Submitting documents to the USPTO when unable to file electronically

System failures happen. Whether it’s our Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) or your own computer, filing electronically may not be possible on the day of your deadline. 

If your filing deadline is today, and you’re unable to file your documents online, we have alternate filing options. Which option you choose depends on the filing problem you’re experiencing. However, you may only use these options if your deadline is on the same day you are unable to file online. 

If your filing deadline is not today and has not yet passed, try filing again through TEAS later. Check our systems status and availability page for updates on the TEAS system. You may also email TEAS@uspto.gov for technical assistance. If, when trying to access the form, you get an error message about an inappropriate status, contact the TEAS team immediately.

If, for an extraordinary reason, you need to file before your deadline and you cannot file electronically today, you may file a petition to explain your extraordinary reason using the TEAS Petition to Director form, if available, or you may file on paper.

If your filing deadline has passed, please refer to our petitions forms to determine if filing a petition is appropriate for your situation. If you have questions about which petition form is appropriate, contact the Petitions Office.

Filing deadlines that fall on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday within the District of Columbia extend to the next business day. See TMEP §308 for more information.

If you’re trying to file through the Electronic Systems for Trademark Trials and Appeals (ESTTA), follow the instructions on the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) page.

We will not accept any filings by email.

How to complete your filing

If you can access the TEAS Petition to the Director form

While TEAS may still be working on the deadline date for your filing, you may not be able to complete or access a specific TEAS form or you may not be able to pay using our fee payment processing system.

In this case, you may complete and file a TEAS petition form that includes your other submission documents on your submission due date. To do so, complete the Petition to the Director form online. 

The TEAS petition form requires:

  • An explanation about why you are filing a petition (explain why you were not able to file before and/or by the deadline using TEAS) that is verified with a declaration (the form has the declaration)
  • Evidence showing that TEAS was unavailable (e.g., screenshot of the error message you’re receiving) including any fees you paid or must pay
  • The particular document you are trying to file 
  • A petition filing fee of $100, along with any other fees needed for the particular document. In your filing, you may request a refund of the petition fee if your inability to file electronically was due to a United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) system error.  

If you can’t access the TEAS Petition to the Director form

Check the systems status and availability page or email TEAS@uspto.gov to see if there is a known problem with TEAS. If the systems status and availability page shows there is planned maintenance, you must file your petition on paper. You may not fax your documents to the Petitions Office.  If the systems status and availability page shows there is an unexpected outage with TEAS or you have been instructed by USPTO staff to submit a document via fax, you may fax your documents to the Petitions Office. No petition or petition fee is needed in this situation.

Visit the MyUSPTO and USPTO.gov account FAQs if you’re having trouble logging in.

If you may not fax in your filing, you will need to file a petition and your other submission documents on paper.  

To complete your Petition to the Director under Trademark Rule 2.147, you should use our petition cover sheet for your filing. The cover sheet will include a checklist of what you need in your submission. You will need to: 

  • Mail both the petition cover sheet and other submission documents on your submission’s due date. 
  • For the statement of the facts, provide:
    • Proof that TEAS was unavailable on your submission due date. For example, a printout of the TEAS error message with date and time and/or a statement in support of this fact. 
    • A signed declaration stating that the information you provided as proof is accurate. You may use the declaration on the cover sheet to fulfill this requirement. 
  • Pay the $200 paper-filing petition fee. In your filing, you may request a refund of the petition fee if your inability to file electronically was due to a USPTO system error. See how to pay for your filing for payment options.
  • Pay the paper filing fee(s) for your submission. See the fee schedule.
  • Complete your paper document and attach it to the cover sheet. Go to our TEAS PDFs webpage. You may print out the specific PDF for your TEAS form and complete it by hand or use the PDF as a reference for what to include in your filing.
  • Sign the certificate of mailing. This must be included in your submission.

If you’re experiencing a widespread disastrous event, see our disaster guidance for what you need to do to file.

If you need help determining if any of these situations apply to you, contact us.

How to pay for your filing

You must calculate how much your submission costs. Costs vary depending on what specific form you are filing, whether you’re filing on paper instead of electronically, and if you are submitting a petition. Additionally, costs may change depending on when the submission is filed in relation to filing deadlines. Use the trademark processing fees table to help figure out what your submission will cost. Paper submissions have higher fees.

If you’re filing using the TEAS Petition to the Director form, you’ll submit fees using our fee payment processing system associated with TEAS.

If you’re completing a fax or paper filing, you can use one of the following three ways to pay:

  • Credit card - We accept VISA®, MasterCard®, Discover®, and American Express®. You must submit a credit card payment form. Attach and send this completed form in with your submission.
  • USPTO deposit accounts - You can establish and maintain one of these pre-paid fund reserves to pay fees. Review the deposit account rules and information page for how to open an account, add funds to an account, pay for your submission, and additional information.
  • Check or money order - Make this payable to “Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office” and send it in with your submission. There is a $50 processing fee for any check returned to the USPTO unpaid.

