Ever wondered if USPS scans packages for drugs or knows what’s in your box? 

USPS prioritizes postal system security, using advanced technologies like x-rays for package scanning. This process identifies potentially harmful materials, confirming that, yes, mail does get x-rayed.

Package scanning benefits both USPS and customers. It aids USPS in tracking packages and improving service reliability while offering customers detailed tracking and reassurance against illicit items in their mail.

USPS uses scanning information to detect irregularities, support investigations, and enforce postal regulations.

How USPS Scan Packages?

a man organizing all packaging boxes

USPS combines sophisticated technology with efficient logistics to scan packages. As a package enters the USPS system, scanners capture exterior images and sometimes internal contents, helping detect illicit substances and confirming that USPS does scan packages for drugs.

USPS uses various scanners, including optical scanners, barcode readers, and x-ray machines. These tools track the package’s journey and peek inside without opening it, so if you’ve ever questioned whether USPS knows what’s in your package or if mail gets x-rayed, the answer is yes.

The Importance of Package Scanning

Package scanning plays a vital role in maintaining the security and integrity of the postal system. By subjecting packages to advanced scanning technologies, such as x-rays and optical scanners, USPS can identify any potential threats or prohibited items, including drugs or hazardous materials.

The importance of package scanning extends to both USPS and its customers. For USPS, scanning provides essential tracking and management information, allowing for efficient handling, routing, and delivery of packages. This enhances service reliability and customer satisfaction.

For customers, package scanning offers peace of mind. It ensures that their packages are being monitored and tracked throughout the shipping process, reducing the risk of loss, theft, or tampering. 

Additionally, the scanning process helps enforce postal regulations and provides a layer of security against the shipment of illegal or dangerous items.

12 Common Issues with USPS Package Scanning and Tracking

postal service worker carrying letters and packages

While USPS package scanning and tracking are generally reliable, there can be occasional hiccups. Here’s a list of common issues and how to address them:

  1. Delayed Updates: Tracking information may only sometimes be real-time due to system delays or operational issues. Be patient and give it some time, as updates usually follow.
  2. Incorrect Tracking Information: If your package’s tracking information seems incorrect, it might be a system error. Reach out to USPS customer service for clarification.
  3. Failure to Detect Illicit Substances: While USPS uses advanced scanning technology, it might only sometimes detect all illicit substances. If you’re suspicious about a package, contact USPS or law enforcement. This addresses the question: does USPS scan packages for drugs?
  4. Package Not Delivered: If tracking shows your package has been delivered but has not been received, check with neighbors and your local post office. If still unresolved, file a claim with USPS.
  5. Package Damaged: If your package arrives damaged, take photos and file a claim with USPS. Remember to keep all packaging as evidence.
  6. Labeling Issues: Ensure your packages are correctly labeled with the proper addresses and barcodes. This helps in accurate tracking and delivery.
  7. Missed Delivery Attempts: If you missed a delivery attempt, reschedule online or pick up your package from the local post office.
  8. Slow Tracking Updates: Sometimes, tracking updates are slower during peak seasons or on weekends. Wait a day or two before contacting USPS.
  9. Item Stuck in Transit: If your package appears stuck in transit for a long time, contact USPS customer service for assistance.
  10. Lost Tracking Number: If you lost your tracking number, check your receipt or email confirmation. Contact the sender or USPS for help if you can’t find it.
  11. Missing Packages: If your package is missing, file a missing mail search request with USPS. You can also file a claim if your package is insured.
  12. Inaccurate Scanning: If your package was inaccurately scanned as “delivered” or “attempted delivery,” contact USPS immediately to rectify the situation.

To address these issues, ensure your packages are correctly labeled and securely sealed. If tracking information seems incorrect, contact USPS directly. It’s important to remember that, while USPS scans and tracks packages, it may not always know what’s in your box, reiterating the query, “Does mail get x-rayed?”

Shipping Discreetly with USPS

person carrying a big box for shipment

USPS provides a variety of shipping options, and among them is the ability to ship discreetly. This means the external packaging doesn’t reveal the contents of your parcel. If you want to maintain your item’s privacy, USPS can cater to this need.

It’s crucial to remember that, while the packaging is discreet, USPS still sometimes scans all parcels, including using x-rays. This process is essential for safety and regulatory reasons. Despite the external discretion, USPS scanning procedures ensure the integrity of the postal system.

When shipping discreetly, it’s recommended to use plain packaging and avoid markings that could hint at the contents. Also ensure all postal regulations are followed to prevent any complications. 

Even when shipping discreetly, however, USPS does its part to ensure safety and compliance, which includes scanning for illicit substances.


USPS employs advanced technologies, including x-rays, to ensure the safety and integrity of the postal system. The scanning process helps USPS track packages, manage their flow, and sometimes detect illicit substances. This answers the queries: “Does USPS scan packages for drugs?” and “Does USPS know what’s in your package?”

Shipping with USPS is generally efficient and reliable. Despite occasional issues with scanning and tracking, solutions exist. Remember, USPS may not always know what’s in your package, hence the question, “Does mail get x-rayed?” For a smooth shipping experience, always follow USPS guidelines and contact their customer service when needed.


Does USPS Scan Packages for Drugs?

Yes, USPS uses advanced scanning technology, including x-rays, to detect illicit substances in packages.

Does USPS Know What’s in Your Package?

USPS may not always know the specifics of what’s inside your package, but x-ray scanning can reveal the presence of certain materials.

Does Mail Get X-Rayed?

Yes, USPS uses x-ray machines as part of its package scanning process to ensure the safety and integrity of the postal system.

What If My USPS Tracking Information Is Incorrect?

If your USPS tracking information appears incorrect, you should contact USPS customer service for clarification.

How Can I Address Issues with USPS Package Scanning and Tracking?

To address issues with USPS package scanning and tracking, ensure correct labeling, contact USPS if tracking seems incorrect, and follow all USPS guidelines.