What Does Local Post Office Exception Mean & What Can You Do?

People have asked, “what does local post office exception mean”? Does it imply that your package will be delayed or will not be delivered at all?

Basically, this update is to notify you that your package has been received by the post office nearest to the final destination. However, some unforeseen circumstances are hindering them from completing the delivery.

These circumstances could be bad weather, a roadblock, or no access to your location. So, I’ll discuss the meaning of this update, the causes, and what you can do about it.

What does local post office exception mean?

A delivery exception is said to occur when a courier cannot complete a delivery. This is usually due to certain reasons that cannot be avoided or are said to be natural.

A local post office exception means the same thing but usually occurs when delivery is at the final stage. Mostly, when a package delivery is handed over to the USPS for final or last-mile delivery.

What are the causes of a local post office exception?

1. Incorrect address or damaged label

When the label for a package is damaged or missing, or the address is not spelled correctly, it causes issues during delivery. An exception will occur as the courier is still trying to identify or verify the recipient’s address.

2. Inclement weather

Bad weather conditions are also another cause of a local post office exception. Even though daily weather forecasts are available, they are not always accurate. When the weather condition is bad, delivery will have to be delayed until the weather condition is favorable.

3. Lost in transit

This is usually one of the worst-case scenarios for post offices. Although USPS ensure all package are handled properly, on rare occasions, a package might be lost in transit, causing a delay in the delivery process.

4. Damaged item

When a package is moved from point A to point B, it may be mishandled and damaged in the process. An exception could be that the courier notices that the package is damaged or the item inside the package appears broken.

5. Federal holiday

This is usually the case for most international shipments. A package might be set for delivery on a day designated as a federal holiday in the destination country. An exception will occur, as USPS couriers will not be operating.

6. Security or regulatory reasons

Sometimes, a local post office exception could also be because of security or regulations. Perhaps there are security concerns at the recipient’s location or the documents for the delivery are incomplete.

What happens after the local post office exception?

There are 3 possible outcomes to this update. They include the following;

1. No overall delay

Most of the time, these exceptions are quickly handled, and delivery commences. Therefore, there will be no overall delay and the delivery will be done at the stipulated or estimated time.

2. A late yet successful delivery

In cases where the exception takes longer to handle, it could affect the delivery time. The delivery will still be successful but will be completed later than you hope.

3. The package will be returned to the sender

Worst-case scenarios will cause the package to be returned to the sender. This is usually the case for exceptions like incorrect addresses, damaged items, or packages.

How long does a local post office exception take?

Minor cases like bad weather conditions may take a day to address. Severe cases like lost or damaged packages may take a week to address.

Generally, the time for a local post office exception depends widely on the nature of the exception. This could take anywhere from a day to seven days after seeing this update.

What do you do about this tracking update?

There is very little you can do about the local post office exception. Nevertheless, contacting the local post office can also prove to be a good option at times.


Will you still get your package even if it says “local post office exception”?

It depends on the nature of the exception. Some exceptions do not affect delivery, while some may cause a package to be returned to the sender.

How do you avoid delivery exceptions?

Some delivery exceptions cannot be avoided, while others can. The best practice is to ensure the address is written correctly, and if any issue arises, contact the supplier.


No one wants to come across an exception; it automatically means your delivery might be delayed. A local post office exception means that for some reason, your delivery will not be completed at that moment.

These reasons could be natural, bad weather conditions, administrative, security, or regulatory. Whichever the case is, there is usually very little you can do as it is mainly in the hands of the local post office.

That being said, you can contact the local post office for inquiries if this update stays for too long.

In cases where USPS has to return the package to the sender, you may encounter other tracking updates that may appear confusing. See this article on tendered to returns agent to know what it means.

Thanks for reading.