USPS Insufficient Address: What to do?

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is a globally acclaimed mail delivery service provider which is quite competent in its services that have earned them the trust of its customers. However, a professional delivery doesn’t always depend upon the efficiency of the USPS services alone. 

It also depends upon the valid address of the recipient. If a mail is sent off with the wrong or insufficient address, the package is bound to remain undelivered. And in such cases, the undelivered package is returned to the sender with the reason stated as “Insufficient Address”.



The Definition: What does it actually mean?

According to the definition set forth by USPS, “Insufficient Address” means that the mail or package is addressed without a proper zip code, apartment name, street number, box number, house number, route number, or with geographical subdivision of the city or the state. Thus the correct address is unknown. 

In short, there is something missing in the address that makes it difficult for the USPS to identify the delivery location correctly. And as a result, the package couldn’t be delivered.

This problem almost every shipper faces at some point in their life when the package returns to the sender due to insufficient address. It’s definitely a nuisance when you have to contact the buyer again, ask them to verify their address, update it, and mail it again after receiving your returned package.

So, here we are to provide you with all the information that you need to know about USPS Insufficient Address. And also, to offer you some solutions so that the next time you face such difficulty, you know exactly how to fix it. Or better still, avoid facing such inconvenient situations altogether.

Reasons Why USPS Parcels Remains Undelivered

One of the obvious reasons is that you have either missed or mistaken something on the recipient’s address, and the delivery person couldn’t locate the address where it is to be delivered.

Some other reasons for this shipping inconvenience might be that.

The recipient had moved to a new place and had not yet updated its current USPS location.

The package was refused at the recipient’s end. This might be because the old recipient has moved to a new place without updating the address, and the person at the old location has refused to receive the mail.

The USPS package was short of postages as required for the dispatch. And hence it was returned to the sender for them to attach a few more postages to it.

The recipient’s address is illegible. In that case, if the USPS finds the sender’s address legible, then it’s returned to them.

What Happens to the Undelivered Packages

For undelivered packages, the first instinct of the USPS is to return them to the sender with a message stating the reason why they couldn’t deliver the parcel. This is done to make the sender aware of the problem with the delivery so that they can correct their mistake and send it off again.

However, if the sender’s address is not available or is illegible, then there is nothing USPS can do other than send the package to its Mail Recovery Centre. It’s actually the USPS’s “Lost and found” department for undeliverable and non-returnable packages. 

Once a package goes into the USPS mail recovery center, then it can only be recovered by starting a Mail Recovery Centre Search for the missing parcel. You will have to provide them with a valid ID proof and your tracking ID if you wish to recover your package from the USPS Mail Recovery Centre.

How to Fix Incorrect Address after Receiving USPS Insufficient Address Notification

Once you receive your package back with a note of Insufficient Address from USPS, you have to deal with it and fix the incorrect address.

The first thing that you are required to do is check for your mistakes in the address and then get the valid address from the recipient. Once you do that, proceed to update that address.

Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Visit the USPS official page.

Step 2: Click on the Tracking tab at the top of the page.

Step 3: Enter your Tracking Number. 

Step 4: Navigate to the Tracking Details page.

Step 5: Click on the Correct My Address Button.

Step 6: Go to the Address Modification Window.

Step 7: From the drop-down menu in the New Delivery Address section, choose the option that requires the correction.

Step 8: Enter the correct address.

Step 9: Click on the Next button.

Step 10: Review the updated address. Click on Back if you need to make any changes; else, click on Update to complete the address correction process.

Note: Please note that these steps are only for address modification and not changing the address altogether. You can only modify the bits of incorrect addresses or add specific missing details in the address via this process. For any other major changes, you must contact the service provider.

What to Do When Your Package is Undelivered?

If USPS couldn’t deliver your package due to an Insufficient Address, here are a few things that you can do.

Check, correct and update the address and send the parcel again.

Write a search application with all the relevant information and your tracking ID.

Seek help from the Consumer Affair representative.

Visit the local USPS Post Office to initiate the mail recovery process.

In most cases, this problem solves itself with a little effort from your end. Make sure that you do everything you need to do as a sender to make your package reach its delivery point. Check your data twice before sending them off to USPS. And USPS will take care of the rest.

USPS is a very reliable and trustworthy postal service that always tries to ease its customers’ shipping process. Still, they too suffer certain difficulties despite their sincere efforts to provide their best service. A few careful precautions from your end can serve to avoid such inconveniences or miscommunication that leads to a problem like USPS Insufficient Address.

With a postal service like USPS, the delivery process is made timely and seamless. There are just a few things that the sender needs to ensure from their end. USPS is always ready to provide you with quick and smooth delivery. All you have to do is to provide them with a valid address to identify your delivery location. A little caution can go a long way and help you avoid such inconveniences. Paying a little attention beforehand can save you from the hassles of dealing with USPS Insufficient Address.

Avatar of Robert Johnson

Shipping guy at USPS, previously at Fedex.

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