USPS Automated Package Verification System

Details about the USPS APV system: What it is and how to dispute USPS automated adjustments to your label fees.

USPS uses an Automated Package Verification system (APV, for short). APV means the USPS will verify that all shipments match the details on the label, including:

  • Weight

  • Dimension

  • Mail Class

  • Packaging

  • Origin Zip Code

  • Destination Zip Code

  • Postage Paid

Prior to APV, improperly-applied specifications would result in a shipment being returned, or in some cases, delivery charges would be the recipient's responsibility. With APV, the USPS will instead deliver the package but will then issue cost adjustments back to your postal account balance. For Stamps.com accounts in ShipStation, this means the adjustment will be automatically deducted from your Stamps.com account balance.

These adjustments apply to both overcharged and undercharged shipments, making for a more efficient shipping process with the USPS. The goal for APV is to ensure all shipments are delivered on time.

APV can apply to any domestic package shipped using USPS or a USPS postage provider. (APV excludes letters, large envelopes, certified mail, and any/all international shipments.)

Check Weight and Dimensions

To avoid rate adjustments, ensure that you are using appropriate dimensions and weight for the service. Services classes can change weight and dimension requirements at any time.

ShipStation strives to keep up to date with carrier changes, but ultimately is not responsible for changes made to service limitations.

Visit USPS Mail Classes Comparison for the most updated information.

Review Post-Billing Adjustments

To view any adjustments that have been applied to your account:

  1. Log in to your Stamps.com account.

    If you do not know your Stamps.com account credentials, contact ShipStation support to obtain your account name. You must then call Stamps.com at 1 (888) 434-0055 to reset your account password so you can log in and access your reports.

    Requires Password Reset in ShipStation!

    If you reset your Stamps.com account password on their website, you must then also reset the password ShipStation uses to access the account. To do this, go to Settings > Shipping > Carriers & Fulfillment. Click Settings, then click Reauthorize.

  2. Go to the Reports tab.

  3. Select Balances.

  4. Set the Report Type to Transactions.

    Stamps.com Reports > Balances screen with Report type set to Transactions

You can also access these same reports from ShipStation without having to log in to Stamps.com.

Disputing APV Adjustments

If you wish to dispute an Automated Package Verification (APV) adjustment, you will need to email USPS directly. They have an email address specifically for this purpose: VerifyPostageHelp@usps.gov

When emailing the Verify Postage Help department, include the following info:

  • The package's Tracking Number

  • Adjustment ID

  • The reason for disputing the adjustment (be as detailed as possible!)

To get the Adjustment ID for Stamps.com shipments, you will need to log in to your Stamps.com account and follow the steps outlined on the Stamps.com APV help page.

To get the Adjustment ID for other USPS postage providers, please contact that postage provider for information on gathering Adjustment IDs.

If the USPS requests more info, they'll contact you via email. Once a decision is made on the status of your dispute, they'll contact you via a forwarded email.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) built the Automated Package Verification APV System to manage postage discrepancies (under-paid and over-paid postage labels) in an automated fashion. The USPS APV program considers postage paid on every domestic package, based on weight, dimensions, package type, mailing service, and origin and destination ZIP codes.