The Automated Postal Center (APC) is a self-service kiosk typically placed in Post Office lobbies to provide customers with a convenient alternative to the full-service counter. APCs offer customers a wide range of postal products, services, and information.

Based on the user’s direction via touch screen and PIN pad, APCs can weigh and rate letters, flats, and parcels up to 70 pounds. APCs dispense variable rate postage in any denomination for Express, Priority, First Class, International (under 1 lb), and Parcel Post Mail. APCs also provide customers the option to purchase Delivery Confirmation, Signature Confirmation, Insurance, Certified, and Return Receipt services. APCs allow customers to print Express Mail forms and perform ZIP Code lookup. APCs accept debit, credit, and EBT cards for payment and generate a receipt.

Many APCs are available 24 hours, 7 days per week. There are 2,495 APCs in use today. In its Strategic Transformation Plan, the Postal Service set a goal to double the percent of retail transactions conducted at alternative channels, such as the APC. However, in many cases consumers avoid the APC, and continue to come to the retail counter for transactions.

[poll id="3"] [poll id="2"] [poll id="4"]

What would motivate you to use the APC kiosk or the internet to purchase Postal products?

What other service options could make it easier for you to mail a letter or package?

We invite you to join our discussion by clicking the "Comments" link below.

Comments (233)

  • anon

    Thank you for your comments on this blog from 2008. We ask you to please visit the “Contact Us” page on this website for information on where to file formal complaints with our agency or the Postal Service. To view our most recent work, visit our home page. Thank you again, OIG Blog Moderator

    Feb 09, 2018
  • anon

    I tried the kios at the post office 8710 Bash Road Indianapolis, IN 46256. I spent $20 for the "Forever Stamps" , the machine made noise as if it was printing but no stamps we dispensed from the machine. Once you pay there is no way to tell the system that there is a problem. I have requested my bank to reverse the charges and I will never use the machines again, unless you update the system so your customers have a way to tell the machine you received the stamps.

    Feb 05, 2018
  • anon

    I placed 3 letters one by one on a scale of USPS kiosk and printed postage labels. Then I accidentally droped the envelopes and stamps on the floor and was not sure anymore which stamp belonged to which letter. I wonder if they dont match will they get to the correct destinations? (The kiosk asked me for zip code each time I printed a label.)

    Jan 30, 2018
  • anon

    We need a self service machine that has the ability to scan pre-printed labels. Carriers often refuse to scan packages on pickup and the postal workers behind the counter do the same - often saying to use the drop box. Since scanning is an important part of ecommerce, something needs to change and quickly. All of our more important packages go through FedEx or UPS and our commercial customers often request we ship using anything but the USPS. So we're not alone. Also, if a carrier does happen to scan a package on pickup and scans it wrong as delivered, there will be absolutely no updates to the online tracking at all. Imagine a business fielding all the inquiries from customers concerned that their package has been delivered in the wrong city, which recently happened to us on dozens of packages. What a huge waste of time it was for us,, while leaving us exposed to fraud, and it makes the USPS look like a JV delivery service. Give me a self-service machine that allows me to avoid postal workers altogether, and I'll be happy. Since they apparently don't like doing their jobs anyway, give them pink slips and replace them with automated machines. I'd rather waste my time self-scanning packages at the post office instead of arguing with postal workers that don't want to scan packages. We should not be paying for tracking numbers if postal workers don't want to scan them.

    Jan 28, 2018
  • anon

    Most people cannot associate the machine with the services it offers. Place a video on the machine that shows what it can do. Place a sign or video where customers stand in a long line for counter services, showing what the machine can do, should they choose to leave the line and use the machine.

    Jan 14, 2018
  • anon

    I just tried to buy stamps at a kiosk inside the main post office here in Laramie, Wyoming after it closed for the day on Saturday of a long weekend. I inserted my credit card to pay, but it made a funny sound and did not recognize the card. I tried again. I tried with another card. I then I realized that I was foolish for not quitting when the first card failed, since it was likely that some thief had inserted a credit card skimmer in the machine. So, I tried to call the USPS to warn about this and have someone inspect the machine. Couldn't find a number to call or a way to get through. Went on the Web and filed a complaint; have no idea whether THAT got through. Now, I am wondering whether two of my credit cards will soon have to be replaced due to fraud. Should never have used the kiosk at all! Next time, I'll buy a roll of stamps at Walmart.

