Canada Post Hold Package: Step by Step Guide

We all love online shopping and getting packages delivered right at our doorsteps. But sometimes it may happen that you ordered something which is expected to arrive at a time when you aren’t at home.

You don’t want to cancel the order but want the parcel to be safe somewhere till you return.

In some cases, they hold packages due to security concerns or lack of authenticity and which leads to delays in the delivery of items.

Fortunately, the Canada Post Hold Mail service offers you the facility where they can hold your package and keep it safe with them until you are available to receive it.

Sounds great, right?

So, let’s get you started on a bit more information on this so you to avail of the service right away!

Let’s go…

Canada Post Hold Package: Things Needed

To get started with the Canada Post Hold Mail service, the first thing you need is a Canada Post account. New customers need to register first to purchase their services. Old customers can simply log in to their accounts and access any of their services.

Next, you would need to decide whether you want to do it online through their website or offline at the post office. Either way, you would need proof of identity in the form of a photo identification card issued by the government.

If you are requesting it on behalf of someone else, then you would need to provide proof of authorization as well. This is done to ensure that there is no chance of identity theft and that none can misuse the service.

The last step is to complete the payment for the Canada Post Hold Mail service. The company charges you based on different factors related to the hold package service.

Once you are done with it, you can be sure that Canada Post would safely hold your package until you are home again.

How to Get Started with the “Canada Post Hold Package” Process?

There are two ways to get started with the Canada Post Hold Mail service: online and offline.


To access the service online, follow the steps below:

  • Step 1: Visit the official website of the Canada Post.
  • Step 2: Sign in if you are an old customer or sign-up to register if you are new.
  • Step 3: Enter your address and identification information.
  • Step 4: Choose the period for which you want to avail of the service.
  • Step 5: Pay the cost of the service.


To access the service offline, follow the steps below:

  • Step 1: Visit the Post Office.
  • Step 2: Ask for the Order Form you need to fill out to avail of the Hold Mail service. The form is also available online and you can be filled out at home to save some time at the post office.
  • Step 3: Submit your identification proof.
  • Step 4: Answer any questions that the officials ask you there.
  • Step 5: Pay the required service charge.
Canada post mail box near TD banking

How to Manage or Change to Hold Mail Service?

Once you have ordered, purchased, and availed of the Canada Post Hold Mail service, you can manage it online and offline.

Any changes which you may require can be easily made via your account’s dashboard or by visiting the post office.


Here are the steps to manage your service online:

  • Step 1: Visit their official website.
  • Step 2: Log into your account.
  • Step 3: Select Dashboard by navigating to your account name at the right corner of the page.
  • Step 4: Navigate to the Hold Mail option.
  • Step 5: Click on View all Orders.
  • Step 6: Find the order you wish to change.
  • Step 7: Select View Details.
  • Step 8: Click on Extend or Cancel Service as per your requirement.
The post office where you can request to change in hold mail service


Here are the steps to manage your service offline:

  • Step 1: Visit the nearest post office.
  • Step 2: Carry your reference number of the service found on your receipt, email configuration, or notice letter.
  • Step 3: Show your government-issued identification card or authorization letter as applicable.
  • Step 4: Convey your request to the official person there.
  • Step 5: Wait for the person to make the changes as per requirement.

Why Use Canada Post Hold Mail Service?

There are 3 main reasons why you should use Canada Post Hold Mail services:

List of reasons why to use Canada post hold mail service

The Mail Stays Safe

Whether you are out on a business trip or enjoying a vacation away from your home, your package stays safe with the Canada Post till you return.

Effective at Handling Temporary Business Closures

There are a lot of businesses that are seasonal or schools and home-based offices which undergo regular shutdowns. The Hold Mail service is ideal for handling the mail at the time of such temporary closures.

Easy to Purchase and Manage

Canada Post Hold Mail service can be purchased within a few simple steps. Plus, it’s very easy to manage and change the specifications of the service as per your requirements.

Cost of Canada Post Hold Mail Service

The cost to hold your package depends on broadly two factors—whether you are holding it for your residential address or for your business. And then, there are other conditions that determine the final cost.

Let’s discuss everything in detail here.

A man walking around the Canada Post post office

Residential Hold Mail

The cost to avail of their Residential Hold Mail service is $21.75 for 2 weeks. Each additional week after that will cost $10.75.

It allows including up to four names at the same location within the base fee. You also have the option to add four more names for an additional fee of $3 for each extra name.

However, you cannot include any business name within this service. This one is only for individuals.

Business Hold Mail

The cost to avail of the Business Hold Mail service is $44.75 for 1 week. Each additional day after that will cost $8.90.

It allows including up to two business names and two individual names at the same location within the base fee. You also have the option to add four more individual names for an additional fee of $3 per individual name.
For both Residential Hold Mail and Business Hold Mail, Canada Post begins its services within 3 days of the purchase.

But to be on the safer side, consider purchasing the service at least 5 business days ahead of the time you want your packages to be held.

What Canada Post Doesn’t Hold?

