UPS Tracking Number Invalid – Meaning, Causes, & Solution

It can be quite annoying, and demoralizing to run into problems when sending or receiving a package. “UPS tracking number invalid” can also appear to be confusing at times.

What does this message imply? Does it mean the package never got sent? Or does it mean that the package is lost? If so, what should be your next move?

If you came across the UPS tracking number invalid update, you are probably seeking clarity and a solution. Well, you are at the right place; read this article to learn more.

What does “UPS tracking number invalid” mean?

If you come across this update, it implies that the UPS tracking system cannot recognize the tracking number provided. That is, the given number cannot be attached to any package for some reason.

This can be quite frustrating, especially if you urgently expect such a package. In the next section, I will highlight some common reasons why a tracking number may be invalid.

What are the causes?

Now you know what the UPS tracking number invalid update means, let’s see some of the causes.

In most cases, this prompt appears when you try to track a package that has not yet been scanned. Until a package is scanned, the tracking number will remain invalid.

It could also be that the tracking number did not work because it was not written correctly. Maybe you missed a digit while writing it, hindering the tracking system from recognizing the number written.

Other times, it could be that the tracking number sent by the sender is incorrect. Maybe he or she did not copy the number correctly from the original receipt from the post office.

Alternatively, it could be that the UPS tracking system is having minor issues. This may cause various updates to pop up when customers try to track their packages.

Although no one would want this, you could also be scammed. Most online vendors aren’t all that legit; there are cases of scammers posing as vendors, which could also be the case.

What do you do about the “UPS tracking number invalid” prompt?

Now that you know the various reasons for this update, let us look at possible solutions.

1. Wait and retry

As I mentioned, packages’ tracking numbers remain invalid until they are scanned. If the package had just been sent, you would want to wait a while before trying again. Try it again after 8 p.m. ET, or the day after the package was sent.

2. Confirm the tracking number

Another possible solution would be to recheck the UPS tracking number of that package. It could be that you miswrote the number or missed a digit.

You can also ask the sender to resend the tracking number so that you can double-check. If you are the sender, check the original receipt for the order and cross-check if the number matches.

3. Contact UPS customer service

Alternatively, you can contact the United Parcel Service customer care for more clarity. You can contact them; however, their response time may be a bit lacking.


Why is your UPS tracking number not working after three days?

It could be because there were issues encountered with your package. Try contacting customer service for more updates on your package.

Can a tracking number be fake?

Yes, it can. According to NBC15, there are various reports of scammers giving fake tracking numbers to online shoppers.

What does a UPS tracking number look like?

A UPS tracking number comes in a 1Z format. A typical example is 1Z9999999999999999.


The UPS tracking number invalid update is one that many online shoppers don’t like to see. It means that the UPS tracking system cannot recognize the tracking number provided.

In most cases, it happens because the number was not written correctly or a digit was skipped. While in worst-case scenarios, it could be that the tracking number given by the sender is fake.

That said, double-check the number with the sender to ensure no mistake was made. And if the number appears correct, contact UPS customer service for more clarity.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article, if you did, you should also see if UPS and USPS are the same.

Thanks for reading.