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.

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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 (205)

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  • 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
  • anon

    I sent a package out on Tuesday, April 18th 2017 between 10:20AM - 11:00AM at the post office located on 150 Sutter St. San Francisco, CA 94104. But I lost the receipt and I need a copy of it. Is there anyway to retrieve a copy of my receipt for this transaction? Thank You, Celia

    Apr 24, 2017
  • anon

    We live in Los Alamos, NM and there would. E a cost savings and service improvement. The postal workers are slow and mistake prone. I would rather do it myself than deal with them. I got to Santa Fe with my mail but we need a kiosk up here

    Apr 18, 2017
  • anon

    Echoing with others who want Media Mail as an option on the kiosk.

    Apr 12, 2017
  • anon

    i just went to a local post office kiosk about a couple hours ago and mailed 3 packages out in poly mailers like i usually do except this time i did not get a tracking number on my receipt . any suggestions i tired googling if i can track it somehow without a tracking number

    Apr 08, 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 08, 2017
  • anon

    I'm wondering the same thing. Anyone?

    May 08, 2017
  • anon

    It would be great as a retailer to have the kiosk in the stores- the $5 US shipping box would be a useful tool. We could sell those boxes, have the kiosk, and customers can directly buy something and send it to the gift recipient.

    Apr 05, 2017
  • anon

    I am a retailer. Most of my sales are online purchase. A kiosk in my office would be ideal.

    May 18, 2017
  • anon

    I was told I could not use the kiosk for a 2 ounce bubble mailer going Internationally, unless it was only paperwork, is this correct?

    Apr 03, 2017
  • anon

    Would I be able to postmark a letter at a self service kiosk?

    Mar 28, 2017
  • anon

    Would anyone know if it's possible to use a Kiosk to determine postage and print an address label without buying an APC-printed stamp? I ask because I have a stockpile of postage stamps I've been eagerly trying to use. Though stamps are the official medium of the USPS, some postal employees give me a hard time, asserting odd restrictions like, "You can only use 10 stamps on that," forcing me to purchase a postage sticker or lose my turn. It's not about holding up a line -- I happily yield the window to the next person in line while I stick on remaining stamps. And it's not related to the relative space for stamps on the front of the package. I'd gladly avoid this absurd and exhausting tussle, if possible, by prepping my package at the kiosk.

    Mar 24, 2017
  • anon

    I have a question or two about your automated postal center machines. The purpose of them is to alleviate traffic at the counter, to reduce the amount of employee time handling easy customer interactions. However, now I am getting pushback on stamps that were printed one day and submitted in the future. Here is the scenario: - I send autograph requests to people to sign items for me (don't judge) - I attach an APC stamp for that day to send the item and it is sent (no problem so far) - I include inside the package a SASE with an APC printed stamp (from the day the item was initially sent) for the same amount for the person to send the item back to me. The item is the same weight or less but never more. - I am getting feedback from the person on the other end that the local post office is NOT accepting the postage label from the APC that I already paid for and added to the label. - I have heard that you will not accept these pre-printed stamps anymore. You need all the mail possible. To pushback on these pre-printed stamps, without warning someone that it might not be valid, is wrong, and, frankly, illegal since you don't publish that we can't pre-purchase labels. Please let me know what your current policy is. This is important for those who want to make it easy for people to sign items and send them back (there are a lot of us). Anyone official who can add a comment would be appreciated. Thank you.

    Mar 19, 2017
  • anon

    For people who work nightshift or can't get to the post office during the day, this is genius. I was a night shift worker and used this to mail Christmas packages on my night off. Avoided the crowds! Was in and out with no hassle. I love this!!!!!

    Mar 18, 2017
  • anon

    If there is one USPS officer near the kiosk to guide customers through the self service, it will help. There is often a fear of doing sth wrong in Udit the self service kiosk for the first time.

    Mar 11, 2017
  • anon

    Went to self service kiosk to mail 2 packages. Charged my credit card for over 9.00 for one and 23.00 for the other. EXCEPT IT NEVER PRINTED OUT THE POSTAGE STAMP!! It was after hours and there was nothing I could do. No phone number, no troubleshooting advice, no FAQ's about what to do, no OUT OF ORDER sign- NOTHING!! Good thing I have my receipts. Hoping they can help me during business hours on Monday.

    Mar 11, 2017
  • anon

    Is it possible for a person to go through the steps of mailing a package at a SSK and make a payment and then not put the package in the drop and then the system shows that a package was paid for but not necessarily dropped in the drop. I ordered a package from EBAY and all it shows on the tracking confirmation is Acceptance (SSK), I paid $156 for the article, the mailer could just pay a small amount to go through the steps but then not drop the package and say that he mailed it and keep the extra money

    Mar 07, 2017
  • anon

    It is. However, it would be a waste of the sellers time and money to do so. You can open a claim if the item is not received and the buyer has to refund you if the item does not show it was delivered. I hope you've received your item by now.

    Mar 22, 2017
  • anon

    There is nothing about when they malfunction. And, no tracking provided for 1st class packages? I just used a kiosk and paid the postage and got my receipt but it failed to print the stamp/label. I have used these many times in the past so I know how they work. No contact number, no help at all. Just out the money for the postage at this point. Post Office itself was closed when I went. We need a contact number or something.

    Feb 25, 2017
  • anon

    I forgot to end my transaction after getting a mailing label for my priorty box I sent off. I put the label on and put the box in the bin but forgot to get my receipt. Does it automatically go back to clear or does my information stay up on the screen so that others can get it?

    Feb 19, 2017
  • anon

    I love the self-service postal machines. This is not a complaint. On Tuesday, 14 February 2017, I used a self-serve machine at 2220 E Palmdale Blvd Palmdale CA 93550/9819. The USPS# was 055784/9550. I don't think the machine had been calibrated to reflect the recent increase in postal rates, because the two envelopes were returned to me the next day with "postage due" on them. I added the additional postage & roughly calculated that it was the difference due to the increase. I just wanted to let you know that this happened. Thank you very much. Diana de Chene.

    Feb 16, 2017
  • anon

    I cannot buy 21 cent stamps in your website.i gave up after 10 minutes of frustration. I have a OhD and an not stupid

    Feb 15, 2017
  • anon

    I print postage through my usps account online. Would like to drop these packages in kiosk but they dont have a scanning ability. So if a package is lost I have no proof that I ever shipped it/dropped it. This makes me wait 20-25 mins at the post office to get a drop off receipt at the counter. Because of this I use Fedex more- no lines - same prices with USPS stamp price hikes.

    Feb 13, 2017
  • anon

    I would use the APC all the time; however, it does not ship to APO (military) addresses. Why?

    Jan 28, 2017
  • anon

    Is there ANY way to increase the amount of a credit card charge at the APC? I use this almost everyday for business; the machine cuts me off AFTER I've entered all shipping information when it realizes the total will go over $50.00. More than just a little annoying - big waste of time also.

    Jan 18, 2017
  • anon

    You should be able to accept media mail at the self service kiosk.

    Jan 08, 2017
  • anon

    Is there any way to retrieve a lost receipt through the kiosk? I use the kiosk almost everyday for my job and the one time I miss place a receipt is the one time the package goes missing. The office says they can't retrieve it because they don'5 have access to the machine. Help!!!!

    Jan 03, 2017
  • anon

    Allison, did you ever get an answer? I have the same issue. Tim

    Apr 01, 2017

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