You will find answers to our most common questions on this page.  Explore the rest of the Learning Center to find answers to more complicated issues by clicking the menu bar above.

 

Before I Buy

You may learn more about each type of test we offer with our Beginner’s Guide to Genetic Genealogy.

What payment methods do you take? How do I pay for an order?

When placing an order online, you may pay via credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express) or Paypal.

If you prefer to pay via US check or US money order, please use our contact form to submit a request to customer service.  We are able to take bank transfers from our International customers.  Please use our contact form to submit a request to customer service.

Note: We will process tests only after we receive payment in full.

How do I order a kit?

Once you have chosen a test, you can place your order through the Family Tree DNA website. You have the option of ordering directly or through one of our volunteer run projects.*

To order through a project, go to the Family Tree DNA Project Index page. The projects are listed by type and the first letter of the project name. If the group pre-screens members, you will have to submit a join request to the project administrator. The project administrator will then contact you with directions for ordering a kit through the project if you are accepted into the group.

*You do not have to order through a group project, although most Y-DNA tests get a discount if you order through a project.

What are your Terms of Service and Privacy Policy?
How do I know the order I placed was completed?

After you have placed the order, we will send you a confirmation email. Be sure to check your spam folder if you do not receive the email within a few minutes.

How do you collect the sample for the DNA test?

We use a cheek swab sample and not a “spit test.” You may read more about our swab process here.

After I return the kit, how long will results take?

As of March 22, 2017, the following tests have delays in normal turnaround times:

Family Finder – 5 to 7 weeks

YDNA – 7 to 9 weeks

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Most of our tests typically take six to eight weeks to complete from the time we receive your sample in our lab, except Family Finder, which is usually four to six weeks and Big Y which is usually eight to ten weeks.  Note that pending dates are an estimate only and subject to lab volume and quality control.

After we notify you that we have received your kit, you may sign in to your myFTDNA account to check your expected results date.

Please note that your batch number is not a good indicator of when your test will be complete; this is only an indication of when your test was ordered in our lab.

I tested my DNA at another company. May I transfer my results to Family Tree DNA?

We offer two types of transfers, autosomal DNA and Y-DNA.  We are able to take autosomal DNA raw data results from AncestryDNA and the V3 results from 23andme.  We accept Y-DNA transfers primarily from AncestryDNA.

To learn more about our autosomal transfers, click here.

To learn more about our Y-DNA transfers, click here.

To learn more about transfers from DNA Heritage, click here.

Is it possible to pay for a kit and send it to another person (third-party billing)?

Yes. We accept third-party billing. When you place an order, you may choose a billing address that is different from the shipping address. Please make sure to read the third-party payment rules on our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Is it possible to pay for an upgrade or additional test on someone else’s kit?

Yes. You may pay for an upgrade on someone else’s kit. The kit owner must first agree and submit their permission in writing to Customer Support through the primary email address on the kit. Customer Support will need to place the order and can assist you with billing. Please contact customer service, and make sure to read the third-party payment rules on our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Note: The individual may change their mind and have your access to their account blocked. They will need to repay all other parties for any testing before we are able to facilitate their request.

 

Shipping

Flexible shipping options are part of why Family Tree DNA has a global database. We offer many options to both our domestic and international customers. When needed, we provide necessary customs forms to make the process as fast and straightforward as possible.

What is Family Tree DNA’s standard shipping method?
For domestic orders, Family Tree DNA uses United States Postal Service (USPS) first-class shipping.
How much does standard shipping at Family Tree DNA cost?
There is a combined shipping and handling charge of $12.95 (US dollars) for test kits within the United States.
Do you offer expedited shipping? How much does it cost?
Yes. Once you have placed your order, you may request that it be shipped to you by Federal Express with either next-day or three-day shipping. For domestic orders, next-day shipping is $35 (US dollars) and three-day shipping is $25 (US dollars) within the continental US. Either option with a Saturday delivery is $50.

International prices vary.

To upgrade shipping, please call Customer Service at (713) 868-1438 Monday thru Thursday 9–4:30 CST & Friday 9–12 CST, and make sure to have your kit number available. For international pricing, please have a physical address ready for a shipping price quote.

Important: As the shipping and handling fee covers the costs of materials and labor, expedited shipping fees are in addition to the standard $12.95 shipping and handling fee.

Note: Your kit number is included in the email that we sent to you after you placed your online order.