    Jan 13, 2018
  • anon

    As a small business owner selling online, having a tracking number on all of my packages is a must~ I used the self~service kiosk after hours and was very confused by the much lower pricing for postage but shipped my packages anyway. I come home to find no tracking number on any of my receipts and am now very concerned. I also had quite a few packages to mail and made a woman wait behind me for more than 10 minutes due to having to rewrite the address on each package. This is why I opt to wait in line for the full~service desk with a person, they can answer questions, process my packages ( I always have 5~10 ) very quickly, no need to re~write addresses, and my packages always come with tracking, all on one receipt. How to improve in my opinion : Have an option to type in the full name and address and have it printed on the stamp as the paper the stamp is made of smears ink really badly. Have an option to process multiple packages without needing to swipe your card for each one. Be clear about which options have tracking numbers and which ones don't. I think inputting these would easily cut the time to use the self~service kiosk in half as well as bring comfort to users knowing their packages were sent correctly.

    Jan 08, 2018
  • anon

    I used the self service kiosk today. My credit card was charged and the machine did not dispense my stamps. This was on New Years Day and the post office was closed for the holiday. I saved my receipt, I am going to the post office tomorrow during business hours. I don't want a refund, I want my stamps that I paid for but did not get out of the machine. So much for automation. Looks like this happens a lot based on the comments posted on this website.

    Jan 01, 2018
  • anon

    Do you know if your package was delivered?

    Jan 13, 2018
  • anon

    I was trying to purchase stamps from your kiosk and i paid for the stamps, but never got them! I only got a receipt of payment...

    Dec 31, 2017
  • anon

    I think you should create an app where people can prepare and pay for shipments. After passing, it would provide a barcode or QR code that can be scanned at an APC or other machine either ay the post office or other location where the appropriate labels would be printed and the package could be dropped off. Would shorten lines by streamlining the time consuming parts of the process... letting people input all the shipping details on their personal devices.

    Dec 18, 2017
  • anon

    It would be great if you were able to scan a package. I sell on the internet and purchase my labels online then print them out. It would be nice to be able to walk into the post skip the line and just be able to double check weight & scan my packages.

    Dec 17, 2017
  • anon

    Where do I find the tracking information on the receipt printed at the kiosk? The online system doesn't recognize the numbers.

    Dec 16, 2017
  • anon

    I didn't have a track receipt from my kiosk but I have kiosk number. How can I find out my tracking number?

    Dec 10, 2017
  • anon

    I was trying to find out is there a way to retrieve a receipt from the self service ship and mail center?

    Dec 02, 2017
  • anon

    I have this same issue but am sharing a bit more information. The answer to the original question is yes. The kiosk or USPS APC stores and keeps records of all transactions that are completed using its self service interface. From my understanding these kiosks are also cloud based allowing for redundant storage of the transaction history in the event of a hard drive or mechanical failure. The issue is finding someone with the knowledge, the access, and potentially the authority to search the kiosk transaction history to find this information for you which is the issue I am facing. A response on this issue would be extremely beneficial even if the response is “I don’t know what to do.” Vs no response at all.

    Dec 06, 2017
  • anon

    I was trying to find out is there a way to retrieve a receipt from the self service ship and mail center?

    Dec 02, 2017
  • anon

    We bought 40 forever stamps and the machine printed 20. How Can I get a refund or get my stamps?

    Nov 25, 2017
  • anon

    Hey usps I️ had a package that’s suppose to get delivered Saturday but we made an error with the addresss adding Buffington st instead of Buffinton st please if possible can correct the address.

    Nov 12, 2017
  • anon

    Hello, I wish more Post Offices in the Hilo, Puna area of Hawaii had Self Service Kiosks. They are great. However I have only found one in my area. Also being able to mail a MEDIA package would be great! Thank you!

    Nov 01, 2017
  • anon

    What other service options could make it easier for you to mail a letter or package? 1) ABILITY TO HAVE KIOSK REGURGITATE A TRANSACTION RECEIPT IF YOU FORGET THE RECEIPT IN 1ST INSTANCE, OR LOSE THE RECEIPT, PARTICULARLY IF THE USPS LOSES YOUR MAIL. 2) ABILITY TO HAVE KIOSK SEND TRANSACTION RECEIPT VIA EMAIL / TEXT. It's 2017, USPS.

    Oct 27, 2017
  • anon

    I always use the kiosk without issue. I accidentally entered the wrong address in the machine. Am I able to cross it out and hand write the correct address if it's the same dollar amount of postage to both locations?

