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.

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.

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

To order through a project, go to the FamilyTreeDNA 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.

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.

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

As of October 21, 2020, the following tests have delays in normal turnaround times:

Big Y – 12 to 14 weeks

Once we receive your DNA sample in the lab, you will be notified of receipt via the email address associated with your account, we send your sample directly to the lab for processing. Processing times vary depending upon the test(s) ordered.

Result processing times:

  • Family Finder results typically take 2 to 4 weeks
  • mtDNA results typically take 6 to 8 weeks
  • Y-DNA (excluding Big Y) results typically take 3 to 6 weeks
  • Big Y-700 results typically take 6 to 10 weeks

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.

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.

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.

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 FamilyTreeDNA 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.

Notice regarding international shipments as of October 2020 

Unfortunately, at this time, many international postal services are suspended. For a full list of countries, see the United States Postal Service website.  

For alternate shipping methods for these areas, please use our contact form to submit a request for customer service. 

For domestic orders, FamilyTreeDNA uses DHL shipping.

The combined shipping and handling charges for standard domestic shipping orders are as follows:

  • Single kit (first kit) – $9.95 USD
  • Additional Kit – $4.95 USD (per additional kit) A kit is considered to be an “additional kit” when the kit is purchased in addition to the “first kit” in an order.

Example: If you order three kits with standard shipping,  the shipping and handling cost is $19.95 ($9.95 + $4.95 + $4.95 = $19.95).

Yes. However, at this time, FamilyTreeDNA only offers expedited shipping (2–3 days) for shipping addresses within the United States. This service is provided by DHL.

You can select Expedited shipping directly on your shopping cart. The option is located under the Billing Address in the Shipping Options section.

Expedited Shipping Cost

The combined shipping and handling charges for expedited domestic shipping orders are as follows:

  • Single kit (first kit) – $19.95 USD
  • Additional Kit – $4.95 USD (per additional kit) A kit is considered to be an “additional kit” when the kit is purchased in addition to the “first kit” in an order.

Example: If you order three kits with expedited domestic shipping,  the shipping and handling cost is $29.95 ($9.95 + $4.95 + $4.95 = $29.95).

Yes. Once you have placed your order, you may request that it be shipped to you by Federal Express with either next-day. For domestic orders, next-day shipping is $35 USD within the continental United States. Saturday delivery is $40.

International prices vary.

To upgrade shipping, please call Customer Service at (713) 868-1438 Monday thru Friday 9 AM to 5 PM CT, 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 $9.95 shipping and handling fee.

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

Yes, we ship kits to most international locations. Standard shipping is by DHL 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.

The combined shipping and handling charges for standard DHL shipping to most international locations are as follows:

  • Single kit (first kit) – $9.95 USD 
  • Additional Kit – $4.95 USD (per additional kit) A kit is considered to be an “additional kit” when the kit is purchased in addition to the “first kit” in an order.

Example: If you order three kits with standard international shipping,  the shipping and handling cost is $19.95 ($9.95 + $4.95 + $4.95 = $19.95).

Important: This is the cost for most international locations. Depending on your location, the cost might be higher.

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, DHL transit time is usually between 5–7 business days. However, depending on your location, it may be as many 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 DHL. Please select expedited shipping (US orders only) or request next day shipping if you need an order delivered prior to a holiday. Note that additional charges apply for expedited and next day shipping. You can select Expedited shipping directly on your shopping cart (option is located under the Billing Address section). To request next day shipping, contact Customer Support at (713) 868-1438 Monday thru Friday 9 AM to 5 PM CT.

Typically, FamilyTreeDNA checks received kits into our system within 1–2 business days after delivery to our office.

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

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.

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 email we sent you after you placed your online order.

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.

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.

Billing & Refunds

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.

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

Please see our Refund Policy for more details.

You may cancel your order if:

  1. You notify us within 60 days of your order that you no longer wish to use FamilyTreeDNA’s products and services, and
  2. You have not yet returned your sample to us for processing.

If you satisfy the aforementioned requirements and return the unopened sample kit to us within 30 days from the date that you requested the refund, you will only be eligible for a partial refund of the purchase price. If you are eligible for a partial refund, the amount of any such refund will be the purchase price that you paid, less a $25 cancellation fee.

We will not issue any refund if:

  1. More than 60 days have passed since your order was placed.
  2. Your sample has been returned to us for processing.
  3. We do not receive the unopened sample kit within 30 days after the refund is requested.

You may learn more about our Refund Policy here.

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.

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.

As of October 21, 2020, the following tests have delays in normal turnaround times:

Big Y – 12 to 14 weeks

Once we receive your DNA sample in the lab, you will be notified of receipt via the email address associated with your account, we send your sample directly to the lab for processing. Processing times vary depending upon the test(s) ordered.

Result processing times:

  • Family Finder results typically take 2 to 4 weeks
  • mtDNA results typically take 6 to 8 weeks
  • Y-DNA (excluding Big Y) results typically take 3 to 6 weeks
  • Big Y-700 results typically take 6 to 10 weeks

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.

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.

No. FamilyTreeDNA is a web-based product and results from FamilyTreeDNA’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.

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.

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.

FamilyTreeDNA 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 FamilyTreeDNA, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Email 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.

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.

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 Account Settings.

FamilyTreeDNA 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. FamilyTreeDNA 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  

No. FamilyTreeDNA 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.

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.

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.

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.