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Guide to troubleshoot ordering free at-home COVID-19 tests through USPS

Only one order of four at-home COVID-19 tests can be placed for each residential address.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As Sacramento residents have started ordering their four free government-issued COVID-19 tests, many have already faced issues as they have attempted to place an order.

In December, President Joe Biden announced that the federal government would buy half a billion COVID-19 rapid test kits and distribute them at no cost to people to use at home

Starting Jan. 18, the Biden administration started taking orders for these free at-home COVID tests. Each household can only place one order of four free at-home tests.

These tests are estimated to ship through USPS within 7-12 days of ordering them.

Troubleshooting USPS error messages:

  • "Tests have already been ordered for this address"
    • USPS advises customers to check with others in their household to determine if someone else has already placed an order for their residential address.
    • Only one order of four at-home COVID-19 tests can be placed for each residential address. 
  • "We could not validate your address"
    • According to USPS, because the address entered is not recognized as a delivery address, customers must confirm the proper formatting of their address by utilizing USPS Lookup a ZIP Code
  • "We could not validate your address as complete"
    • If you receive this error message, USPS says that you may have forgotten to enter your suite or apartment number. Once you validate your address using USPS Look Up a ZIP Code, you may then attempt ordering your at-home COVID-19 tests again.
  • "The address you entered is listed as a business address"
    • The free at-home COVID-19 tests are only available to those with residential addresses or residential PO Boxes. Unfortunately, those with businesses addresses or business PO boxes are unable to order their free at-home tests.

If you still are unable to validate your address or believe you have falsely received an error message, you can file a Service Request.

If you are not able to order tests online due to internet access issues:

According to USPS, if you do not have internet access, people may place an order over the phone by calling the Covidtests.org test kit order helpline at 1-800-232-0233.

If you are experiencing USPS website difficulties:

USPS advises those experiencing difficulty with the website to either switch to a different browser or clear their web browser cache and/or cookies.

If you are unable to order your free at-home COVID-19 tests through USPS, here are other ways you can get tested for free in the Sacramento region: 

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