A man scanning a XPress post package

Sadly, not all mail is held by Canada Post under their Hold Mail services. Here are the things that the company doesn’t hold:

  • Parcels ordered with Xpresspost or Regular Parcel services.
  • Newspapers and flyers are delivered by third parties.
  • Prepaid envelops.
  • Mails are received at the postal address shared by the two businesses.
  • Personal emails are addressed to business institutions like hotels, hospitals, or office buildings.
  • Mails are ordered via any privately administered mailbox company.

Eligibility for Canada Post Hold Mail Service

Hold mail form

To be eligible for Canada Post Hold Mail Service you must fulfill the following conditions:

  • The address must be somewhere in Canada.
  • The address isn’t one of those shared delivery locations which are shared by several businesses.
  • The package isn’t mailed to locations like hospitals, dormitories, or hotels.
  • The mail isn’t received through any privately administered mailbox company.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind Before Purchasing the Canada Post Hold Mail Service

Here are a few things to keep in mind before you dive in to purchase the Canada Post Hold Mail Service:

  • Ensure that you are eligible for accessing the service and that you know all their terms and conditions. 
  • Remember which parcels cannot be held using the Hold Mail service. For those packages, ask the sender to hold your shipment till you are available to receive them.
  •  Do not forget to have your identification proof or authorization letter before purchasing the service.
  • Once the service starts, you won’t be getting any refunds.
  •  Once the period of holding mail reaches its expiry or cancellation date, Canada Post resumes its delivery service for the held mail.
  •  The company also holds the right to end the Hold Mail service any time sooner than the expiry or cancellation date, if they deem fit.
  • The Mail Pickup service won’t be available during the Hold Mail period. To avail of it, you need to cancel the Hold Mail service first.
  • Canada Post won’t be responsible for any damage caused to the package held under them. Their responsibility is only to keep your mail safe with them until you arrive.

How long does the package remain on hold with Canada Post?

Canada Post usually holds a package for as long as two weeks or 15 Days from the date of request. During this period, they ensure the held package is secured against all adversities. Also, special attention is paid to the high-valued and temperature sensitive items that are kept in hold under them.

On the applicable return date, the parcel will be available for pickup at the Post Office till the close of business at their end. Customers can visit the Post Office any time during their business hours on or before the return date to pick up their held package.

Also, one is not required to expire 15 days before visiting the Post Office to pick up their package. If a customer no longer needs to hold their mail, they can cancel the held service any time in between, as per their convenience. The held mail will then be available for pickup or delivered to the address. And the normal pickup and mail delivery services will resume immediately after the cancellation of the hold package request.

What happens if I miss the pickup date?

Naturally, after the designated time period expires, the Canada Post’s Hold Package Service will no longer be available to the customers. So, if you miss the pickup date without informing the Post Office or providing any further request to renew the service or extend the hold time, the parcel will probably be shipped back to the sender.

The returned package automatically receives the tag “refused” or “not picked up.” If the item is returned, the cost of the parcel might be refunded by the sender. The exact refund amount would depend on the specific retailer policy, which might include a cancellation charge or payment forfeiture. 

However, the shipping costs and the additional postage charges (if any) for returns or otherwise will not be refunded under any condition. It would have to be covered, either by the sender or the addressee. Also, the charge for their Hold Package service will not be returned either.

Hence, the customers shouldn’t miss the pickup date to avoid losing their hard-earned money on a package they didn’t even receive. If they can’t pick up their package due to unavoidable circumstances, informing the Post Office or extending the holding time for their parcel will be the most sensible option. If they don’t want to receive their package for any reason, they should refuse it beforehand without availing of their held package services.

How to check the status of your held package?

Checking the status of your held package at Canada Post isn’t much trouble. You don’t need anything special other than the unique Tracking ID of your package. It’s the same tracking number that allows you to check the status of delivery that can be used to check the status of your held package.

The unique tracking number can be found on your package’s shipping label or receipt copy. You can also request the sender provide you with your parcel’s tracking ID. It’s a 16 Digit number for domestic delivery and a 13 character code with a combination of alphabets and numbers for international shipping. Once you have the tracking ID, you can use it to check your parcel’s delivery or held status by visiting Canada Post’s official website.

The Tracking ID is an important piece of information that enables customers to track their parcels in real time and know the status of their held packages. Hence, it’s necessary that you keep it safe with you and do not lose it at any cost until the package arrives at your door.

Are there any restrictions on the type of packages that can be held?

Regarding providing their Hold Package Service, Canada Post has certain rules and regulations.

First and foremost, they won’t be holding items that they are prohibited from shipping or items that offer control shipping. These include items that are either dangerous or perishable, illegal or obscene items and everything else that they aren’t allowed to ship.

Secondly, the parcels which fall under the category of priority shipping, Xpresspost, Xpresspost Certified, Expedited Parcel, or Regular Parcel cannot be held at the Post Office. Also, prepaid envelopes might get delivered even during the Hold Mail period. Hence, in case such deliveries are expected, the customer must inform the sender to hold the delivery until they are again available to receive their mail.

