What Does ‘Indirect Signature Required’ Mean?(2024)

In the world of e-commerce and rapid home deliveries, the term ‘Indirect Signature Required’ has become increasingly prevalent. As consumers, it’s crucial to understand what this term means for us, especially when it comes to receiving our much-awaited parcels. This article provides a thorough look at ‘Indirect Signature Required’, comparing it with direct signature requirements, highlighting its benefits and potential risks, and explaining how to request this delivery option.

Different Types of Signatures

When shipping a package, there are typically four types of signature requirements or delivery confirmation options available:

  1. Direct Signature: As mentioned earlier, a direct signature requires the recipient or an authorized representative to sign for the package at the delivery address. This type of signature ensures a higher level of security and accountability, as the package is handed directly to the intended recipient.
  2. Indirect Signature: An indirect signature allows the courier to leave the package at a safe location or obtain a signature from someone nearby, such as a neighbor or building manager. It provides more flexibility for recipients who may not be available at the time of delivery.
  3. No Signature Required: Some deliveries may not require any signature. In such cases, the courier can leave the package at the doorstep or in a designated safe spot without obtaining any acknowledgment of receipt.
  4. Adult Signature Required: This type of signature is typically used for packages containing age-restricted items, such as alcohol or tobacco. The recipient or an authorized adult must be present to sign for the package and confirm their age.

Definition of ‘Indirect Signature Required’

An ‘Indirect Signature Required’ is a shipping policy employed by courier companies to confirm the delivery of a package.

When a package has an indirect signature requirement, it means the courier can complete the delivery even if the recipient isn’t physically present to sign for it. The courier can leave the package at a safe location or obtain a signature from someone nearby such as a neighbor or building manager. It’s a flexible alternative to the traditional direct signature required method, designed to ensure more successful deliveries.

Direct Signature vs. Indirect Signature

Comparing indirect and direct signature requirements can shed more light on their specificities. A direct signature requires the addressee or a person at the delivery address to sign for the package, providing a direct acknowledgment of receipt.

On the other hand, an indirect signature allows for more flexibility, enabling a package to be signed for by someone other than the recipient or at a different location. This comparison underlines the increased convenience of indirect signature deliveries, especially for recipients who can’t always be at home to receive their parcels.

When is an Indirect Signature Required?

Courier companies typically require an indirect signature for deliveries that are valuable or need to be tracked but aren’t so high-value that they necessitate a direct signature. They may also be used when sending packages to residential addresses where the recipient may not be home during delivery hours.

Companies might also use this method for repeated deliveries, where a previous direct signature requirement failed due to the recipient’s absence.

Benefits of Indirect Signature Required Option

The ‘Indirect Signature Required’ option comes with several benefits:

  • Flexibility: This option offers more flexibility to recipients who aren’t able to be present at the time of delivery.
  • Convenience: It saves recipients the trouble of rescheduling deliveries or picking up packages from courier offices.
  • Efficiency: It benefits courier companies by reducing the number of failed delivery attempts.

Potential Risks or Downsides

While ‘Indirect Signature Required’ offers convenience, it also carries potential risks:

  • Package Safety: There’s a chance that the package might get stolen or damaged if left unattended.
  • Misdelivery: There’s a possibility of misdelivery if the courier leaves the package with an unreliable third party.

Responsibility of The Courier

Couriers have a responsibility to ensure the package’s safe delivery while following the ‘Indirect Signature Required‘ policy.

They must find a secure location to leave the package or identify a reliable neighbour or building manager who can sign on the recipient’s behalf.

How to Request an Indirect Signature

Requesting an indirect signature is relatively straightforward. When placing an order, customers can choose the ‘Indirect Signature Required’ delivery option if offered by the courier. In some cases, the courier company may provide the option on their website or app where the recipient can change delivery preferences.

To request an indirect signature for your delivery, follow these steps:

  1. Check Availability: Verify if the courier company offers the indirect signature option.
  2. During Checkout: Review the delivery options and look for ‘Indirect Signature Required’ or a similar description.
  3. Select the Option: Choose the indirect signature requirement during the checkout process.
  4. Confirm Selection: Double-check that the indirect signature requirement is correctly indicated.
  5. Provide Instructions (if necessary): If needed, provide specific details like a preferred safe location or trusted neighbor for the indirect signature.
  6. Complete the Order: Proceed to finalize your order, following the platform or courier’s guidelines.

Note that the availability of the indirect signature option may vary, so contact customer support if you have any questions or need further assistance.

Also Read: What does ‘Delayed, Not Yet Shipped’ Mean on Amazon? (2023)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I waive my right to sign for a package?

No, you cannot waive your right to sign for a package if the delivery requires an indirect signature.

What happens if the courier can’t find a safe location or reliable third party for the indirect signature?

The courier may follow the specific policies of the courier company, such as leaving a notice for re-delivery or providing instructions for package pickup.

Can I change the delivery preference after placing an order?

It depends on the courier company’s policies. Contact the courier directly to inquire about changing the delivery preference.

Are there any additional fees associated with the indirect signature requirement?

Typically, there are no additional fees associated with the indirect signature requirement, but review the courier service’s terms and conditions for any potential charges.

Can I track the status of my package when an indirect signature is required?

Yes, you can generally track the status of your package even when an indirect signature is required using the provided tracking number from the courier.


Understanding the ‘Indirect Signature Required’ option can greatly enhance your e-commerce experience. It’s a flexible, efficient method that ensures the successful delivery of your packages, especially when you can’t be present to receive them. However, remember to weigh its convenience against potential risks and always ensure you’re making informed decisions about your deliveries.

By being aware of the different types of signatures and their implications, you can better navigate the delivery process and enjoy a hassle-free shopping experience.

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