Does Family Tree DNA ship internationally?
Yes. We ship kits to most international locations. Standard shipping is by United States Postal Service (USPS) First-Class Mail International. There are some countries where shipping requires special processing. These are Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. There are two countries whose customs restrictions prevent us from shipping to them. These countries are Sudan and Iran.
I just placed my order. How long will it take the kit to reach me?
Once you have placed your order, we will mail your kit(s) first class the next business day from our office in Houston, Texas. For orders within the United States, United States Postal Service transit time for first-class mail is usually three to five business days. However, depending on your location, it may take as long as ten business days. International orders can take several weeks to arrive.

Important: Due to the high volume of orders during sales and holiday seasons, shipping times may be longer than normal as a result of internal delays and delays with the United States Postal Service. Please request expedited shipping if you need an order delivered prior to a holiday. Note that additional charges apply for expedited shipping. To request expedited shipping, contact Customer Support at (713) 868-1438 Monday thru Thursday 9–4:30 CST & Friday 9–12 CST.

How much does standard international shipping at Family Tree DNA cost?
The charge for standard shipping to most international locations is $12.95 (US dollars).
What countries require special handling when Family Tree DNA ships a kit or kits to them?
The table below shows the countries where we know there are potential issues that require special handling. Please do not hesitate though to contact us before ordering to confirm that we have shipped successfully to your location.

Country Customs Disclaimer Delays During Shipping Federal Express International Recommended Approximate Federal Express Price (Up to 4 Kits)
Brazil Yes Yes Yes $75 USD
Mexico Sometimes Yes - -
Japan Seldom Yes - -
Russia Seldom Yes Yes $75 USD
Saudi Arabia Seldom Yes Yes $75 USD

Important: As the shipping and handling fee covers the costs of materials and labor, expedited shipping fees are in addition to the standard $12.95 shipping and handling fee.

What countries require special handling when customers return kits to Family Tree DNA?
We are aware that in some or all cases the following countries will require special handling, at least sometimes, when customers return kits:

  • Brazil
  • Mexico
  • Japan
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia

We have prepared the forms and disclaimers you will need to return your kit. Please contact customer service for copies of these forms and disclaimers. If you discover that you need a special form or disclaimer related to returning your test kit from another location, please contact us.

My kit was lost in the mail. What do I do?
If your kit has been lost in the mail, please contact customer service, and make sure to include your kit number in the message. We will have a replacement kit sent to you the next business day.

Note: Your kit number was included in the email we sent you after you placed your online order.

If I order multiple kits at the same time, will you combine the shipping costs?

No. Our shipping and handling cost covers the materials in the test kit, the time to prepare it, and the actual shipping fee, whether or not domestic or international. Therefore, each kit has a standard Shipping and Handling fee added.

When I order an upgrade, do you need a new sample? How will I know if you are sending a new kit?
Most of the time, the DNA extracted from your original test kit is enough for any upgrade you order. When you have paid in full for the upgrade and the weekly batch has closed, your order is added to the cue for lab processing. Should the lab discover that a new sample is needed, you will be sent a new kit.

Billing & Refunds

What payment methods do you take? How do I pay for an order?

When placing an order online, you may pay via credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express) or Paypal.

If you prefer to pay via US check or US money order, please contact customer service.  We are able to take bank transfers from our international customers.  Please contact customer service for more information.

Note: We will process tests only after we receive payment in full.

Can I change my test before it is sent to the lab?

Yes. We can help you change your order before your test is batched to the lab.

Please see our Refund Policy for more details.

What is Family Tree DNA's refund policy?

Generally, once a test has gone to the lab, we are not able to refund.  All refunds are at the discretion of Family Tree DNA. Please allow three to five business days for any refund to be processed.

You may learn more about our Refund Policy here.

Is it possible to pay for a kit and send it to another person (third-party billing)?

Yes. We accept third-party billing. When you place an order, you may choose a billing address that is different from the shipping address. Please make sure to read the third-party payment rules on our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Is it possible to pay for an upgrade or additional test on someone else’s kit?

Yes. You may pay for an upgrade on someone else’s kit. The kit owner must first agree and submit their permission in writing to Customer Support through the primary email address on the kit. Customer support will need to place the order and can assist you with billing. Please contact customer service, and be sure you read the third-party payment rules on our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Note: The individual may change their mind and have your access to their account blocked. They will need to repay all other parties for any testing before we are able to facilitate their request.

