If you’re looking to ship a car battery with USPS, allow us to stop you right here. You most likely can’t! In our opinion, if you need a car battery, eCommerce probably isn’t the best move. You’re better off going to the nearest Auto Zone or searching for a used one on Craigslist.
USPS Categorizes Car Batteries as “Nonmailable Corrosives”
According to Publication 52 in the USPS Postal Explorer, car batteries fall into the category of what USPS calls Nonmailable Corrosives. This is because automobile lead acid batteries contain a chemical substance called liquid electrolyte, which is a highly corrosive acid.
As with most cases, however, there are exceptions to this rule. If your car battery is clearly marked as “non-spillable,” then USPS will allow you to to ship it. Keep in mind that you’ll only be able to ship it domestically, though. International destinations are 100% out of the question. That said, most car batteries aren’t the non-spillable type…so, it’s probably best to not even try in the first place.
If Your Battery is Non-Spillable
If your battery is non-spillable, then you’re in luck. You can use any USPS service to ship these out, including air and ground services (such as Priority Mail or Parcel Select Ground, respectively). However, USPS imposes strict packaging instructions in order to ship these items properly. Here are those guidelines, according to USPS Packaging Instruction 8B:
Absorbent and Cushioning Material
- Protect the non-spillable battery from short circuits with protective or cushioning material
- Surround the primary receptacle with a noncombustible material capable of absorbing all liquid in the case of leakage
- Securely package the non-spillable battery in a strong fiberboard box
- Only one non-spillable battery is allowed per mailpiece
- The total weight of a single parcel cannot exceed 25 pounds
- The outer packaging must be plainly and durably marked on the address with the text “NONSPILLABLE BATTERY, UN2800”
- Each mailpiece must include the mailer and addressee names and have a complete delivery and return address