USPS introduces Adult Signature on delivery service

The US Postal Service has introduced a new age verification on delivery service for commercial or online mailers using its shipping services. The Adult Signature service began on June 5 for mailers requiring high security or privacy for shipments, for sending items like age-restricted tobacco products, drugs and medicines, or important legal documents.

It allows USPS customers to obtain a signature on delivery from an adult recipient.

Although it is not available through USPS retail counters, the service is available through the internet and for commercial account holders using Express Mail, Priority Mail, Critical Mail and barcoded Parcel Select services.

It comes in two forms – Adult Signature Required and Adult Signature Restricted Delivery. The former allows any recipient above the age of 21 to receive an item on presentation of a signature and proof of age, while the latter option requires the specific addressee or an authorised agent above 21 years of age.

The service is the first time the USPS has offered verification of the age of recipients at the time of delivery, with the Postal Service explaining that it will allow it to compete in important niche markets to gain revenue.

Gary Reblin, USPS vice president domestic products said: “It’s an effective way to ensure shipments are received by an adult or a specific adult addressee. Age verification provides shippers and customers with control over acceptance of shipments at the point of delivery.”

The Adult Signature service can be used alongside other options including insurance, and will be available for customers using Click-N-Ship online shipping, USPS-approved PC Postage, permit imprint and USPS-approved Information-Based Indicia postage meters.

The new verification service joins a number of delivery options now available at USPS including Hold For Pickup and the recently-expanded Carrier Release option.

Hold For Pickup sends out an electronic notification to a customer when a mailpiece has arrived in a local post office for collection, while the Carrier Release option allows mail carriers to leave an item at a delivery address if no recipient is available to accept it if a “Carrier – Leave If No Response” notice is applied to the mailpiece.

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