What Is A Usps Processing Exception? (everything To Know!)

I saw a message from USPS tracking the other day that said “processing exception”.

What is a USPS processing exemption? This is what we discovered when we looked into it…

What is a USPS Processing Exception?

“Processing exception” is a USPS message that informs you when your package delivery was delayed due to unforeseeable circumstances. There are many reasons this can happen.

This article will discuss the USPS delivery process: how mail is tracked and where it can go wrong; how you are notified of any issues and what you can do to fix them.

What is USPS Delivery Messaging?

USPS offers a tracking service on most domestic mail products. Every piece of mail receives a tracking number. This number can be submitted by both the sender and receiver to the USPS tracking bar. It can be found on either the USPS Welcome Page or the Tracking Page.

Customers can see what a real tracking number looks like, and where it is located on the tracking page. The tracking page will display the most recent tracking alert for your parcel. This information is available in a variety of ways.

There are many reasons why package deliveries may be delayed or stopped. The USPS maintains a list of codes that can be used to assign each item a delivery status.

One of these codes is “Processing exception”. This code means your delivery was halted due to exceptional circumstances.

Why are USPS deliveries delayed?

In a calendar year, the USPS will send out 143 billion pieces mail to 160 million addresses. The system can be alerted to many possible problems. The customer must be notified and the issue must be fixed.

Any of the interruptions listed below can cause a “Processing exception” or “Delivery exemption” status.

  • Fluctuations of volume mail
  • Worker availability
  • Weather conditions
  • Road and traffic conditions
  • Natural disasters
  • Transporters are unable to gain access to delivery locations temporarily or permanently
  • Transporters unable to locate delivery locations
  • Assigned mail class can’t deliver because there isn’t an appropriate receiver (over 21 or without ID).
  • Because there isn’t anyone to sign for it, the assigned mail class can’t deliver.
  • Carrier unable to leave delivery in a secure place
  • Mailpieces are incorrectly addressed or partially addressed
  • Mailpieces that are incorrectly addressed are accepted and will be forwarded to the correct recipient.
  • Mailing information missing, damaged, or not easily readable in packages
  • Packages that are damaged in transit (and do not have a return address)
  • Recipients refusing to pick up mail
  • Because they contain dangerous materials/items, or items that are restricted or banned, packages are stopped.
  • Packaging that contains logos or advertising prohibited from packaging is stopped (icons displaying alcoholic products, for instance).

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How do you fix a USPS Processing Exception

USPS recommends that customers first verify the mail class used to deliver their package. Next, verify the delivery standard. Finally, note how long you will wait before calling USPS.

If you use First Class Mail, for example, the delivery time is between 1 and 5 days. Customer service can be reached after five days.

Priority Mail Express has a guarantee delivery time of 1 – 2 business days. You should contact support immediately if this guarantee is not met.

USPS Retail Ground offers a 2- to 8-business day delivery standard, but it is not guaranteed. You are advised to wait 14 calendar days after the date of your mailing.


The USPS has a page called “Find Missing Mail”. You can start the process online to locate your mail. This process can also be completed at your local Post Office.

What is the average time it takes for a USPS processing exception to be processed?

Because delays in USPS delivery or processing are unpredictable and erratic, there is no time unit.

USPS offers a text tracking service, called USPS SMS Tracking. This alerts customers about the status of their packages. You can access this service by entering your item’s tracking numbers on the USPS website. Follow the prompts and click “Text and email updates”

You can choose one or all of the available text tracking options from the website:

  • Expected delivery updates
  • Daily delivery updates
  • Available for pickup
  • Delivery exception updates

You can also request delivery information by texting to 28777 (2USPS), with your tracking number in the body of the message. The latest information regarding your delivery will be provided by the USPS reply.

You can also send a text message to 277777 (2USPS), with your tracking number, and a key phrase. The keywords tell USPS what information you need, such as whether delivery was attempted or not.

A keyword text request will contain the package tracking number and the keyword. For example, if you need to know the past and future activity of your package, you can text the tracking number with a space followed by “AA” and then the keyword. If you only want to know the future activity, you can message the tracking numbers followed by “AF”.

Notification of attempted delivery is required with “DND”, while exceptions to delivery on a package such as weather delays or to schedule a new delivery are requested with both “Alert” and “DND”.

You can also request that all notifications be sent (“ALL”), or stop receiving them (“Stop”)

Learn more about the USPS You can find out more about the USPS in our related posts. Do they buy back stamps? Does USPS require ID? Is a USPS tracking number fake?


The USPS delivers regular processing exceptions. There is no need to panic if you get a “processingexception” message regarding your delivery.

If you are receiving delivery notifications, check the type and add the “Alert Code” (for updates about the delay in your package). If the delivery status has not been resolved, please contact USPS.

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About the author

I have always been a shopaholic. A lot of times my questions went unanswered when it came to retail questions, so I started Talk Radio News. - Caitlyn Johnson

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