Do I Need an Appointment for USPS Fingerprinting? A Complete Guide

Fingerprinting is an essential part of the USPS hiring process. USPS requires fingerprinting and background checks for many positions to ensure the highest level of security and safety. But do you need an appointment for USPS fingerprinting or can you just walk in? Let’s discuss everything you need to know about scheduling a USPS fingerprinting appointment.

Getting fingerprinted at a post office is quick and convenient. The whole fingerprinting process only takes a few minutes. But appointment availability may vary depending on your location. While some post offices accept walk-ins, others require scheduling an appointment online or by phone. So it’s advisable to check with your local post office to see if an appointment is required or recommended.

What is USPS Fingerprinting and Why is it Required?

The United States Postal Service (USPS) requires fingerprinting and background checks for many positions, especially those that require handling sensitive information or high-value items.

Fingerprinting allows the USPS to run a criminal history check and identity verification on applicants. This ensures that only trustworthy individuals are hired.

The fingerprinting process involves taking a scan of your fingerprints and submitting them electronically to the FBI and State Department databases. This allows your identity and any previous criminal record to be verified.

So fingerprinting is an essential USPS requirement for positions like:

  • Postal police officers
  • Mail handlers
  • Clerks
  • Carriers
  • Mail processing roles

If you’re applying for a position that requires fingerprinting, the post office will send you details on scheduling an appointment after initial screening and testing. Fingerprinting is usually one of the final steps before getting hired.

How to Make a USPS Fingerprinting Appointment

The USPS has an online appointment system that enables scheduling fingerprinting appointments. Here are the steps to make an appointment:

  1. Check the USPS website or contact your local post office to see if an appointment is required. Some locations accept walk-ins.
  2. If an appointment is required, access the USPS appointment system. You can find the link at
  3. Enter your contact information and Zip code to find available appointments at your nearest fingerprinting location.
  4. Select a date and time for your appointment. The USPS will send a confirmation email with details.
  5. Arrive at the scheduled date and time with your appointment confirmation and required documents.

You can also call the USPS fingerprinting appointment phone number at 1-877-477-3273 to schedule an appointment. Some locations may even allow emailing to set up appointments.

Check your email regularly after scheduling an appointment in case USPS needs to contact you regarding any changes.

And make sure to note the location of your appointment, as fingerprinting may not be done at your local post office. USPS provides designated fingerprinting sites in certain areas.

Where You Can Get Fingerprinted for USPS

The USPS offers fingerprinting services at designated post office locations across the country. When booking an appointment, you can select a location nearest to your address.

Some potential USPS fingerprinting locations include:

  • Your local post office – Some post office branches have fingerprinting services on-site.
  • Main post office branch – Larger metro area post offices are more likely to offer fingerprinting.
  • USPS processing and distribution centers – USPS P&D centers may have fingerprinting.
  • Standalone USPS fingerprinting sites – Major cities have designated USPS fingerprinting sites.

When scheduling an appointment, the USPS system will show available locations in your state. Appointment availability may vary between sites, so have some flexibility in location if possible.

Contact your local post office if you are unsure of the nearest fingerprinting site. You want to ensure you go to the correct appointment location on the scheduled date.

What to Bring to the USPS Fingerprinting Appointment

To complete the fingerprinting process, make sure you bring:

  • Appointment confirmation – This is sent via email after scheduling online. You may need to show it.
  • Valid government-issued ID – A driver’s license, passport, or state ID will be checked.
  • Payment – Cost is usually $50-$60 and can be paid via cash, debit, credit card, etc.

Bring the original physical ID rather than just a photocopy. Your identity needs verification before fingerprinting can be done.

If you don’t have a valid U.S. government ID, contact USPS before your appointment to ask what alternative IDs are accepted. A birth certificate or Social Security card may be allowed in some cases.

What Happens During the USPS Fingerprinting Process?

The actual fingerprinting appointment is quick and simple. Here’s an overview of what happens:

  1. Check-in – Provide your appointment confirmation and ID for verification.
  2. Payment – The fingerprinting fee is usually $50-$60. Have payment ready.
  3. Fingerprinting – A trained official will scan and take images of your fingerprints digitally. This only takes a few minutes and is not ink-based.
  4. Identity check – Your fingerprints will be run through federal and state databases to verify identity and any criminal records.
  5. Completion – Once done, you’ll receive a completion confirmation. The USPS will get the results within 48 hours.

The appointment focuses solely on taking your fingerprints quickly and efficiently. There is no interview or paperwork involved.

Be sure to arrive on time as USPS appointments are precisely scheduled. The entire process takes only around 10-15 minutes if you have all required items.

How Long Does USPS Fingerprinting Take?

From start to finish, the USPS fingerprinting appointment takes about 10-15 minutes. This includes check-in, payment, taking your fingerprints, and receiving confirmation.

The actual fingerprint scanning itself takes just a few minutes or less. Modern digital fingerprinting is very quick.

However, you may wait longer due to:

  • Arriving early – You won’t be checked in before your scheduled time.
  • Backups – Appointments are booked back-to-back, so previous delays can impact waits.
  • Technical issues – The fingerprint scanning system may lag at times.
  • Questions/concerns – Discussing special cases with staff can add time.

So while the fingerprinting is fast, plan for your total visit to take 15-30 minutes. This accounts for any potential delays or issues.

Some USPS locations even suggest arriving 15 minutes ahead of your appointment time as a buffer. Better early than late!

Can You Reschedule a USPS Fingerprinting Appointment?

Sometimes plans change and you may need to reschedule a USPS fingerprinting appointment. This can be done online or by phone.

First, check your confirmation email – it may contain instructions for rescheduling. Typically, the process involves:

  • Calling the USPS fingerprint line – Explain you can no longer make the scheduled date/time.
  • Providing your appointment ID information – This allows USPS to pull up your details.
  • Selecting a new date and time – The agent will provide options with availability.
  • Getting a new confirmation – USPS will email a revised confirmation after changes.

Bear in mind appointments fill up quickly, so rescheduling may be difficult. Try to give as much notice as possible if needing to change dates.

And only reschedule if truly needed, as no-shows can delay your hiring process. But in an emergency, USPS understands if you need to rebook your fingerprinting appointment.

Key Takeaways: Does USPS Fingerprinting Require an Appointment?

  • Fingerprinting is required by USPS for many positions to perform background checks.
  • You may need an advance appointment for fingerprinting, but some locations allow walk-ins.
  • Use the USPS website or call 1-877-477-3273 to schedule a convenient appointment.
  • Bring valid ID, confirmation, and payment to your fingerprinting appointment.
  • The process only takes 10-15 minutes including fingerprint scanning.
  • You can reschedule if needed, but give notice to get a new time.

While every post office has different policies, most recommend or require scheduling an appointment online for fingerprinting. This ensures you get it done as quickly as possible.

Within a few minutes at your appointment, your fingerprints will be on record with USPS and you’ll be on your way to an exciting new postal career!


  • Double check if your local USPS office requires fingerprinting appointments or accepts walk-ins
  • Use the USPS online system or call the fingerprint line to book an appointment
  • Arrive on time with ID, confirmation, and payment ready to go
  • The process only takes 10-15 minutes including digital fingerprint scanning
  • Contact USPS promptly if you need to reschedule your appointment
  • Fingerprinting is a quick and mandatory part of the USPS hiring process
  • With an appointment at a post office, you’ll breeze through fingerprinting and be on your way!

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