Authorities said the Connecticut resident had waived his rights to an initial court appearance while he cooperated with authorities.
An initial appearance in court typically happens within a day or two of a suspect's arrest.
Acts of terrorism
The US attorney's office said on Tuesday that Shahzad is charged with attempted use of weapons of mass destruction and attempting acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries.
Each charge carries a maximum life term.
He is also charged with using a destructive device in an attempted violent crime, punishable by up to 30 years in prison; transporting and receiving explosives, punishable by up to 10 years; and attempting to damage and destroy property with fire and explosives, punishable by up to five years.
Since his arrest, Shahzad "has provided valuable intelligence from which further investigative action has been taken," the US attorney's office in Manhattan said in a statement on Tuesday.
Authorities said shortly after Shahzad's arrest that the former budget analyst had admitted driving the SUV bomb into Times Square and told authorities he had received terror training during a recent trip to Pakistan.
"The investigation into the attempted Times Square bombing continues," the US attorney's office said.
Federal authorities raided locations in three states last week and picked up on immigration violations three men who are suspected of providing money to Shahzad to help build the homemade bomb of fireworks, propane and battery-operated alarm clocks.
Officials in Pakistan have taken several people into custody, including two men arrested last week on suspicion of helping finance the failed plot.