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 via USPS. 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 and depend on whether you shipped the package using a account or USPS from ShipStation.

To view USPS adjustments for shipments using a standalone account:

  1. Log in to your account.

    If you do not know your account credentials, contact ShipStation support to obtain your account name. You must then call 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 account password on their website, you must then also reset the password ShipStation you use to access the account. To do this, go to Settings > Shipping > Carriers , click the action menu Actions menu and then click Reauthorize.

  2. Go to the Reports tab.

  3. Select Balances.

  4. Set the Report Type to Transactions. Reports > Balances screen with Report type set to Transactions

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:

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 shipments, log in to your account and follow the steps outlined on the APV help page.

To get the Adjustment ID for a ShipStation Carriers shipment, go to Settings > Carriers and choose View Reports from the USPS Actions menu.

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.