Understanding USPS Tracking Number (with example)

All USPS shipments and deliveries are accompanied by a tracking number so you can keep tabs on their whereabouts. But how does a USPS tracking number look like exactly? See here for a detailed explanation on how to interpret it.

In order to update their clients, business owners need to know how their shipments are doing. Most domestic shipping options offered by the United States Postal Service (USPS) come with automated tracking so you may follow your parcels’ whereabouts as they travel throughout the country. A tracking number is included on all USPS shipment labels. Your preferred method of receiving mail is represented by the first four digits of your postal code.

The service code is comprised of the first four or five digits of the tracking number. [Tracing Number] There are hundreds of different permutations possible for these digits, which indicate the kind of mail service that you are utilizing.

Tracking number basics

USPS track number format

From the moment it leaves the warehouse until it reaches the consumer, your package may be scanned up to thirteen times; each time, you will get an update on its whereabouts. You can keep tabs on your package’s whereabouts with the help of its tracking number. The majority of USPS tracking numbers have 22 digits, split into four sets, like 3300 5667 7889 9001 2334 00. However, there are several forms, such as tracking numbers beginning with “EC” or “CP,” which indicate international shipping.

Understanding the first four digits

The service code is the first four or sometimes five numbers. These digits indicate the type of postal service you are using. The United States Postal Service (USPS) provides the following examples of tracking code formats for its most widely used postal services:

ServiceSample Number
USPS Tracking9400 1000 0000 0000 0000 00
Priority Mail9205 5000 0000 0000 0000 00
Certified Mail9407 3000 0000 0000 0000 00
Collect On Delivery Hold For Pickup9303 3000 0000 0000 0000 00
Global Express Guaranteed82 000 000 00
Priority Mail Express InternationalEC 000 000 000 US
Priority Mail Express9270 1000 0000 0000 0000 00
EA 000 000 000 US
Priority Mail InternationalCP 000 000 000 US
Registered Mail9208 8000 0000 0000 0000 00
Signature Confirmation9202 1000 0000 0000 0000 00

Each potential combination of USPS services has its own unique service code, and there are hundreds of them. For a comprehensive rundown of everything the Postal Service offers, check out USPS Publication 199.

We recommend that you use your tracking code on the official USPS website!


You are aware that USPS provides several options and that each package receives a unique tracking number. Each provider has its own unique format for the tracking number.

The maximum number of characters that may be included in a USPS tracking id is 20–22, but the maximum number of characters that can be included in a tracking id for certain other providers is 13.

So, have a look:

Example # 1:9446 1600 0000 0000 0000 00

The first one, the tracking id is 22 digits long, and it does not contain any letters or words.

Example # 2:CP 000 000 000 US

In the latter, the tracking number is prefaced by two letters and terminates with the letter combination “US,” followed by all numbers.

Third, this is utilized on certain 10-digit service numbers.

How to track your package

When it comes to clients, the format of the tracking number is not really important. It is crucial that you remember the tracking number so that you may check on the package’s whereabouts at any point. Depending on how you sent the shipment, you’ll need to look in a few different locations for the tracking number.

For packages sent by the post office, this information will be included on both the sales receipt and the peel-off section of the USPS tracking label. It will show up on your online account’s dashboard if you printed the label from there. Go to the USPS tracking website and input the tracking number you were given. To input up to 35 digits, press and hold the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ keys simultaneously.

Tracking tips

It’s important to have a clear shot at scanning the bar code on your shipping labels. If you position your label inside a tube or along the side of a box, you will never get any tracking events since scanners cannot see around the corners. Avoid putting the label over seams since doing so might cause the label to split.

USPS Tracking Number