How Long Does USPS First Class Take?

In these times when virtually the whole world is digitalized, and we are pretty much used to having almost everything delivered ASAP, it is not a rare occurrence to wait anxiously for packages to be delivered.

Every day, USPS attends to millions of packages and mails that must be picked from various locations, sorted, processed, and delivered.

Multiply that by six days, and it will run to billions of Mails and packages weekly.

As a matter of fact, from the USPS FACTS, an average of 167.3 million pieces of First Class Mails are processed and delivered every day.

If you are waiting for your mail or package and are wondering how long it will take to get to you, this is the right article for you.

What is USPS First Class Mail?

First-class mail is USPS’s most affordable, easy-to-use, and common service.

First Class Mails involved letters, Business Cards, large envelopes, newspapers, and magazines, all similarly known as Flats and even lightweight packages ( Less than 13 ounces)

Features of First Class Mail

There are many shared features of First Class mail with other types of delivery services offered by USPS. 

Some of these features serve as advantages it possesses over others, while at other times, these features are similar. Let’s briefly look into some of them

  1. It is best for sending sensitive materials such as credit cards, invoices, tax documents, and other time-dependent personal effects.
  2. Pricing is independent of the distance that will be covered during delivery.
  3. It is treated more urgently than standard mail, making it an obvious choice for deliveries that cannot accommodate an iota of error.
  4. It can be forwarded. First Class Mail can be sent or forwarded to the correct or updated mailing address per adventure if the address is outdated or minor mistakes are noticed. It can also be returned to the sender’s address free of charge in cases where it cannot be delivered.
  5. Eligible for providing information. Proof of Delivery (POD) is a response letter sent via email. It contains the delivery information, the recipient’s name, the tracking number, an image of the recipient’s signature, and the printed name and address.

What is The Delivery Time of First Class Mail?

First-class mails usually take 1-3 business days to arrive.

USPS takes 1-3 days to deliver mails and about 1-5 days for small packages.

There are possibilities that your mail may arrive a day or two after the estimated delivery day. 

Why is my First Class Mail Not Delivered Yet? 

Even though First Class Mails and Packages are treated with all sense of care and urgency, there are times when delivery is delayed or never gets delivered. The reason for this can range from faults that can be traced back to the sender, employees mishandling, or even uncontrollable natural phenomena. But how can these possibly affect the delivery of your first-class mail?

Wrong or Badly Written Address 

You may be the suspect in this case. For every mail to be delivered successfully, there has to be an address. A single change in the Zip code can lead to your mail being sent to a mailbox on another side of town. 

A recent change of address can also bring this kind of situation as emails sent before the acknowledgment of address change cannot be retrieved until the delivery fails and a return is made.

Always ensure you write out your zip code and cross-check It before the mailing is done. 

It is advisable to print out the receiver’s address and stick it to the mail if you think your handwriting is not clear enough. This is very important because machines read the addresses during the sorting process. Unclear writing can affect this process and make it difficult to process your mail.

Public Holidays 

United State Postal services observe about 11 public holidays yearly ( changes with time ). It is common to wait for packages that never come.

This leads to a backlog of mail that must be sorted and cleared at the city or local center before delivery.

I will advise you to click on USPS Holiday Shipping to check all holidays observed by USPS before your First Class Mail gets sent to avoid waiting.

Always ensure that you send your emails or packages in advance so that the expected delivery date doesn’t fall into public holidays.

Adverse Weather Conditions

Even though this is not a huge contributor to why mails get delayed, as it rarely delays the delivery, it no doubt plays a part in some of the delays experienced.

Even though the weather can get so bad, most mail is delivered on time. But in severe cases where it becomes almost impossible to deliver your package or when Severe Natural disasters block or make delivery routes difficult for drivers, you will have to wait until new routes are established. It is safe to deliver to your mailbox.

Changes in Policy

As of October 1st, 2021, USPS increased the delivery window for First Class Mails from 1-3 days to about 2-5 days. This was to prevent workers from working overtime and delivering after closing hours.


First Class Mail sent within the city will get delivered faster. For instance, some local deliveries can be made the next day, which is faster than one sent across the country. This can also affect delivery.

USPS encourages clients to give two extra days for delivery.

How to Track First-Class Mail

One question that is very common with First Class mails is if the delivery progress can be tracked.

Unfortunately, First class mail, postcards, and Flats can not be tracked unless you pay additional cents; however, Tracking numbers and others are provided for First Class Packages or international mails and parcels so they can be tracked.

To Track your First Class Mail, you can use two methods.

Firstly, you can click on USPS TRACKER and supply the tracking number provided at the bottom of the receipt issued to you.

Alternatively, you can also send an email, a text message, or simply put a call across and provide them with your tracking number.


Whether it is a holiday gift from friends and family you’re anxiously waiting for, the legal document you’re sending, the merchandise you sell, or anything at all, we all tend to keep our mind on how soon we can lay our hands on them. 

USPS First Class will get it to your mailbox quickly and easily. It is by far the most common and inexpensive provision.

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