Buying Postal Uniforms Online - A Complete Guide

We've created the most complete guide on how to buy postal uniforms online. Here are just some of the things you'll learn in this guide:

  • How to activate your postal allowance card
  • How to check the balance on your postal allowance card
  • How to buy postal uniforms from licensed vendors
  • The (3) most common types of postal uniforms
  • How to buy postal uniforms discounted

buying postal uniforms online guidelines

A brief background on USPS postal uniforms

The United States Postal Service has been delivering mail to every corner of the country for over 150 years, by plane, train, truck, and foot. Postal uniforms were created and then regulated to give postal employees the clothing needed to perform their duties in a wide range of weather. The history of postal uniforms dates back to the 1800s.

The USPS Uniform Allowance Program (UAP) was created more recently to give postal employees options & clarity in buying postal uniforms. USPS employees are often thought of as the faces & people representing the most respected and recognized organization in the United States. The Uniform Allowance Program for USPS employees allows you to easily purchase your postal uniforms, and to look your best when you're on the job. 

In short, postal uniforms are provided to employees for the following reasons:

  • To provide immediate visual identification with the Postal Service to the public.
  • To project an appearance to the public that is neat, professional, and pleasing.
  • To help develop in the employee a feeling of esprit de corps.
  • To meet standard professional practices (doctors, nurses, etc.).

    So, right about now you might be wondering, how exactly do I buy postal uniforms? Well, you're in the right place.

    How do I buy postal uniforms?

    If you're an eligible employee of the USPS you can buy postal uniforms using your Uniform Allowance Purchase Card (UAPC) in person at your local licensed postal uniform vendor, or you can buy postal uniforms online at licensed online postal uniform vendors. Buying from your local uniform store is a great way to try on sizes and to receive your postal uniforms the same day (if they have items in stock). However, buying postal uniforms online is oftentimes easier and online uniform stores tend to have more variety and are able to answer questions 24/7.

    For many postal employees, buying postal uniforms online is the only option, since their closest licensed uniform retailer can just be too far or inconvenient to travel to. Online postal uniform vendors also oftentimes have postal uniforms on clearance or on sale, and will sell direct from postal uniform discounters & manufacturers. 

    postal allowance card - UAPC

    How do I activate my postal allowance card?

    It's always best to activate your postal allowance card immediately after you've received it. You can follow the instructions listed on the back of the card, or you can call Citibank at 1-800-287-5003 or 1-800-248-4553.

    How can I verify the balance on my postal allowance card?

    You can verify your allowance by calling Citibank at 1-800-287-5003. Your postal allowance card is a prepaid card that declines with every purchase, so it's important you verify your current balance before making any postal uniform purchases. You can use your allowance card to purchase uniforms at licensed postal uniform vendors.

    How much is the postal uniform allowance in 2019?

    Your balance depends on your position at the USPS and the amount of time you've worked at the USPS. The balance can also increase year-after-year according to new regulations, so it's always best to call Citibank to verify your current balance before making any purchases.

    If your anniversary date is:

    after 5/21/2018

    after 5/21/2019

    If this is your 1st year

    Letter Carrier (Type 1)

    $452

    $464

    $556/$571

    Motor Vehicle Driver (Type 1)

    $464

    $464

    $556

    Motor Vehicle Mechanic (Type 3)

    $226

    $226

    Window Clerk (Type 2)

    $199

    $199

    $217

    Mail Handler A (Type 3)

    $92

    $92

    Mail Handler B (Type 3)

    $168

    $168

    Mail Handler C (Type 3)

    $205

    $205

    Maintenance A (Type 3)

    $94

    $94

    Maintenance B (Type 3)

    $179

    Maintenance C (Type 3)

    $226


    If I don't use my postal uniform allowance, does it roll over?

    So here's the deal, unfortunately, allowances do not roll over to the next year. If an employee does not use their allowance before their anniversary date, it's forfeited. It's also important to use your allowance with at least 2 weeks before your expiration date, in order to avoid any payment processing errors. 

    postal allowance anniversary date

    When is my postal allowance anniversary date?

