:

  • General Delivery is a USPS service; hence it’s unavailable if you are using services like UPS or FedEx. The Post Office is most likely to reject the FedEx or UPS boxes if they arrive. So, it would be better if you could work it out with your carrier beforehand.
  • Not all post offices accept General Delivery, so you must find the one that does and avail the service through them. That’s basically why you should always opt for the main Post Office within a particular ZIP area, for they would always have access to the General Delivery service.
  • Ensure that the Post Office has no size restrictions if you don’t want them to reject your package due to its large size.
  • Try to get the Tracking Number if possible. It’s the best tool to track your package and know as soon as it gets delivered. It’s so much easier than having to call the Post Office every day to know if it has arrived.
  • When you pick it up, make sure that you have your I.D. with you to prove your identity and claim your package that arrived through General Delivery.
  • Usually, the Post Office keeps your package for 30 days. But that may vary from place to place. So, make sure that you gather that knowledge and pick up your parcel before the stipulated period gets over.
  • If you have access to all the right information from the Post Office, you can use USPS General Delivery to have your packages shipped a few days ahead of you so that when you reach the location, you have your package waiting for you at the Post Office.  


USPS never fails to surprise us with their innovative services catered to every need of their customers. The USPS General Delivery is one such excellent mailing service for those on a tour who need to deliver on the road. Like all their services, USPS General Delivery is very easy to avail of if you can access all the necessary information. 

I hope this article has successfully served you with all the details to avail the service of the USPS General Delivery.

Avatar of Brent Watson

A delivery boy by profession, A traveler by passion. I love to explore new varieties of food. He also worked in many popular courier companies such as USPS and UPS. He likes to educate people on how they can save money while using these courier companies to send their parcels.

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