How to file a Missing Mail Search Request

A step-by-step guide to get more info on your package's whereabouts

Updated over a week ago

Here are the steps you need to take to file a missing mail request with both USPS and UPS.

USPS missing mail search requests

To file a Missing Mail Search with USPS, start by heading to the USPS Missing Mail and Lost Packages page. From there, scroll down to option 3. Submit a Missing Mail Search Request. It will look like this:

Next, you'll be asked to log in to your USPS account. If you don’t have an account, you can create one; they’re completely free and give you access to a bunch of great features on the USPS site 😉

Step 1: Mailing Information

When the next page loads (this could take a while), start by entering the tracking number for your shipment here:

If USPS recognizes the tracking number, the Mailing Date and Service Type should fill in automatically. If it doesn’t, here’s where you can find that info on Pirate Ship:

Since USPS handles all of their insurance claims in-house, the answer to "Insurance?" will always be “No” for labels purchased on Pirate Ship. This is asking if additional insurance was purchased through USPS, which is only available when buying labels directly through them. So, it doesn’t pertain to the built-in insurance on USPS Ground Advantage shipments, Priority Mail shipments, or third-party insurance through Shipsurance 👌

Step 2: Where to Send It

The next step is to let USPS know where to send that shipment when they find it! You can select to have it delivered to the original recipient by selecting Addressee, have it sent back to you by selecting Mailer, or have it sent to a new location by selecting Another Address.

In any case, you’ll need to fill out the address you want this package sent to. USPS will also ask for a name, email address, and phone number for reaching out to you with updates on this search!

Here's how that section looks:

Step 3: Contents of Your Mailpiece

The next step is letting USPS know what’s missing! The more information you provide, the better chance they’ll have of finding your shipment. If you can include the type of packaging as well as fill out the information on what item is missing, that’s a huge help for USPS to identify it 💪

That section appears as follows:

Step 4: Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions

Once you’ve filled out the information on your shipment, USPS will prompt you to agree to their Missing Mail Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions. Check the boxes, like this:

Step 5: Verify Address

You'll need to verify your address next. USPS may suggest some corrections, as seen here:

Step 6: Review and Submit

The final step is to review and submit your missing mail search. You’ll be able to go over the information you’ve entered to make sure it’s correct, and even go back and edit it if you need to make changes.

When you're sure everything you've entered is right, you're ready to submit it! USPS will keep this page up to date with the results of the search, and they will also contact you at the email address you provided when they have updates 👍

USPS will also provide you with an ID for your missing mail search, as shown below:

Submitting a Missing Mail Search for International USPS Shipments

You can also file Missing Mail Searches for international packages, but USPS will only be able to locate them if they're still in the US and have not been scanned at a USPS international distribution center. Unfortunately, once USPS either scans the package at one of these centers or hands the package over to the destination country, there isn't much they can do to track it down as the international leg of the journey has already begun 🙈

To submit a missing mail search request for international shipments, it's pretty much the same process... just select whether you want it sent to your Addressee, or back to you as the Mailer. Once that's selected, you should see the Country drop-down for entering an international address here:

Then, you can continue and complete that form as outlined above!

Locating missing UPS packages

UPS doesn't offer a missing mail search function like how USPS does 😅 Instead, the search for lost packages is part of the UPS insurance claim process.

If you believe your UPS package has gone missing, our Support Crew can try to help you locate it! Since UPS runs a search for lost packages when an insurance claim is filed, the first step here is to get in touch with us by clicking the blue chat button or sending us an email at We'll then help file an insurance claim with UPS on your behalf!

Related resources:

Have any questions? Click the blue button to get in touch with our Support Crew 😃

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