    Your anniversary date is the earlier date you were required to wear your uniform, following your initial 90-day probationary period. 

    I'm a new CCA, how can I purchase postal uniforms?

    After your 90-day probationary period, you'll be eligible to receive a CCA voucher from your station manager or supervisor. This will allow you to purchase postal uniforms at authorized postal uniform vendors. We've created an in-depth how-to on purchasing postal uniforms using a CCA voucher.

    What is the 90-day probationary period?

    Great question. Generally, new postal employees are required to complete a 90-days worked probationary period (or 120 calendar days) before they're given a uniform allowance.

    When does the 90-day probation period start for USPS postal employees?

    The 90-day probation period usually starts your first day of orientation. You should receive a PS-50 form in the mail that states your first date. After your 90-day probation period, you'll receive information on your postal uniform allowance. However, it's important to note that the paperwork for the uniform allowance can take up to 6-weeks to process. So there could be some time before that employee receives their UAPC.

    uniform allowance purchase card balance

    What if the balance on my postal allowance card is not enough to cover my purchase?

    You can pay the remaining balance with a personal debit card or credit card, but it's best to contact us beforehand so we can make sure your order is processed correctly.

    I've lost my postal allowance card, how can I replace it?

    You should immediately report your lost card or changes of mailing address to Citibank (1.800.248.4553), please note, replacement cards take 5 to 10 days to process. 

    If I don't have a uniform allowance purchase card, can I still buy postal uniforms?

    Generally speaking, you aren't allowed to buy postal uniforms unless you have a valid UAPC. Licensed postal uniform vendors of the USPS Uniform Program are required to see a valid UAPC at the time of purchase, in order to properly identify an eligible postal employee. However, if you're a CCA, a can submit CCA voucher. The licensed postal uniform vendor will then contact your station manager/supervisor and confirm eligibility and payment.

    Are postal uniforms subject to sales tax?

    Your postal uniform purchases are exempt from sales tax, but only if you pay using your UAPC. Any purchases made using your personal credit or debit cards may be subject to sales tax.

    Which postal employees get a uniform allowance to buy postal uniforms?

    There are 6 types of postal employees who are eligible for postal uniform allowances

    Type 1
    city letter carriers, clerk/special delivery messengers, clerks performing city letter carrier duties, motor vehicle operators, tractor-trailer operators, driving instructors and examiners, letterbox mechanics, ramp clerks and transfer clerks, AMF, performing ramp clerk duties, area maintenance technician/specialists, maintenance mechanics working as letterbox mechanics (ELM 932.11i), passenger elevator operators, and elevator starters. 
    Type 2
    employees assigned to retail operations.
    Type 3
    vehicle maintenance, custodial maintenance, mail handler, BMEU, and clerical employees eligible under ELM 932.12 and 932.13.
    Type 4

    security force postal police officers.

    Type 5
    bargaining unit and non-bargaining unit medical personnel.
    Type 6
    supervisors eligible for work clothes (ELM 938.1).


    Am I allowed to purchase postal uniforms that aren't for my position/craft?

    Unfortunately, you aren't allowed to wear postal uniforms that aren't authorized for your position/craft. Type 1 postal employees are only allowed to wear type 1 uniforms, type 2 postal employees are only allowed to wear type 2 uniforms, and so on. Postal uniform vendors are also not authorized to provide postal uniforms that employees that are purchasing outside of their position.

    If you change your craft, your manager/supervisor can request to have your allowance change from one type of craft to another. You won't be receiving a new UAPC, but your balance will update to reflect the change.

    At this point you might be a little confused. This is all great information, but how exactly do I know which uniform is approved for my position? Well, we're here to help!

