USPS, UPS, and Fedex are incredibly efficient in getting mail and packages where they need to go.
You may be wondering however, what happens to mail that is missing an apartment number? Will it still be able to be delivered, will it be held for pickup, or could it even be returned to the sender as undeliverable?
Unfortunately, the answer is it depends. However, in this article we’ll cover everything you need to know about mail with missing apartment numbers, and share some tips that will help ensure you receive your mail safely and reliably.
Forgot To Put Your Apartment Number? Here’s What Happens
If you forget to put your apartment number on your mailing address, your mail still attempt to be delivered. Couriers will use all available information to ensure that mail is delivered to the correct recipient.
However, if the address isn’t able to be verified, it may be held or returned to the sender depending on the courier used to ship.
Let’s use USPS as an example, as they have the most power when it comes to delivering mail, even if the apartment number is missing.
In the worst case scenario, the package will be returned back to the sender. Tracking will show the package as undeliverable, citing an insufficient address as the reason. You will be able to monitor this throughout the process, as tracking will continue to update using the same tracking number if the package is returned to the sender.
If you feel you’re at risk for your packaging being returned as undeliverable, you may consider contacting USPS or your local post office in advance to explain the issue.
However, even if the apartment number is left out, USPS in particular is often still able to deliver. Let’s look over a few other things USPS will do if the apartment number is missing.
1. The Carrier Will Recognize Your Name, And Deliver It To The Correct Address
This happens more often than you might think.
Some mail carriers have had the same routes for years and years, and have become quite familiar with who lives at each address.
Likewise, they could be delivering other mail that is also addressed to your name, that does have the correct apartment number listed.
In either of these cases, the mail carrier may recognize this, and deliver the letter or package to your apartment using this information alone.
Therefore, there really isn’t anything you need to do. This is just one of the ways the post office is incredibly efficient at the work that they do.
However, you shouldn’t rely on this to think that your mail is guaranteed to arrive either, even if you’ve lived at the address for a long time.
2. They Will Contact Your Apartment Manager, Or Reference The Apartment Directory
In some instances, couriers may get in touch with apartment managers in order to figure out what apartment number a piece of mail should be delivered to.
Many people don’t know this, but larger apartment complexes are required to have a directory containing the people living at each address. Currently, this is a requirement for any apartment complex with 15 or more mail receptacles.
So, this may be worth bringing up to your landlord or apartment manager if they do not yet have this in place.
If your name is listed in the directory as its supposed to be, USPS will be able to use this to deliver your mail without any issues – even if it’s missing your apartment number on the address.
These directories are very useful for USPS employees, due to the high turnover rate of apartments. Because tenants can change so frequently, it can become difficult for carriers to remember the exact names of the apartment residents.
If you live in a larger apartment complex, this directory almost certainly exists. Therefore, you won’t have anything that you need to worry about.
3. It Will Be Delivered To The Apartment Office
Finally, in some instances USPS may deliver to the apartment office, where it can be picked up by the rightful recipient.
However, not every apartment complex has an apartment office and even if it does, it’s not guaranteed that they will choose to deliver it there.
In these instances, your apartment office manager may or may not contact you to come retrieve your mail.
If you are tracking a package, tracking may update on USPS’ website stating that the package has been “Delivered To Agent For Final Delivery”.
So, if this appears when tracking the shipment, consider contacting your apartment manager or visiting your apartment office to see if it’s been delivered there.
If you forget to put your apartment number on your shipping address, don’t worry.
USPS in particular has a lot they can do to try and ensure your mail gets to where it needs to go. Even if they can’t identify the correct apartment, the mail will be returned to the sender. Because this information will be shown when the package is tracked, this can be used to receive a full refund if you’ve ordered something online.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any other questions about package or mail delivery, please ask them using the comment form below.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister