You don’t have to wait at home to sign for a package—even if you have a package on the way that requires a signature. UPS and FedEx both allow you to sign for many packages online, and the US Postal Service also allows you to authorize deliveries that might not occur if you weren’t there in person.

The services used below are the same ones that allow you to view USPS, UPS, and FedEx packages before they arrive at your door. They’re all free, too, although UPS and FedEx offer a few additional paid features, such as the ability to schedule deliveries for a specific time of day.


UPS offers this feature through the free UPS My Choice service. Create a UPS My Choice account if you haven’t already, then sign in and click the incoming package on your dashboard to get started.

You can also sign for packages with the UPS app for iPhone or Android. Sign into the app and tap a package to view delivery options for it.

If you can sign for the package online, you’ll see a “Sign” option here. If you don’t see that option, either package doesn’t require a signature or you can’t sign for it online. For example, the sender may have specify an adult over 21 at the address has to sign for it.

If the package doesn’t require a signature, but you’re concerned UPS may not leave it for you, you can click the “Provide Delivery Instructions” button at the right side of the details view.

Click the “Leave At” box and select a location where you’d like UPS to leave the package. For example, you could tell them to leave it at your back door, on your deck, or with a door person or management office at your address. You can also provide a security code if you want the UPS delivery person to go through a secure gate or door.


You can sign for packages online if you’ve signed up with the FedEx Delivery Manager service. Head to the Delivery Manager page and click one of the incoming packages on your dashboard. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can sign up from the FedEx website.

This option is also available in the FedEx Delivery Manager app for iPhone and Android. Sign into the app with your account and tap an incoming package to view its options.

Click the “Sign for a Package” option to sign for a package online. If it’s grayed out, the package either doesn’t require a signature or FedEx needs you to sign for it in person. For example, if a package’s sender specified “adult signature required”, FedEx will need someone over 21 to sign for it in person. This option is used for deliveries containing alcohol, for example.

You can also use other package options here, like providing delivery instructions for where FedEx should leave all packages or asking FedEx to hold the package at a location where you can pick it up.

While you can click “Provide Delivery Instructions” to provide delivery instructions for packages here, bear in mind that these instructions will apply to all other incoming packages in the future, too.

US Postal Service

To authorize the release of a USPS package, sign into the free USPS Informed Delivery service. On your dashboard, click a package that’s arriving. If you haven’t signed up for it yet, you can do so online, but USPS will need to send you a code in the mail before you can access the account.

You can also do this on your phone with the USPS Informed Delivery app for iPhone or Android. Sign into the app and tap a package to access its options.

Click “Add Delivery Instructions” here. If you see the message “Note: DI not available for this package”, either the package doesn’t need a signature or you have to provide a signature in person.

For example, the USPS Informed Delivery FAQ says that a variety of reasons could prevent Delivery Instructions from being available, including if the package is insured for over $500, requires an in-person signature, or was shipped as Registered Mail.

While quite a few packages will be ineligible for delivery instructions, delivery instructions are still a convenient way to tell USPS to leave a package at your address that they might otherwise only hand to you in person, as the US Postal Service’s social media team has noted.

Click the “Select One” box and you can tell USPS what to do with your package. For example, you could have them leave it on your back porch or hand it to a neighbor you specify for safekeeping. Options include Front Door, Back Door, Side Door, On the porch, Neighbor (address required), Other (additional instructions required), and Garage.

For some UPS and FedEx packages, you may also be able to compose a handwritten note asking UPS or FedEx to leave the package in a particular location (or with a neighbor), sign it, and leave it taped to your door on the day the delivery arrives. But, if UPS or FedEx would accept such a physical note, you should also just be able to sign for the package online anyway.

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Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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