    Oct 18, 2017
  • anon

    I need a "find an aps near me"...I moved and I miss it so bad. I'm having to use regular stamps like some kind of barbarian.

    Oct 18, 2017
  • anon

    Re: USPS at 2080 S Holly St, Denver, CO 80222...Every time I put a package in the bin in the self service kiosk (I print my own labels at home) ... it is not accepted for DAYS! For this reason, I usually have to stand in line to get an acceptance scan and receipt. What a hassle! I sell on Ebay and Etsy. Ebay in particular penalizes us for not shipping an order within 1 day. Each time I take a chance and put it in the bin, the same thing happens..it is 2-5 days before the package is even scanned as accepted at the facility, then it goes through the standard shipping...so it's not like it is getting to the customer in time, and the scans are just not updated...the package is actually delayed in shipping out of the facility. The mail just sits there, or sits in someone's truck for days. I am just recovering from being penalized from Ebay for shipping delays due to this issue a few months ago. Monday evening I took a chance and put a package in the bin and it is STILL NOT ACCEPTED! It is FRIDAY! I am so mad. This is the third time at least I used the bins and this happened each time. UNacceptable!!! I have complained to the workers there, to no avail. In fact, Wednesday I complained that my package should have been acknowledged Tuesday, and the lady told me the company that picks them up often doesn't scan right away! Huh?? I am so mad and don't know what to do. I can't get 'top seller' with Ebay with these shipping delays! I emailed customer service about this issue and was told I would receive a response in 24 hours and also 3 days later have not heard a thing. Horrible service from USPS. I wish there was a decent alternative for small packages and I would switch in a heartbeat.

    Oct 13, 2017
  • anon

    I bought three stamps for $1.47 in the machine at Tampa and Rinaldi post office in NOrthridge, Ca. 91326 and the machine did not give me the stamps. How do I get a refund?

    Oct 10, 2017
  • anon

    My local post office 58102 has added a package check in self service maxhine. It looks like it was prob 10 or 15 grand or more with installation. It has a large sturdy rolling door system and can take packages over 2 feet tall BUT it will only accept FIRST CLASS MAIL !!! How can this be? Why have something this massive and expensive and limit it to packages 1 pound or less? I should think that ANY package with a valid preprinted and paid for label with a tracking number would be acceptable. Will Priority Mail be accepted in the future? If the only thing it will ever be good for is one piece of first class mail at a time someone at the USPS needs to be fired.

    Sep 23, 2017
  • anon

    It would be great if the self serve kiosks accepted media mail.I sell books and records through the mail and have to wait for regular business hours and stand in line for a postal clerk for this.

    Sep 23, 2017
  • anon

    I wish I could print different style's of stamps at the Kiosk after hours, such as holiday or other themed stamps.

    Sep 17, 2017
  • anon

    I avoid those self-service kiosks because I need to answer a dozen questions before I can purchase a simple 49 cent stamp. The machine asks me for the size, form, destination including the zip code, whether it contains objects, etc. (And I actually have to buy at least 3 stamps because the minimum amount is 1 USD.)

    Sep 14, 2017
  • anon

    I can't believe I made this mistake! I have an online store on etsy, sellers have to provide tracking info to customers when orders are mailed, I was told I could handle my shipping needs even when the post office is closed by using the kiosk in the lobby, so I used it today, Sunday, 9/4/2017- there's NO TRACKING INFO to give my customer! First Class shipping done at the post office counter with a USPS employee during business hours always has a tracking number on the receipt! But today I'll have to tell my customer that her shipped purchase is untrackable. I'm an idiot for using that kiosk, I won't make that mistake again. I'm feeling sick to my stomach with embarrassment.

    Sep 04, 2017
  • anon

    I would have liked to use the kiosk but could not pay for the cushioned mailer that I also needed to buy. I was also not offered 1st class mailing options. If both of these we possible, I would not have visited the counter.

    Jul 25, 2017
  • anon

    I was provided only express and priority 1-day mailing options ($26+ & $6.65) for a pkg I mailed today from 98110 to 98175. Why no cheaper 1st class option? Or parcel post, since it wasn't going on a plane?

    Jul 24, 2017
  • anon

    Aspen , CO self service IS OUT OF DERVICE

    Jul 24, 2017
  • anon

    If I use the machine in my loca USPS to mail a 1st class package will the receipt give me tracking info?

