Why Won’t USPS Deliver to My House?

If you live in a rural area or a neighborhood with a community mailbox, USPS may not deliver mail and packages directly to your door
Why Won't USPS Deliver to My House
Written on:

If you’re wondering why USPS won’t deliver to your house, it’s okay to be confused (and frustrated)! However, before you go storming into your local Post Office, there’s almost always a rational explanation. This guide lists some of the main reasons why USPS won’t deliver mail and parcels directly to your door.

The Main Reasons Why USPS Won’t Deliver to Your House

USPS delivers mail and parcels to every single residential address in the country. However, some homes are different from others. For some homes, you may need to go elsewhere to retrieve your mail and packages from USPS. This can get confusing at times, since you’ll likely still receive packages at your doorstep from other carriers such as UPS and FedEx.

We’ve listed the main reasons why USPS won’t deliver to your house below.

Do You Live in a Rural Area?

Sometimes USPS won’t deliver to your home if it’s located in a rural area, or if it’s in a place where there aren’t many other homes around. USPS needs to deliver mail and packages to every single residential address in the country, which can get fairly time-consuming. It’s easier for them to make deliveries when homes are clustered together, like they are in major metropolitan areas or a lot of suburbs. However, when homes are too spread apart, it saves USPS time and resources to cluster deliveries in a specific location where residents need to go to pick up their mail and packages.

You Have a PO Box or a Community Mailbox

Similar to our last point, community mailboxes are often the solution when USPS doesn’t deliver directly to your door. If you live in a remote area, it’s not uncommon for USPS to assign you a PO Box. Any mail and small packages will appear in these boxes at your local Post Office. If you get a larger package, USPS will give you a key to open a locker where they’re keeping it.

USPS Can’t Deliver to Your Home if Your Address Doesn’t Exist in the USPS Database

Lastly, you may not be getting any packages or mail from USPS if your address doesn’t exist in their database. This is fairly common for newly-constructed homes, and for apartments or condos within new developments. It takes a while for addresses to update. Until that happens, USPS won’t deliver to you because they don’t have a “delivery point code” for your address!

A good way to see if USPS has a delivery point is to enter your address into their ZIP Code Lookup tool. If your address exists in the USPS database, you’ll see a complete ZIP code returned, containing the first five digits plus an extra four (these designate the delivery point). If your address isn’t in the database, you won’t see those extra 4 digits at the end of your ZIP code. For context, here’s an example of a ZIP code with a designated delivery point: 10001-1234.

The good news is, you can do your part to ensure that your address gets added to the USPS database. If you need a walkthrough of how to do that, we’ve written a guide that shows you how to add your address to the USPS database.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share via Email


Post a Comment
  1. Sharon

    I’m actually trying to reply to Robert, but there’s no link after the last repy; however, thanks Robert! You are great to help. Re the mailman though, we’ve known him for a million years it seems …. practically since 1970 when we bought the house, and I communicate with the neighbors regularly, so all he has to do is ask them if I’ve dropped dead.

    They’ve cost me precious time, money, and have forced me to waste Zazzle’s time over the missing checks … and basically, recall that they contradicted themselves. They lied to do a CYA, and if the Ohio Postmaster doesn’t correct it, they are bringing her down which I doubt she’ll allow.

    Sadly, I loved the postmaster and staff that seems to no longer be there. Oh well, it is costing me time, but saving me money since I showed my appreciation to the old crew with Chick fil A, Cheryl’s, etc. while I was out of town…

    Taking a break to get a medical letter to have mailed delivered to my door when I return (serious spine injury needing 13 hr Cleveland Clinic scary – risky surgery). When the carrier has to drive up my driveway in the snow, he’ll probably have it all returned to sender – hah.
    Excuse typos – rushing and buried ….

