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.

Shipping and Handling at Family Tree DNA

What is Family Tree DNA’s standard shipping method?

For domestic orders, Family Tree DNA uses USPS first class shipping.

How much does standard shipping at Family Tree DNA cost?

There is combined shipping and handling charge of $12.95 USD for new test kit orders.

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 USPS First-Class Mail International. There are some countries where shipping requires special processing. These countries are Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. There are two countries, Sudan and Iran, whose customs restrictions prevent us from shipping to them. Due to the wide range of international postage costs, international shipments do not include return postage.

I just placed my order. How long will it take the kit to reach me?

Once you have ordered, we typically mail kits 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 3 to 5 business days. However, depending on your location, it may be as much as 10 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 USPS shipping to most international locations is $12.95 USD.

The postal service says my completed kit has been delivered to FTDNA. Why haven't you marked my kit as received yet?

Typically, Family Tree DNA checks received kits into our system within 1-2 business days after delivery to our office.

Kits with USPS tracking usually get a status of “delivered” before they are actually delivered to our office. This is due to custom processing by our local post office to more efficiently handle the high volume of kits that we receive. Essentially, our local post office collects received kits in large mail bags and delivers these bags to our office once they are full. Kits with tracking are scanned by the post office and marked as “delivered” when placed into one of these mail bags. No further tracking is done after this.  Remember, a mail bag that contains a tracked kit may actually take several days to be delivered to our office.

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 Starting Federal Express Price (Up to 4 Kits)
Brazil Yes - Yes $45 US
Mexico Sometimes Yes Yes $75
Japan Seldom Yes - -
Russia Seldom Yes - $75 US
Saudi Arabia Seldom Yes Yes $55 US
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, at least part of the time, require special handling when customers return kits:

  • Brazil
  • Mexico
  • Japan
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia

We have prepared the forms and disclaimers you will need to return your kit. For copies, please contact us, and select the Shipping category. If you discover that you need a special form or disclaimer related to returning your test kit from another location, please contact us, and select the Shipping category.

My kit was lost in the mail. What do I do?

If your kit has been lost in the mail, we can have another kit shipped to you. Please contact us, and select the Shipping category. Please make sure to include your kit number. We will have a replacement kit sent to you the next business day.

Your kit number was included in the e-mail we sent you after you placed your online order.
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If I order multiple kits at the same time, will you combine the shipping costs?

No, our shipping and handling fees cover the materials in the test kit, the time to prepare it, and the actual shipping fee, whether 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 queue for lab processing. Should the lab discover that a new sample is needed, you will be sent a new kit to the address on the account.