A USPS driver looking through packages in the back of his van.

Like most people, you are probably constantly refreshing your USPS tracking information as you wait on your package to arrive. Everybody wants their package to show up as soon as possible, and they want to get the latest details on what is happening with their delivery. Some USPS tracking status messages can be confusing, though. One message that often confuses people is the “Delivered to Agent for Final Delivery.” If you see this message, there is no need to worry. We’ll tell you exactly what it means for your delivery and how soon you should see your package. Keep reading as we give you all the details.


What Does Delivered To Agent For Final Delivery Mean?

So, what does Delivered to Agent mean? The “Delivered to agent for final delivery” status message means that your USPS mail carrier or delivery driver has handed your package over to someone else to make the final delivery. This typically happens when the recipient is unavailable to receive the delivery. Perhaps the recipient is not home or is unavailable for some other reason. The package might be handed to a family member at your home, a co-worker at your business, or even a neighbor who can give the package to you. This allows the postal worker to move on to the next delivery while still getting the package to you in a timely manner.

In some cases, the “Delivered to agent for final delivery” status might mean that a carrier has handed your package off to the postal service at your local post office. FedEx, UPS, and DHL all contract with the U.S. Postal Service to make the final-mile delivery for many of their services. If you are using one of these shipping services and see this status message, then it likely means that your package has been handed off to USPS for the final delivery.


Who Can Be A USPS Agent?

A person holding a clipboard with packages in the background.

Now that you know what the “delivered to agent” status message means, the next logical question is, “Who can be an agent?” You are probably already thinking that you have not authorized anyone to receive USPS packages on your behalf. The United States Postal Service can leave your package with anyone that they believe is authorized to receive a package for you. This means that many different people could potentially be your agent to receive packages. Most often, this is a family member at the shipping address or perhaps a front desk receptionist at your office. In some cases, it might even be another postal worker at your local post office. You might even see this status when your package is placed into a locker or given to a third-party delivery service. For instance, Amazon lockers are popular delivery methods for Amazon packages.

This ability to hand off your package for delivery by an agent does create some problems from time to time. While USPS tends to be careful about handing your package over to a final delivery agent, they are not performing identity verification or any other verification before handing over your package. They use reasonable efforts to determine whether the person has the authority to receive your package. For instance, if a family member comes to the door at your home, the package will likely be handed over to that person. The USPS worker is not verifying their identity or their relationship to the recipient. It is assumed that the person can receive the package since they answered the door at your address.

If the package is not left with an agent when you are unavailable, then it will likely take longer for you to receive it. This is often the case when proof of delivery is required – like certified mail. The package or mail can only be delivered directly to the recipient in that case. The postal worker will be unable to complete the delivery, and they will take the package back to the post office. Delivery might be reattempted the next day, or the package might be held at the post office for pickup. They should leave a note at the delivery address advising you of the status of your delivery.


USPS Tracking Updates After Delivery To Agent

You might see the “In Transit” status prior to delivery to an agent. However, more than likely, you are not going to see any additional updates on your tracking number after your package is handed over to an agent. You might think that the USPS tracking is not updating, but it is totally normal. This is because USPS has essentially made their final delivery of the package. The agent that was given the package does not work for USPS in most cases, so they have no ability to update the tracking information any further. As far as USPS is concerned, the package has been delivered – even though it wasn’t handed over directly to the addressee. For example, if your item is placed into an Amazon locker, then it is considered delivered even though you may not have physically received the package yet.

If you are checking a FedEx or UPS tracking number, then you might see another update when the final delivery is made. Assuming that the carrier handed off your package to USPS, then you will probably see the “Out for Delivery” and “Delivered” status updates as USPS makes the final delivery.


How Long Will It Take The Agent To Deliver My Package?

A woman signing for a package.

Most of the time, you won’t have to wait long at all for your package. In the majority of cases, your package will be waiting for you at home or work when you arrive. This is because the package is left with another person at your address most of the time. USPS customers find that they usually receive the package the same day they see the “Delivered to agent” status displayed.

If your package is handed to another postal worker or third-party delivery service, then you are likely to see the item the next day. The goal of these carriers is to have your items to you as quickly as possible. Once you get the notification that the package has been delivered to an agent, then you can expect it to arrive the next day if it is not already at your address. In rare cases, it might take a few days for you to get your package. This can happen when the package is delivered to the wrong address, or the delivery service loses your package. We will discuss in more detail what to do later in this article if you encounter a missing package after seeing this status update.


Can My Package Be Picked Up At The Post Office?

Whether or not you can pick your package up at the post office depends on where it was left. Most of the time, your parcel is left with someone at the delivery address. This means that your package should be waiting for you when you arrive at that location. The item was likely left with a family member or co-worker. There is no need to visit the post office to pick up the item in that case.

In other cases, you might need to visit the post office to get your package. Remember that another postal worker, other than your delivery driver, can be an agent for receiving your package. In those instances, the package might be left at your local post office for pickup. When that happens, you will need to head down to the post office to get your package.


What To Do If Your USPS Package Is Still Missing

Now that you know what Delivered To Agent means, you know that you should receive your package either the same day or the next day. But what happens if you arrive at home and your package is not there? Your family members might tell you that nothing has been delivered to your home that day. First, you should make an attempt to find your package. Look around your home to make sure that it was not left at a backdoor or basement door. If you cannot find it there, ask your neighbors. While not likely, it is possible that the postal worker left your package with a neighbor for final delivery. If the package was delivered to your business location, check with the mail room or front desk at your business.

In rare cases, your package might get delivered to the wrong address or lost altogether. When that happens, you may have to reach out to USPS for assistance. If you see the “Delivered to agent for final delivery” status message for more than three business days without seeing your package, you should contact USPS customer service. You can do this through their official website at USPS.com or via telephone. They should be able to provide more detail about where the package was delivered. If you used a service with insurance, like Priority Mail, you might be able to recoup some of your money for the lost package.


The Bottom Line

Many people wonder, “What does delivered to agent for final delivery mean?” The USPS Delivered to Agent for Final Delivery status message can be confusing. However, it is usually not that complex. It means that the USPS worker has handed your package to someone who is authorized to receive the package for you. This could be as simple as handing the package to a family member at your home, or it could mean that the item was given to a third-party delivery service for final delivery to your home or business. If you see this status message for several days without finding your package, then it’s time to contact USPS customer service to get help in locating it.


Frequently Asked Questions


What is the difference between final delivery and delivery to agent for final delivery?

Final delivery means that the package has been delivered directly to the addressee. If no signature is required, the package may be left at your home or business. This would still count as the final delivery being completed. Delivery to an agent for final delivery means that the package was handed to someone who is authorized to receive your package for you. This is typically a family member at your home or a co-worker at the office. The agent is authorized to make the final delivery to the addressee in this case.


What are the benefits of delivery to agent for final delivery?

Most of the time, delivery to an agent allows you to receive your package more quickly. If you are unavailable, the postal worker can deliver the package to an agent. Typically, you will get the package the same day or the next day in that case. If the postal worker cannot complete the delivery and takes the package back to the post office, this will result in a delivery exception. Your schedule then may not allow you to get the package for several days. Another benefit is that it enables the postal workers to move on to other deliveries and keep those deliveries on schedule.

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