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 being billed to the recipient. With APV, the USPS will instead deliver the package but then issue cost adjustments back to your postal account balance. For USPS shipments through ShipStation, this means the adjustment will be automatically deducted from the account used to ship the package.

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

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.

Check Weight and Dimensions

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

Visit USPS Mail Classes Comparison for the most updated information.

Review Post-Billing Adjustments

How you view adjustments will differ slightly depending on if you shipped the package using a Stamps.com account or USPS from ShipStation.

To view USPS adjustments for shipments using a Stamps.com 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. Choose Carrier Settings from the action menu, then enter the new password into the Reauthorize section.

  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

Alternatively, you can access these same reports from ShipStation without logging in to Stamps.com.

Disputing APV Adjustments

If you wish to dispute an Automated Package Verification (APV) adjustment for a USPS shipment, you must 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 details:

  • 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, 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 information, 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.