    The three most common types of postal uniforms.

    type 1 letter carrier postal uniforms

    Type 1 Postal Uniforms

    These uniforms are most commonly worn by letter carriers, & motor vehicle support (MVS) drivers. The USPS logo on these postal uniforms should be vertically aligned.

    • Type 1 tops: Typically include short sleeve shirts, polo shirts, & shirt jackets. Cold weather tops include bulky & jersey knit sweaters, as well as various outerwear like windbreakers, bomber jackets, parkas, & all-weather jackets. 
    • Type 1 bottoms: Depending on the weather, type 1 postal employees should wear shorts or trousers (with stripe on the side) or all-weather/waterproof rain pants.
    • Type 1 accessories/shoes: Accessories for type 1 uniforms often include cold-weather gloves, and head gear such as baseball caps, bucket hats, and even face masks. Smooth black leather belts, & USPS certified black leather shoes with visible SR/USA label.

    So essentially, if you're a city letter carrier, CCA, or motor vehicle support/driver a typical warm weather outfit may consist of postal approved headwear, a type 1 shirt (like a polo or shirt jacket), postal approved trousers, and postal approved shoes.

    A cold weather outfit may consist of a knit fur cap, a type 1 shirt, postal approved outerwear, cold weather bottoms (like this incredible all-weather pants), and postal approved insulated winter boots.

    type 2 window clerk postal uniforms

    Type 2 Postal Uniforms

    These uniforms are most commonly worn by window clerks, & other retail associates. The USPS logo on these postal uniforms should be horizontally aligned.

    • Type 2 tops: Typically include short & long sleeve dress shirts, and short & long sleeve polo shirts. Cold weather tops include cardigan sweater vests and cardigan sweaters, with a postal eagle logo jacquard knit pattern.
    • Type 2 bottoms: Dress-style, all season weight, in postal navy blue or heather gray.
    • Type 2 accessories/shoes: Leather belt, black with gold or silver buckle. Optional butcher-style apron. USPS certified black leather shoes with visible SR/USA label.

    A typical outfit for type 2 employees may consist of a polo shirt, dark navy blue pants, and postal approved shoes

    NOTE: Type 2 postal employees, like window clerks & other retail operations, may only buy postal approved shoes starting in their 3rd anniversary year.

    type 3 mail handler maintenance postal uniforms

    Type 3 Postal Uniforms

    These uniforms are most commonly worn by mail handlers and maintenance. The USPS logo on these postal uniforms should be horizontally aligned.

    • Type 3 tops: Typically include short & long sleeve denim shirts, dark navy blue polo shirts, and dark navy blue t-shirts. Cold weather items include postal blue zip-front sweaters/hoodies with horizontal USPS logo.
    • Type 3 bottoms: Twill weave, and dark navy blue.
    • Type 3 accessories: Baseball hats (plain or mesh), and fur caps. USPS certified black leather shoes with visible SR/USA label.

    A standard uniform for type 3 postal employees may consist of a postal approved type 3 shirt, dark navy blue pants, and postal approved shoes.

    You can also check out the official full USPS guide on Authorized Uniform Items and Combinations.

    How can I buy postal uniforms discounted?

    Let's be honest, everyone loves a good deal and always wants the most value for what they're paying. But it isn't always the best move to buy the cheapest postal uniforms online, it's also important to buy high quality postal uniforms, and to make sure the company you're buying from offers additional perks, like free tracking, or free hemming on pants.

    Here at PostalVendor.com we source high quality, made in the USA, postal uniforms direct from American manufacturers. They're union made as often as possible and we pass along those savings direct to our customers. We also always provide FREE tracking confirmation with each purchase once we ship it out, and we also provide FREE hemming on pants. 

    But wait, there's more! We've also created specific postal uniform bundles, complete with everything you'll need for the year, with savings up to 20% on top!

    If you've enjoyed this postal uniform guide, please feel free to share it with co-workers & colleagues. Have a suggestion, tip, or edit? Feel free to contact us and we'll be sure to get back to you as soon as possible!