  2. Lori

    We moved in, we had a mailbox on our house. The Post man left a note that we need a mailbox on the street instead. We installed one. Then received another note that the mailbox needs to be across the street. grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    • Sharon

      I am fighting a local post office who has given FOUR recorded conflicting stories as to why mail has not been delivered to my 2nd home where neighbors would collect it daily if it and checks sent were delivered – a problem for the first time since 1972 , and I am filing federal charges against them.

      Good luck.

      Does USPS have to deliver mail to your house?
      “USPS needs to deliver mail and packages to every single residential address in the country, which can get fairly time-consuming.Jan 26, 2022”

      • Robert

        Try this…USPS changes have caused issues with “long term/grandfathered in” customer addresses

        My parents long time address has been affected like yours!

        * Make sure your name is on/in mailbox (especially cluster boxes)

        * Fill out “new customer card” at serving USPS (even if not new to address). – this card instructs mail carrier on what names should receive first class mail/packages at said address. I have used forms 4232 & the green VACANT form. Include ALL name variations you receive mail in (first/last, last/first, first initial/last, nicknames, maiden, etc.). If you forget a name variation these mailers may be RTS.

        * Register with USPS informed delivery – this service emails you daily the USPS mail/packages to be delivered to said address. EACH address will need their own account and different email.

        * Eliminate any past resident mail that you are physically receiving – write “MOVED – MLNA” (moved left no address) and place in your outgoing mail.

        * Eliminate any past resident mail that is appearing in ID but you don’t physically receive it. Email the sender a removal request – Google the rerun address – normally a companies email is found in their privacy policy.

        “I am receiving past resident mail and I would like that to STOP! Please remove this individual from your USPS mailing/marketing list.”

        * Here is a list of common USPS junk/marketing mailers with easy opt outs – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VGd4iEy9jTsDbDcTj6EGcje-CkqoIeRCowXNhY2hmtk/edit?usp=drivesdk

        * Eliminate your unwanted USPS mail (aka junk mail)

        * work on having mail delivered in the same name variation – start with your credit reports (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion & Innovis)

        • Sharon

          I am printing your reply. Thank you so much Robert!

        • Sharon

          By the way, since both parents died the past 8 years, I am trying to take care of property (and with a severe spine injury myself, it is a slow process), and we never had this problem between 2 houses before. Knowing I’d have to be away a while, after forwarding expired, I paid 3 young boys next door to collect my mail daily until I return; yet, they said no mail was there. They were told my mail was being RETURNED TO SENDER.

          Knowing I should have checks from a major online design site (Zazzle), Zazzle verified checks had been sent and were not returned, so I called the local post office there. Where’s my money? (Federal offense …)…

          First, I was told I could not talk to the postmaster there since she wanted the person who answers the phone to handle the problems. Then, I was told all the following in the same conversation (which makes no sense – ‘felt as though I’d fallen into the Alice in Wonderland Rabbit Hole ….):
          1. My mail was not returned to sender (so where are my checks?).
          2. They could not deliver to a home if the resident was not there (yet, my taxes are paid, I have lawn service, etc. … and people do go on long vacations, etc. … and I paid good money to have my mail collected DAILY if it was there ….).
          3. NO MAIL HAD COME TO ME at the post office (not true … recall the paychecks for instance…).
          4. I could pay PREMIUM FORWARDING which is something like $20.00 weekly …
          HOWEVER, why would I if they said no mail had come to the post office for me (which was a lie)?

          I have spoken to quite a few people since as I contacted everyone up to the Governor and US Attorney General, and I guarantee you, they most probably returned my mail to sender and have totally screwed up everything …

          • Robert

            Did you by chance do a temporary forwarding? These now have issues – my parents are snowbirds and they used to temp forward their mail to FL each year. Three years ago they did this like normal and it was a sh*t show.

            They now only have important mail being delivered to their main home (eliminated all unwanted mail) so if there is anything they physically need they have a neighbor mail that to them.

            They used to have the neighbor “forward” the mailer but last year they had issues with that so now the neighbor places in new envelope with new postage.