Moreover, the “Everyone” option of the Hold Package Service is unavailable to customers who receive mail through rural route addresses. It’s applicable only when no person at the residence requires mail delivery during the Hold Mail period. Suppose Canada Post feels that the option will impede mail delivery for other recipients. In that case, they can change it to “only specific people” or cancel the service altogether.
Next, Canada Post’s Hold Package Service is not available to customers who receive their parcels through institutions like schools, hospitals, hotels, or other Businesses. The service is also unavailable to customers who use a shared postal address, receive their mail through privately administered mailboxes, or have their parcels delivered to Automated Parcel Locker.
Furthermore, Canada Post reserves the right to cancel their Held Mail Services anytime, with or without prior notice to the customers.

Is there an option to redirect a held package to a different address?

Canada Post does allow its customers to redirect their package to a different address, provided they have an account with them. But there is a minimum redirection fee that needs to be paid to avail of their Package Redirection Service in addition to the applicable shipping charges. Also, a few rules and regulations are required to be observed to access their redirection tool.

You can even use this service to redirect a held package to a different address. However, both services can’t be used at once. That is to say; you cannot redirect a package currently under their hold. To redirect your held package to another location, you must cancel the Hold Package service with Canada Post and then avail of their Package Redirection tool.

Moreover, Canada Post has some strict rules and regulations regarding redirecting mail. So, the customer first needs to check whether their package is eligible for redirection. It can be done by entering the Tracking ID of the parcel in the package redirection tool. If it’s eligible, only then will they be allowed to input the address of the new destination.

Can you renew or extend the hold time for a package?

Canada Post allows its customers to renew or extend the hold time for a package before their hold mail service ends. Irrespective of whether you purchased its Hold Package service online through their website or offline at the Post Office, Canada Post allows you to extend the service online, provided you have an account with them.

So, if you cannot pick up your package or have it delivered to your address within 15 days, you can request Canada Post to extend its hold time. All you require is the reference number from the confirmation email or the post office receipt you received when placing the original order.
However, you must ensure that you send in your request before the designated time for holding the package ends. If you request an extension after the service ends, you must purchase their Hold Package Service again. Moreover, if you don’t extend the hold time before it ends and the package leaves their facility, Canada Post can do little to renew the service.

What are the processing times for a hold package request?

Canada Post needs a minimum of 3 days and a maximum of 5 days to process a hold package request. But it’s advisable to leave some room for them to get done with the processing. So, if you wish the postal company to hold your parcels for a while, you must purchase the service at least 5 business days before the date from when your mails are to be held.

Whether you purchase the service online or via the post office, and whether it’s for a residential or business address, ensure that you give Canada Post 5 days’ processing time to execute your hold package request. 

It’s a little easier and less time-consuming if you purchase the service online, provided you have an account with Canada Post. Else, you can visit the post office to complete the process. Ordering it at the post office would require you to fill out their Hold Mail order form. However, you can save a little time by filling it out in advance. Whichever way you take, have at least 5 days to spare for the processing time.

Can the hold package service be used for international shipments?

Canada Post also allows its Hold Package Service to be used for international shipments. In the case of international mail, it holds the package for 30 days to be picked up by the addressee or delivered to the address.

However, the items shipped through their inbound Express Mail Service cannot be held for such long periods. Unless otherwise mentioned by the shipper, they must be shipped back to the sender after 5 days.

For other international shipments, Canada Post’s Hold Package Service works as usual, keeping the mail safe for 30 days with room for providing time extension and service renewal.

What happens to the package if the payment for the hold package service is not received?

Unfortunately, Canada Post would not be able to execute their Hold Package Service if they did not receive their customer’s payment for the service.

The Canada Post must get their payment cleared before activating their services. Hence, they can only hold the package for their customers if they have cleared their payment online or offline. Otherwise, there is no way that the postal company can allow its customers to avail of its services.
Hence, if the payment for the hold package service is not received, the package will be returned to the sender after a failed delivery attempt. 

Is there a limit on the number of packages that can be held at once?

There is no strict limit on the number of packages Canada Post can hold at once. However, given the limited space in some of their facilities, it’s not always possible to hold many parcels from each of their customers. 

Still, they try to accommodate as many packages as possible.

However, in case of a huge volume of mail or shortage of space, Canada Post might deter from holding certain parcels that do not fall under their Hold Package Services category. The parcel might be shipped back to the sender or delivered to an alternate address. It can also be redirected to a different address if the recipient requests it.

Hence, even though Canada Post does not limit the number of packages that can be held, it’s advisable that you don’t test its limits. So, try to confine the number of held packages to a minimum amount. To ensure that, you can either ask the sender to put a hold on your shipments for the time being or apply Canada Post’s Redirection Tool on some of the parcels expected to be delivered within the period.

Final Thoughts on Canada Post Hold Package:

It is certainly a vital facility offered by the company. It allows the customers to relax and not worry about their packages while they are away.

However, you need to know certain crucial points before availing of the service. Hope this article could provide you with the specific knowledge to serve your purpose.

Avatar for Jaren Helms

Jaren worked for over a decade in the industry as a Package Handler. He started his career with FedEx but he later also worked with companies like USPS and Deutsche Post.

Leave a Comment