After I Swab

All of our kits go through the same basic process once we have the sample in our lab.  Here are some of our most common questions about your test status and what we do with your sample.

After I return the kit, how long will results take?

As of March 22, 2017, the following tests have delays in normal turnaround times:

Family Finder – 5 to 7 weeks

YDNA – 7 to 9 weeks

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Most of our tests typically take six to eight weeks to complete from the time we receive your sample in our lab, except Family Finder, which is usually four to six weeks and Big Y which is usually eight to ten weeks.  Note that pending dates are an estimate only and subject to lab volume and quality control.

After we notify you that we have received your kit, you may sign in to your myFTDNA account to check your expected results date.

Please note that your batch number is not a good indicator of when your test will be complete; this is only an indication of when your test was ordered in our lab.

I have ordered a test. How soon will my account show the tests's pending status?

The pending status and an estimated results date will be shown after your order is added to a weekly batch. Weekly batches are usually done on Wednesdays. Therefore, if you check your myFTDNA account on the Thursday after you order, the myFTDNA – Awaiting Lab Results page should show the test you ordered.

Note: Batches may close earlier to accommodate lab staffing during sales and United States holidays.

Will I get results through the mail?

No. Family Tree DNA is a web-based product and results from Family Tree DNA’s tests are available online only. You may access them through your myFTDNA account.

We do offer printable certificates for three types of tests: mtDNA, standard Y-DNA STR, and Y-DNA SNP (haplogroup). However, rather than mail you a one-time certificate, we allow you to print certificates from your myFTDNA account for FREE. As you order additional tests and upgrades, the system will automatically update the results certificate(s) available to you.

Are you rerunning my results?

If it is more than a week past the target date without us posting your results, it most often means that we did not get a quality result during the initial sequencing process.

From our lab’s experience, this happens less than ten percent of the time. When it does, we rerun the first extracted swab. The results of additional tests should be available in three to four weeks.

Why are you rerunning my results? Does this mean I need to submit a new DNA sample?

We will run your sample again if the first test does not provide clear and unambiguous results. This can happen for a number of reasons such as a poor scrape or unclear results on one or more markers. Please note that the rules for retesting Family Finder differ from our other tests. You may learn more about Family Finder testing by reading our Refund Policy.

In most cases, we will not need to request additional samples. This is only necessary if we have exhausted the samples that you have already provided. We will contact you and request additional samples if necessary.

What are weekly test batches? When do batches close?

Family Tree DNA processes order payments and kits transition to our laboratory in weekly batches. Batches are numbered sequentially. Lab processing by test type begins the next business day after a batch closes. 

If a test is your first at Family Tree DNA, the lab begins processing your kit the next business day after the batch closes. If you have ordered a new test or an upgrade, the lab begins processing that test the next business day after the batch closes. Usually, batches are closed on Wednesdays. However, we may close a batch early to accommodate lab staffing during sales and United States holidays.

Note: Individual tests may take a greater or a lesser amount of time to complete than other tests even of the same type in the same batch. You should check your myFTDNA account for an estimated time to completion date after we have batched your test.

When I order an upgrade, do you need a new sample? How will I know if you are sending a new kit?

Most of the time, the DNA extracted from your original test kit is enough for any upgrade you order. When you have paid in full for the upgrade and the weekly batch has closed, your order is added to the cue for lab processing. Should the lab discover that a new sample is needed, you will be sent a new kit.

Why aren’t my results back? What has caused the delay?

If it is more than a week past the target date without our posting your results, it most often means that we did not get a quality result during the initial sequencing process.

From our lab’s experience, this happens less than ten percent of the time. When it does, we rerun the first extracted swab. The results of additional should be available in three to four weeks.

Website Questions

If you are experiencing issues with our website on your computer, try refreshing your browser and/or clearing your cache.  Please use our Contact Us page, to report bugs or website issues.

My password won't work.

You must have cookies turned on in order to sign in to myFTDNA.  If your cookies are on and you still cannot sign in, please contact customer support.

I can't sign in/I lost my password/I lost my kit number.

To sign in to your kit:

Go to www.familytreedna.com, and click on SIGN IN to myFTDNA in the upper-right corner.

Enter the kit number you wish to sign in to in the Kit No. or Username box. Enter the password that was emailed to you into the Password box. Click LOG IN.


