Does USPS Scan Packages? (2023 Guide)

Does USPS scan packages? The United States Postal Service (USPS) is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for providing postal service in the United States, including its insular areas and associated states.

USPS traces its roots back to 1971 when Benjamin Franklin was appointed as the first Postmaster General by the Second Continental Congress. The USPS has grown since then and now operates over 31,247 Postal Service-managed retail offices. The USPS also delivers to millions of residences and businesses every day.

does usps scan packages

Does USPS scan packages?

In recent years, the United States Postal Service has been under increased scrutiny. In part, this is due to the increase in online shopping, which has led to a corresponding increase in the number of packages being shipped. While most people assume that all packages are scanned by USPS, the truth is that only a small percentage of packages are actually scanned.

In most cases, this is a completely random process. In some cases, postal workers may be alerted to a suspicious package, which then gets singled out. Additionally, packages going in and out of major metropolitan areas are more likely to be scanned.

As a result, there is no way to guarantee that your package will be scanned by USPS. However, if you are shipping something sensitive or valuable, it may be worth taking extra precautions to ensure that it arrives safely.

Why does USPS scan packages?

It would be amazing if everyday people sent loaded firearms to each other or poorly packed cases of glass alcohol bottles. USPS scans add an additional layer to security over legal prohibitions that deter many but not all from these activities.

Accidents happen, and even the best-intentioned person may put others at risk. Workers deserve to be protected from unexpected hazards, and the general public deserves to be safeguarded against potential health threats in the postal system.

Furthermore, new threats emerge all the time, and the USPS must continually adapt its scanning methods to stay ahead of the curve. For all these reasons, scanning packages are an essential part of the Postal Service's mission.

Will USPS Know If I Ship Alcohol?

There is no assurance that USPS will be aware of your shipment, but there is also no assurance that you will get away with it. A loud ringing might alert a competent postal worker to the presence of glass bottles.

You also risk breakage or spills, which would make your mistake immediately apparent and you are guilty of a felony straight away.

However, suppose you're shipping anything other than alcohol in a box that previously held alcoholic beverages. Remove any labels or other identifying markings from your package before sending it out. Furthermore, it's a good idea to ensure your item in the event of damage or spillage.

While there's no assurance that the USPS will recognize you're shipping alcoholic beverages.

Does USPS scan packages for drugs?

If you're caught mailing drugs through USPS, you will face some serious penalties. The United States Postal Service is a federal law enforcement agency and they take drug trafficking very seriously.

If your package is flagged for suspicious activity, it will be subjected to a scan. If the package tests positive for drugs, you will be arrested and charged with a crime. So, if you're thinking about mailing drugs through USPS, think again. It's not worth the risk.

Is it possible to write "Do Not X-Ray" on your USPS shipment?

When it comes to shipping packages with the US Postal Service, many people want to know if they can write "Do Not X-Ray" on the box. Unfortunately, this is not likely to have the desired effect. In fact, it is much more likely that USPS will flag your package as suspicious and go ahead and X-Ray the box all the more quickly. X-Raying/scanning is just part and parcel of shipping something USPS.

If you're not shipping anything illegal, and you just want discretion, make the packaging as plain and ordinary as possible. Truly, the only way to completely escape the possibility of USPS scanning your package is to hand-deliver it to the intended recipient. But for most people, that's simply not practical. So, when it comes to shipping via USPS, remember that discretion is key and plain packaging is best.

What causes USPS to suspiciously reject a Package?

If you're sending a package through the mail, you might want to avoid making it look suspicious. The United States Postal Service (USPS) has a list of characteristics that can make a package look suspicious. These include handwritten addresses, lack of a return address, excessive tape, and abnormal weight.

Packages that say "confidential" or "do not x-ray" are also often considered suspicious. If you're sending a package, it's best to use a label with both the sender's and recipient's address to avoid excessive tape or writing.

By following these simple guidelines, you can help ensure that your package makes it to its destination without any trouble.

The package is still in Transit? Why is it taking so long for my item to arrive?

If you're wondering "Why is my package still in transit USPS?" there could be a few different explanations. The most common reason for a package to get stuck in transit is simply because it's being overloaded with holiday orders.

During peak times, USPS is processing and delivering millions of packages every day, which, unfortunately, bad weather can also cause delays, as delivery trucks may have difficulty reaching their destination due to snow or flooding. In some cases, a package may even get mis-sorted and delivered to the wrong address.

Fortunately, most USPS delays are temporary and your package will eventually arrive at its destination. However, if you're concerned about a particular package, you can always contact USPS customer service for more information.

Is it legal for the USPS to open my packages?

According to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service FAQ sheet, First-Class mail is the only class of mail that is protected by the Fourth Amendment. This means that the USPS is not legally allowed to open your First-Class mail or packages unless they have a warrant. However, other classes of mail do not require a warrant and can be opened at USPS's discretion.

X-Raying packages can provide probable cause for obtaining a search warrant (e.g., if they see something shaped like a weapon or a bottle of alcohol on the scan), but otherwise, the USPS is not allowed to open your mail without a warrant. Therefore, if you are sending something through the mail that you want to remain private, it is best to send it First-Class.


The United States Postal Service is a reliable and affordable way to send packages, but it's important to be aware of the potential risks involved in shipping. Your package may be X-Rayed or scanned, and it's important to use discretion when sending anything through the mail. Following these simple guidelines can help ensure that your package arrives safely and on time.

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo,, SparkHire,,, FairyGodBoss,, St. Edwards University, NC State University,, Thrive Global,, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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