How to submit your filing

When you are unable to file documents electronically, you have two primary ways to get your documents to us:

  • Mail us your documents using U.S. Postal Service (USPS)
  • Hand deliver or have a courier deliver your documents to us

A third option that may be available to you in limited circumstances is to fax your documents to us. You may only fax documents to us if the systems status and availability page shows there is a known problem with TEAS or you have been instructed by USPTO staff to submit a document via fax. 

Mailing your documents

If you mail your documents to us, you must use a “certificate of mailing.” Sign and attach your certificate of mailing to your submission. This certificate means that your submission will have a filing date of the date you signed the certificate, if you are using USPS. If you do not use USPS to mail your documents, your filing date will be the date we receive your submission.

Mail your submission to this address:

Commissioner for Trademarks
P.O. Box 1451
Alexandria, VA 22313-1451

We do not accept documents sent by FedEx or United Parcel Service.

What is a certificate of mailing? 

This certificate states that the date you’re signing the certificate is the date you’re mailing your submission to us. If you use this certificate, the date you sign it is considered your filing date, rather than the date we receive it. Therefore, if you sign and mail in your submission to us on your due date and we receive your submission a day later, we will count the date you signed the certificate as your filing date.

A certificate of mailing is only available if you’re using USPS. If you are outside the United States or use a mailing service other than USPS, the certificate of mailing procedure may not be used for sending mail. Your submission will be assigned the date we receive your submission as your filing date.

Hand delivering or having a courier deliver your documents

Documents may be hand-delivered or delivered by courier to us between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except federal holidays, at the following address:

Trademark Assistance Center
Madison Building East
Concourse Level-Room C55
600 Dulany Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

The hours listed above are subject to change in the event of local emergencies or government closures that affect us.

If you’re hand-delivering trademark correspondence after hours, see TMEP §307 hand delivery.

Faxing your documents

You may only fax documents to us if the systems status and availability page shows there is a known unexpected outage with TEAS or you have been instructed by USPTO staff to submit a document via fax.

Fax your documents to the Petitions Office at 571-273-8950. 

You will need to include the following documents in your fax to us:

  • Fax cover sheet for submissions to Petitions Office - This includes:
    • A checklist of everything needed in your submission
    • The certificate of fax transmission; see TMEP §306.05. This will serve as your proof of filing.
    • A declaration under Rule 2.20. You will need to sign this declaration. 
  • The checklist shows that you will need to include the following in your submission:
    • An explanation of the problem encountered when attempting to file via TEAS.
    • Proof that TEAS was unavailable (e.g., screenshot of the error message you’re receiving).
    • Completed credit card authorization form. Only complete this if your submission has associated fees. You will be paying the TEAS electronic filing fees, not the paper filing fees.
    • Copy of your filing. Complete your paper document and attach it to the cover sheet. Go to our TEAS PDFs webpage. You may print out the specific PDF for your TEAS form and complete it by hand or use the PDF as a reference for what to include in your filing.

If you’re faxing a submission, you do not need to include a petition or a petition fee.

How to confirm your filing date

We do not provide a filing receipt if you mailed, faxed, or hand-delivered your submission. Retain a copy of all documents you mailed, faxed, or hand-delivered to us for your record. This includes the signed and dated certificate of mailing or fax transmission, or the date-stamped receipt if you are hand delivering your submission.

To confirm the filing date for your submission, check Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR). If you sent something to us via regular mail, there may be a delay before it will be viewable in TSDR. 

If you filed a TEAS petition, you should receive an email filing receipt.

Contact us for help

Contact the TEAS team

If you’re unsure whether the reason you’re unable to submit is because of a problem on your end or ours, contact our TEAS team to find out. 

Our TEAS team can help with identifying and solving TEAS-related issues. If you receive an error message when attempting to file through TEAS, reach out to the TEAS team to figure out how best to respond to this error.

Email TEAS@uspto.gov. Include the following with your message:

  • Your name
  • Telephone number
  • Application serial number or registration number
  • A description of your issue, including the name of the TEAS form you are having problems with (e.g., Response to Office Action Form, Request for Extension of Time to File a Statement of Use, etc.)
  • A screen shot of any error message you are receiving.

Additionally, if today is your filing deadline, specify “Filing deadline today” in the subject line of your email. The TEAS team will make every attempt to help you address your particular problem. Direct all notifications about an outage to them.

Contact the Trademark Assistance Center (TAC)

If you reviewed the information on this page and still have case-specific, login password reset, or MyUSPTO questions, or you would like assistance with identifying which of the above scenarios applies to you, contact TAC at 1-800-786-9199 (select option one) from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. 

Contact the Petitions Office

Call 571-272-8950, if you have questions about which petitions form is appropriate or any other petitions related information.

Other resources

You can visit the MyUSPTO and USPTO.gov account FAQs page for information on accessing your USPTO.gov account, navigating MyUSPTO, assisting with account issues and technical concerns, and additional questions.

You can check the status of your filing by visiting our TSDR database.