    Jul 23, 2017
  • anon

    I find the kiosk at Edmonds WA. 98020 only allows certain services after hours. As not being able to print a package label. Is there a reason for this? I try to go early to beat the crowds and the machine won't let me. Something like" I can't perform this service at this time"

    Jul 11, 2017
  • anon

    Are there any automated kiosks in the Haymarket Virginia area... I want to ship but they are always closed when I get out of work

    Jul 02, 2017
  • anon

    The self-serve kiosk at San Bernardino ("MO Windows") is a blessing! Issues: 1. This APC has posted & online hours open til 11pm Unfortunately I discovered that the LOBBY doors close at 7pm some days. The APC bright computer screen can be seen from behind the locked doors 2. APC good for PM FR packages but mostly cannot drop the box anywhere- there's only one (1) package sized collection box and it is always jammed --- that happens to be the only package sized collection deposit within a 30 mile radius because I have checked

    Jun 26, 2017
  • anon

    I RETURNED ITEMS STAMPED PACKAGE WITH A STAMPING MACHINE , COMPANY SAID THEY HAVENT RECEIVED IT. IS THERE ANY WAY TO TRACK IT

    Jun 21, 2017
  • anon

    I just used the postage kiosk to print a $7.15 flat rate box postage. After my account was charged, the postage didn't print. Because it was after hours, there was no one available to address the issue and there are no numbers I could call to resolve the issue.

    Jun 18, 2017
  • anon

    I Just have the same issue, after I got charge didn't print my stamp, what a problem with the usps

    Jul 09, 2017
  • anon

    I would have used it today. All I needed was to send a simple package as First Class, but with a tracking number (cannot do so online). There were two things that stopped me: 1) There was no obvious sign or indication that this kiosk was on site as I entered the post office (and stood in a long queue); and 2) By the time I figured out there was one on site, there was no way for me to find out whether or not it would handle the First Class postage AND provide a tracking number without losing my place in what was already a phenomenal wait in line. The brochures that are available to those already standing in the queue (at the long counter where one can find forms and complete their packaging) did not specify or detail the breadth of services at the kiosk. Had the specific information been readily and speedily available to me, I would have gladly left the queue and completed this simple transaction on my own, leaving our postal workers to help others who need help (like the elderly), or who have more complex postage needs.

    Jun 13, 2017
  • anon

    Tracking for first class is standard. The tracking number would have been printed on your receipt for your use.

    Jun 23, 2017
  • anon

    Can you purchase money orders at the kiosk? That might be nice for smaller money orders.

    Jun 08, 2017
  • anon

    Where can I find the supplies available at the Kiosk? I do not wan tot drive to all the local USPS Kiosks looking for the shoebox size Priority Boxes. I find some of the smaller Post Offices do not carry that size.

    Jun 02, 2017
  • anon

    If something requires a postmark by a certain date..does the label date that is printed from the self serve kiosk serve as a postmark date?

    May 31, 2017
  • anon

    Hi Lisa, thank you for your message. The OIG is an independent agency of the Postal Service and day-to-day mail delivery issues are outside of our jurisdiction. If you have not already done so, please try contacting your local Post Office. If you have already done that, try contacting USPS Customer Service, (800-275-8777), or file an online complaint with Customer Service.

    Jun 05, 2017
  • anon

    I love using APC self-mail machine at 33432. Unfortunately, it will be nice if the receipt has the real tracking number. Where to find them? Thanks!

    May 26, 2017
  • anon

    I love using the APC's. Unfortunately, here in the whole Sacramento region. they are locked behind the doors once the Post Office is closed. Even the newer post offices can not be utilized as the APC's are behind locked doors. *siiigghhhhhhh And a multi-language interface would be nice too. Try explaining to someone new to the States how to insert the card correctly in English. . . .

    May 20, 2017
  • anon

    I frequently use the APC at the 32084 King Street Post Office in St. Augustine Florida. It is available 24/7 and is very convenient outside of normal business hours. Unfortunately, the package receptacle has been out of service for many months requiring APC users to bring their packages in to the service desk during regular business hours. It would be helpful if the malfunctioning package receptacle could be repaired. Thank you, George Miska

    May 05, 2017
  • anon

    Thank you for your message. The OIG is an independent agency of the Postal Service which investigates and audits internal fraud, waste, and abuse; and day-to-day mail delivery issues are outside of our jurisdiction. If you have not already done so, please try contacting your local Post Office. If you have already done that, try contacting USPS Customer Service, (1 (800) 275-8777), or file an online complaint with Customer Service. Very Respectfully, United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General

    May 05, 2017

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