Does USPS Have New Rules For Scanning Packages?

Liz Morton ~ Founder
Liz Morton ~ Founder


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UPDATE: 3-7-22

I'm still waiting on confirmation from USPS, but did find some additional information on the Rural Mail Talk forum confirming that a new software update does seem to be limiting pick up scans for some carriers to 5 packages without a scan sheet.

Carrier pickup without a scan sheet.
I have a daily package pickup at a business. They do not do a scan sheet. Can someone explain how the carrier pickup is supposed to work?

An eBay community member added some additional information they gleaned from their carrier:

For an update, I spoke to my carrier this AM & I found out a few things. As I already mentioned, this is SOFTWARE on their scanner. It physically won't let them scan more than 5 items (he showed me). He also showed me that right now, he has a workaround, BUT it goes live on the 26th & at that time, he predicts the workaround may go away, as there's no need for a redundant system.

I also learned that it is rural routes this affects & this is part of like a survey they do of their routes, which was already delayed by 2 years due to COVID. It is currently scheduled to go into effect on 3/26, but he cautioned me that stuff changes all the time.

I was STUNNED to learn that my route is a rural route, b/c it's anything but rural! It hasn't been rural for over 20+ years. I live in a new subdivision of 1000 homes, surrounded by subdivisions, in a city of around 750K people. There is absolutely nothing rural about my area, but apparently it is considered a rural route. So, beware, you may not think you live on a rural route, b/c there's nothing rural about your area & the USPS may feel differently. Turns out 1/2 my city is a rural route & those area have not been rural for 20+ years, so that was a real shocker.

If you're wondering why sellers don't just use the scan form, within eBay the scan form is only available if you use the bulk shipping tool, not if you print labels individually.

Re: USPS new rule, only have to scan part of pick up
Because if you use ebay’s system their scan sheet and the system to produce it is the worst of any website in history. I don’t understand why if I want to print 1 label at a time per package that I pack that I can’t print a scan sheet after. I have to use the bulk shipper and do everything at on…

Because if you use ebay's system their scan sheet and the system to produce it is the worst of any website in history.

I don't understand why if I want to print 1 label at a time per package that I pack that I can't print a scan sheet after. I have to use the bulk shipper and do everything at once in order to make a scan sheet which isn't the way I want to do things.

Until/unless eBay adds end of day scan form support for labels printed individually as well, sellers may want to explore other options for printing labels such as PirateShip or Stamps.com.


Two threads have popped up in the eBay community indicating sellers may be facing pushback from USPS on carriers scanning packages at pick ups.

USPS new rule, only have to scan part of pick up
Mail lady just stop by, they had a meeting(rural couriers) and were told their only require to scan a few packages when they do a pick up. She was told she only had to scan 5 packages when she picks up, even if you have 20, and let the sorting center to scan the rest. You have to tell the courier, t…

Mail lady just stop by, they had a meeting(rural couriers) and were told their only require to scan a few packages when they do a pick up. She was told she only had to scan 5 packages when she picks up, even if you have 20, and let the sorting center to scan the rest. You have to tell the courier, to their face to scan them all. You also can print off a bulk shipping when you put in the pick up(online), they'll scan the sheet but won't include anything you sold over night and pack the next morning.

Really bad because our sorting center in St. Louis only scans half the packages as it is. I have a feeling I'll be getting alot of "where's my package" emails, well more then I'm getting now. I'm am lucky because I have a great mail lady, but her subs, won't be scanning them all.

Another seller thought the carrier may be confused about the rule.

There was a post a while back that actually had an image from some employee manual thing that actually spoke of this "only have to scan 5 rule". The rule only applied when there was no pickup scheduled. It did not apply if a pickup was scheduled.

If a pickup with a count is scheduled, they are required to scan all packages as normal.

I would be asking the carrier to show you where this no scan if over 5 packages at any time rule is documented.

scan-usps-5-1

In a different thread, a seller from Colorado and not on a rural route is experiencing the same issue.

NEW pkg pickup scanning rules from the USPS
In the last 2 days, I remember seeing a post on here about NEW rules for scanning pkgs at pickup. IIRC, that poster was from the STL area. They said their carrier had told them about a meeting (which I took to be a regional thing), that now limits the number of pkgs they can scan to 5. You must…

In the last 2 days, I remember seeing a post on here about NEW rules for scanning pkgs at pickup. IIRC, that poster was from the STL area. They said their carrier had told them about a meeting (which I took to be a regional thing), that now limits the number of pkgs they can scan to 5.You must print a SCAN sheet for >5 & you can't add the next morning's pkgs b/c they won't be on the scan sheet.

Well, I am in CO, nowhere near STL & I text with my carrier & this AM he texted me the exact same thing, so apparently this is a new rule that they are implementing, not just in St. Louis.

The only thing my carrier said different than the other post is that he may be able to pick up the new pkgs for the next day, as a separate transaction. My carrier is great & doesn't mind pkg pick up, so this is coming down from above.


I can certainly understand USPS may be looking to improve efficiency by cutting down on individual package scanning, but this kind of policy should be fairly implemented and clearly communicated down the line to regional facilities and carriers on to customers to avoid the kind of confusion we're seeing here.

It's not clear if this is a new rule, an old rule that is starting to be enforced more, or simply a misunderstanding or discrepancies between post offices in various areas. I've reached out to USPS for comment and will update if more information becomes available.

In the meantime, have you experienced pushback from your carrier on pickup scans and if so, what's your solution - using scan forms, self service kiosks or standing in line at the post office to get those all important acceptance scans? Let us know in the comments below!

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