          • Robert

            To help you understand USPS’s comment – “ They could not deliver to a home if the resident was not there”.

            Mail carriers are trained to look for signs of addresses being used fraudulently and some take this to the extreme.

            They also look for signs that something medically has happen to resident – welfare check type i

            They are also trained (take it upon themselves) to Hold then RTS any mail that is left in a mailbox for over a certain time frame. The normal is check your mailbox once a week. But if you receive lots of mail this could change to every other day.

            Your mail carrier uses those weekly/monthly mailers (coupon inserts/magazines) to determine when you last checked your mailbox. They may also use the delivered paid/free newspaper in your driveway. And magazine subscriptions.

            So work on eliminating those mailers first – weekly/monthly coupon inserts like SAVE, MsPark, etc.

            SAVE – https://www.save.com/mailing/delivery-options

            MsPark – https://mspark.com/list-removal/

            Enter name as it appears on mailer (Postal -first name & Customer – last name). Phone number 555-555-5555. Email use your fake/junk email (use an old AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail account). Unsure of your old email accounts – see website truepeoplesearch.

            Val-Pak – https://www.valpak.com/coupons/show/mailinglistsuppression

            Clipper Clipper Magazine, Local Flavor, Mint magazine, REACH, Great Deals, Market magazine, Get1Free, Prestigious Living, Home & Decor Ideas, House 2 Home) – https://clippermagazine.com/mailing-list-removal/

            Vegas we have –

            Home Concepts – http://www.homeconceptsmagazine.com/contact/

            LV Gold – email removal request to [email protected]

            I have a list of opt outs for the free newspapers delivered via USPS or thrown in driveway if need be.

          • Sharon

            I’ actually trying to reply to Robert, but there’s no link after the last repy; however, thanks Robert! You are great to help. Re the mailman though, we’ve known him for a million years it seems …. practically since 1970 when we bought the house, and I communicate with the neighbors regularly, so all he has to do is ask them.

  3. Bea

    Is there any way to determine if an address can/cannot receive USPS? We get packages returned back to us for “undeliverable as address” and turns out the customer is in a rural area where post office packages needs to be sent to a PO BOX address, but the customer gave us their physical address instead.

    • Robert

      Search the address in website Melissa Data (lookups/personator) – they get their info from USPS.

      You can also search the address in USPS address lookup – https://tools.usps.com/zip-code-lookup.htm

      • Bea

        Thanks Robert! The Melissa website is very helpful.

  4. Richard Warren

    Lady at the post office said USPS would not deliver to my address as it was a rented property. Do you know if this is true?

    • Rockwell Sands

      Hi Richard – this doesn’t seem to be accurate. As long as you filed a change of address with USPS, they should deliver to any address you currently keep residence at. It doesn’t matter if it’s rented or owned.

    • Robert

      Search your address in the website Melissa Data – any error codes?

      Contact USPS address management to have these error codes corrected – https://postalpro.usps.com/ppro-tools/address-management-system

    • Robert

      By rented do you mean Airbnb?

      Airbnb’s don’t receive mail/packages – this helps protect the owner from having to evict someone who receives mail.

      Also, when you forward your mail everything isn’t forward (only first class). So this keeps the address from receiving past resident non-first class mail (aka junk mail). Can you imagine how many individuals stay at Airbnb’s that would be a huge amount of unwanted mail being delivered.

    • Keith

      My guess it is one of those unknown rules that most people would never consider, but something that allows property owners of short term rentals can deny because of the nature of those properties where people rent for a long weekend or vacation week.

      If it affected all rental properties to deny address changes to, then those who rent an apartment or house for the long term would never get mail at their home they rent. I’ve made numerous address changes over the past 30 years to apartments and never had a problem, my mail has always followed me.

      I would have questioned her about what specifically was the reason and find out if it was actually because it was something short term that maybe the property owner didn’t want to occur because it was merely an airbnb or similar type property.


Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Shipping Guides