FedEx Direct Signature Required: Meaning, Significance & Alternatives

There are various signature options for delivering a package. When an order says “direct signature required, “ such a package will only be delivered to the ideal recipient after signing.

Please note that your neighbor can also sign and receive the package on your behalf. However, you have to inform them first or direct the delivery personnel to your favorite neighbor via a door tag.

Now that it is quite clear what a direct signature required means for package delivery, let’s examine why it is important and what packages fall under this category.

You will also learn about other signature options that are acceptable on FedEx.

What Does “FedEx Direct Signature” Required Mean?


FedEx direct signature required is a delivery option that instructs delivery drivers to only release a package when someone at the recipient’s residence (either the package owner or their neighbors) signs for its delivery.

It is far more efficient than an electronic signature and other options. This is because it rarely results in future complications. Once the owner of a package or documents signs for it, delivery is guaranteed successful.

In other words, issues like releasing a package to the wrong recipient are avoidable. It also protects the privacy of the consignee, especially for classified packages.

What Packages Require a Direct Signature on FedEx?

Shipments that require direct signature are often priority and legal packages such as alcohol, drugs, firearms, toxic chemicals, and other classified products. 

For context, only packages worth at least $500 or more are eligible for FedEx direct signature. To confirm the signature status of an order, you can check the tracking details sent via email by the shipper (sender of the package).

Alternative Signature Options on FedEx 

No signature required

Not all FedEx shipments require a signature. Examples of this shipment include regular items like clothing and shoes. Nevertheless, FedEx still attempts to get a signature at the delivery address when such packages are out for delivery.

However, if no one can provide such, the package will be left in a safe place within the premises. This is because getting a signature is not primary or compulsory for wrapping up such an order.

Indirect signature required

An indirect signature required means the receiver or anyone authorized can sign for the package. In other words, once the package is at the delivery address, it can be received and signed for (on your behalf) by a neighbor or an office manager near your residence.

However, if no one is available to sign, the delivery personnel will release the package and leave a FedEx tag at your door for you to sign.

You can also sign your package electronically. If delivery fails the first time, FedEx will attempt it twice before returning the package to a pickup station.

Adult signature required

A package that requires an adult signature will only be delivered to the recipient or someone who is not a minor. An example of such packages includes firearm shipments. In the U.S. and Canada, such a person must be at least 21 and 19, respectively. 

He or she must also provide a means of identification or a government-issued photo acceptable by local authorities. If there are no eligible recipients for the delivery, FedEx will try again.

If delivery fails after three attempts, FedEx will return such shipments to a pick-up station.

How Much Does FedEx Charge For Direct Signature Required? 

FedEx charges about $6.35 for Direct Signature Required packages. The cost for other signature options are: 

  • Adult Signature Required – $7.65 
  • Indirect Signature Required – $6.35
  • No Signature Required – Free

Will FedEx Deliver without a Direct Signature? 

This is possible provided the recipient leaves a note instructing the delivery driver to leave the package at a secure location. Please ensure that this note contains your name, delivery address, signature, and the package’s tracking number. 

Drivers must confirm that the information provided corresponds with what is on FedEx’s database before they leave the package.


How do you waive a direct signature on FedEx?

FedEx does not allow the sender of a package to waive the signature requirement for priority packages.

Instead, you can opt for other signature processes, such as signing online or through the FedEx app. 

What happens if you miss a FedEx delivery?

You will get a second and a third shot at delivery. However, if you miss all three delivery attempts, your package will be en route to a pickup station.

Will FedEx knock for a signature?

Of course, the delivery agent will knock or ring the doorbell if there is a need for a signature.

This is to notify the person who needs to sign the package and wrap up the delivery process.


Direct signature required has the same implication for most couriers, not just FedEx. For an item under this clause to be released, you must pen your signature or have someone in your location do it. 

This signature method wraps up a delivery effectively and is best for packages like toxic chemicals, alcohol, and drugs. Other signature methods apply to regular products like toys, clothing, and footwear.

Failure to receive a product under direct signature means FedEx or the courier will attempt delivery. An average of 3 attempts is needed before your package will be returned to the pick-up station. 

FedEx’s standard also suggests the package will remain at a pickup station for seven days, awaiting your response. No response within this period means it will likely return to the shipper.

I hope you found this guide helpful. For further reading, please see how to refuse a FedEx package.

Thanks for reading.