Can You Pick Up Packages From UPS After First Attempt

We get it. Waiting for a UPS package can be stressful. And if you work outside the home, being there when a UPS package arrives isn’t always possible. In addition, sometimes life upsets your plans, and you miss the scheduled delivery.

What happens, then? Can you pick up the package yourself after a failed delivery?

Whether or not you can pick up the package at UPS depends on the company. In some situations, the delivery driver will leave a door tag that indicates your package is at UPS, and you can pick it up there. However, UPS will usually try to deliver two more times and return failed deliveries to the sender. To minimize this event, UPS offers alternatives to traditional delivery that suit almost everyone’s schedule.

Let’s look at your options for a successful delivery.

UPS gives you instructions after a delivery failure.

The most important thing to know about delivery failures is that UPS gives you a document called a “Delivery Notice.” The document details when your driver failed to deliver the package and gives you instructions. Sometimes, it’ll tell you about another attempt and when. Delivery attempts to your home are limited to three, after which the package is returned to the sender.

Won’t be home for the next delivery attempt? You can authorize the driver to leave your package in the normal delivery location by checking the box on the Delivery Notice and signing the card.

In other situations, UPS will tell you to pick it up at an Access Point. The address of your Access Point will be listed on the Delivery Notice, so there’s no confusion.

If UPS redirects the package to a pickup location, you’ll have seven calendar days to pick it up. This should be plenty of time in most situations. Access Points have longer open hours than the average business office and are located in many retail locations. Packages are placed in a lock box that you’ll unlock with a code or by authenticating that you’re the authorized recipient.

There are ways to prevent delivery failures

While no method is foolproof, UPS has several delivery options that help avoid most delivery failures. You can use some of these before the package is even sent and others in transit. However, once a failed first delivery occurs, you must respond to the Delivery Notice.

Here are your options using My Choice:

  • Choose to use a UPS Access Point. In this case, you can either use the Access Point as your address for shipping or select that option in My Choice.
  • Authorize shipping release through My Choice or on the card. This means that UPS won’t ask for a delivery signature.
  • Authorize leaving the package with a neighbor. You’re trusting your neighbor to give you your package when you ask. You’ll also need them to agree to accept the package.
  • Have your package shipped to your office if your employer allows this.
  • Reschedule deliveries so that you’ll be home.
  • Request that UPS use an access point or alternate address after sending the package.
  • Have UPS hold your packages at their office if you know you won’t be home. In this case, you must notify them via the website ahead of time.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to keep your package from being returned to the sender. Most of them require some planning, but even with a Delivery Notice, you get plenty of time to release the package or pick it up at an alternative location.


UPS won’t let you pick up your package at their office after a failed delivery attempt, but there are several other ways to take the delivery. For instance, if you know you won’t be home, you can schedule the delivery or sign a release letting the driver leave the package at your door.

You’ll only pick up a package at the UPS office when you ask the company to hold your packages ahead of time. This is similar to the USPS hold and is typically used if you’ll be away for a few days. Then, you can plan to pick up all your packages at the same time.

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