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 April 19, 2017, there are no delays in normal turnaround times.

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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 usually takes 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 this is only an estimate and not a guaranteed results day, as a number of factors may cause your sample to be completed sooner or to be delayed.

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 return your sample (or after you order if we already have your sample), the myFTDNA – Pending Results page should show the test you ordered.

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

What are weekly test batches? When do batches close?

Family Tree DNA processes order payments and transitions kits to our laboratory in weekly batches. Batches are numbered sequentially. Lab processing begins the next business day after a batch closes. Note that our Genomic Research Center lab in Houston, Texas begins processing tests by test type.

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.

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.

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. If additional samples are needed, we will send a new collection kit to the primary address on the account.

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.

Will I get results through the mail?

No, results from Family Tree DNA’s tests are available online. 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.

Why aren’t my results back? What has caused the delay? Why are you re-running my results?

If we have updated your estimated completion date or if it is more than a week past the target date without your results being posted, it most often means that we did not get a quality result during the sequencing process, and we need to rerun your test. 

From our lab’s experience, this happens about 10 to 15% of the time and is part of the normal DNA process. When it does happen, the first extracted swab is rerun. The results should be available in two or three weeks.