If you have lost your kit number, please follow these steps:

Go to www.familytreedna.com, and click on SIGN IN to myFTDNA in the upper-right corner.

Click Forgot Your Password? below the sign in fields.

Under the Forgot Your Kit Number or Username? section, enter the primary email address on the kit, and click the GET KIT # OR USERNAME button.

An email will be sent to the primary email on your account with all of the kit numbers associated with that email address.


If you have lost your password, please follow these steps:

Go to www.familytreedna.com, and click on SIGN IN to myFTDNA in the upper-right corner.

Click Forgot Your Password? below the sign in fields.

Under the Forgot Your Kit Number or Username? section, enter your kit number in the Kit # or Username box, and enter the primary email address on the kit in the E-mail Address box. Click GET PASSWORD.

An email will be sent to the primary email on your account with instructions on resetting your password. Please allow up to 15 minutes for the password to become active in our system.

What browsers are supported on the Family Tree DNA website?

Currently, our myFTDNA website is compatible with the following web browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 9+
  • Firefox 28+
  • Chrome 30+
  • Safari 7+

Note: We are not mobile ready, and you may experience trouble with our website on a mobile device or tablet.

How do I unsubscribe from emails?

You may click on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any email to be removed from our marketing emails.

If you wish to change your email notifications, you may do so in Account Settings. To access your account settings, click on your user name/kit number in the upper-right corner of the web page.

Privacy

The Privacy & Sharing page is where you can control most of your privacy and sharing options.

To access the Privacy & Sharing page: sign in to your myFTDNA account, click on your name in the upper-right corner of the page, and select Privacy Settings.

Where can I find Family Tree DNA's Privacy Policy?

Family Tree DNA employs the most stringent privacy policy. We are committed to the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor program – The European Commission’s Directive on Data Protection. Family Tree DNA does not share information with third parties, and our customers choose what information they want to disclose.  We include our Privacy Policy as part of our Terms of Service.  To view our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, as well as find our links to the EU Safe Harbor information, click here: Privacy Policy and Terms of Service  

Do you analyze health information? Will you allow insurance companies to have access to any information?

No. Family Tree DNA does not sell clinical or diagnostic tests. Our tests are for ancestry and genealogy.

Because the field of genetics is dynamic and constantly evolving with consistent research being done around the entire genome or parts of it, there is no assurance that the raw data of any tests of any kind may reveal information from which a qualified person may extract health related information.

We do not share your results other than for the purposes to which you have consented or may consent to. In addition, in 2008, GINA (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act) passed in the United States. The GINA Act stops insurance firms from using DNA test results to deny coverage. All of your raw data and information are held behind your sign in pages at myFTDNA.

How do I control who sees myFamilyTree?

You may control all of your privacy settings on the myFTDNA page for the kit.  You may learn more specifics about privacy and your Family Tree on the Family Tree Privacy Settings page.

How does participating in a group project effect my privacy?

Joining a project does expose some identifying information about you to the project volunteer administrator. It may also expose non-identifying information about you through the project’s Public Project Website (should it have one).

The project volunteer administrator can see your results and some of the information listed in your myFTDNA account such as your contact information. The project volunteer administrator will not be able to see your password.

Projects often set up a website on which member results are posted. How these results are identified is up to the project volunteer administrator. Results are often listed by the participant’s oldest known ancestor, kit number, or last name. You may wish to discuss what information will be available on the project’s website before joining a project.

How do I opt-out of sharing my ethnic percentage information with my Family Finder matches?

1) Sign in to your myFTDNA account.

2) On the top navigation bar, click the gear wheel and choose Settings from the menu.

3) To opt-out of or opt-in to sharing your ethnic percentages with your matches:

Opt-out – on the Privacy & Sharing page, select the Do not share my ethnic breakdown with my matches radio button.

Select not to share

Select not to share.

Opt-in – on the Privacy & Sharing page, select the Share my ethnic breakdown with my matches radio button.

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Select to share with matches.

4) Click the Save button.

Click Save

Click the Save button.

Does Family Tree DNA employ the same privacy policies as DNA Heritage?

Family Tree DNA employs the most stringent privacy policy. We are committed to the United States EU Safe Harbor program – the European Commission’s Directive on Data Protection. Family Tree DNA does not share information with third parties, and our customers choose what information they disclose.