USPS Programs

Your USPS Advantage.

USPS Approved Shipper Program

The United States Postal Service has been a provider and integral piece of the retail shipping model dating back to the roots of the industry. USPS developed a specific “Retail” program in 2005 called the Approved Shipper Program. The Approved Shipper Program is part of the USPS initiative referred to as “Alternate Access Channel” and is promoted by USPS as a network on non-USPS businesses that provide convenient access to postal products and services.

Approved Shipper locations receive program-specific marketing materials, a guaranteed daily pickup, local USPS representation and pricing.

Note: As a retail shipping store, you may already be selling USPS products and service, but you must complete the application and verification process in order to officially be deemed an “Approved Shipper” and be included in the recognized network.

Commercial Mail Receiving Agent (CMRA)

A commercial mail receiving agency ("CMRA"), also known as a mail drop, typically operates as a Private Mail Box Operator.

A customer of a CMRA can receive mail and other deliveries at the street address of the CMRA rather than the customer's own street address. Depending on the agreement between the customer and the CMRA, the CMRA can forward the mail to the customer or hold it for pickup

A customer may wish to use the services of a CMRA for privacy; for example, a person running a home-based business may not wish to disclose his or her residential address. Alternatively, a customer in one community may contract with a CMRA in another community with a better known or more prestigious address.

A CMRA is able to receive parcels shipped by means other than a postal system; some postal operators, such as the United States Postal Service, are not. CMRAs also usually provide ancillary services such as copy or courier services. Many CMRAs will discount their other prices for mail box subscribers. The use of a CMRA may render the delivery of mail at a later time of day than it would at a Post Office box.

Note: CMRAs are not necessarily Approved Shippers and vice-versa. Each program/category has its own requirements, rules, and business practices.

USPS Approved Shipper Program Highlights

USPS provides specific benefits and resources to stores that qualify for the program. Following are some of the program
benefits and requirements.

  • Marketing materials and in-store signage provided
  • Commercial Base discounts
  • Local USPS Retail Specialist account representative
  • Program rates and rules integrated in shipping POS systems-PostalMate, ReSource and ShipRite


In order to be eligible for the USPS Approved Shipper Program, the following requirements must be met:

  • Operate a pack-and-ship store as your primary business with a retail storefront and a designated customer counter for receiving packages.
  • Provide regular business hours of operation
  • Have a calibrated scale that accepts at least 70 lbs.
  • Sell packaging and shipping supplies to the public and provide packing expertise.
  • Must have an online postage account—either Endicia or Stamps.com
  • Understand and comply with all USPS Aviation Security rules and regulations.

How to apply For Approved Shipper status

Approved Shipper Application/qualification process


Until further notice there is a moratorium on new USPS Approved Shipper applications.

The process to become a USPS Approved Shipper is fairly simple and straight-forward. Following are the steps:

  1. Complete the USPS Approved Shipper Application form located on the USPS Resources tab
  2. Make sure to include your online postage account number (either Endicia or Stamps.com) on the application.  Absence of an online account number will result in your application being rejected.  It is advisable to submit the application via email to expedite.
  3. The USPS will review your application and verify your online account number.  This process may take 2-5 weeks.
  4. Once your application has been approved, a local USPS Retail Specialist will contact you to set up a time to visit your store for a site survey
  5. The USPS Retail Specialist will survey your location, cover the Aviation Security rules, and have you sign the Approved Shipper License agreement.
  6. The USPS Retail Specialist will provide you with the program marketing materials and in-store signage
 TitleDescriptionModified DateSize
Sample Mailbox Rental Agreement Sample Mailbox Rental Agreement
(RSA Premium Members Only)
12/11/2023269.09 KB
1583AApplication to Act as a Commercial Mail Receiving Agency6/16/202395.41 KB
1583Application for Delivery of Mail Through Agent6/16/2023117.31 KB
International Mailing of Dangerous Goods by AirInternational Mailing of Dangerous Goods by Air training by the USPS.3/8/2021Unknown
Closing A CMRAHow to properly shut down your Commercial Mail Receiving Agency4/9/2019154.51 KB
USPS Suspicious Package Safety TalkUSPS Suspicious Package Safety Talk10/26/2018373.97 KB
USPS Service Area MapUSPS customer service district map 10/19/20152.07 MB
USPS Approved Shipper Program FAQUSPS Approved Shipper Program Frequently Asked Questions.10/19/2015227.58 KB
USPS Approved Shipper District ContactsThe District Coordinators oversee the administration of the Approved Shipper program for the service area indicated by the first 3 digits of your zip code.10/19/201524.80 KB
USPS Approved Shipper BrochureWhat is the USPS® Approved Shipper Program? The USPS® Approved Shipper Program allows your shipping center to sell USPS® products and services at Post OfficeTM prices or with a surcharge.10/19/2015287.77 KB
USPS Approved Shipper ApplicationComplete this form to apply to become a USPS Approved Shipper10/19/2015110.50 KB
USPS Approved ShipperThe USPS Approved Shipper Program allows your shipping center to sell USPS products and services at Post Office prices or with a surcharge.10/19/20151.77 MB
13oz RuleEffective July 30, 2007, any mailpiece weighing over 13 ounces, bearing only postage stamps as postage, must be presented to an employee at a retail counter at a Post Office.10/19/2015103.18 KB

What is the USPS® Approved Shipper Services Program?

What’s In It for the USPS ® Approved Shipper?

What Services Will USPS® Approved Shippers Offer?

What happens if My Location is selected to Participate in this Program?

What Does My Location Need To Do To Participate in this Initiative?

How Quickly Can I Get Started?

Will I Receive USPS Supplies?

What Kind of ‘Secure Environment’ is Required for Items Awaiting Postal Collection?

When Will My Items Be Collected?

Who Can I Contact if I Have Questions or Issues?