Towing Companies Send Certified Mail, Too

tow truckIf you’re not in the towing business, this post might not be for you… unless of course your vehicle has recently been impounded, in which case you might want to know a few things.

Many states require towing companies to notify owners, via USPS Certified Mail with Return Receipt, that their car has been towed within 3 days of towing. Failure to do so may result in the inability to charge the car’s owner for towing fees and/or storage. (Be sure to check your state laws to determine what is required.)

We’ve found that our online certified mail solutions are a tremendous benefit to those in the towing business for two reasons. First, LetterStream helps towing companies send their certified letters on time–each and every time–allowing all fees to be collected. Secondly, we maintain the mailing records online for easy access to comply with document retention rules.

Check out how we help towing companies comply with their specific state statutes:

Colorado

Public Tow Requirements:

“If the responsible law enforcement agency does not use an operator to store the motor vehicle, the responsible law enforcement agency must notify the owner(s) and lienholder(s) by certified mail, return receipt requested” and “Tow Operator- Notice to the owner(s) and lienholder(s) must be sent within 3 calendar days after the receipt of the completed record search from the Department. a) The tow operator shall retain proof of notification on file for 3 years. b) Notices sent by a tow operator must be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested.”

South Carolina

Guidelines for Businesses for Tow/Repair Vehicles Section 56-5-5620-5670:

Storage charges to begin on the first day if certified return receipt notices to the owners and lien holders are mailed within 5 days of determining their identities. Otherwise no storage charges accrue until the notices are mailed.”

Connecticut

State Law Title 14 Sec. 14-145:

“If vehicle is not claimed within 48 hours, the tower must complete the DMV form “Motor Vehicle Notice of Tow” (form H-114) and shall mail, by certified mail, copies of the completed form to the owner and to all lien holders of record.”

California

Section 14602.6 Vehicle Impoundment:

“The impounding agency, within two working days of impoundment, shall send a notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the legal owner of the vehicle, at the address obtained from the department, informing the owner that the vehicle as been impounded. Failure to notify the legal owner within two working days shall prohibit the impounding agency from charging for more than 15 days’ impoundment when the legal owner redeems the impounded vehicle.”

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We haven’t looked at every state’s statutes on towing and impounding, but the above is the result of a quick google search.

If you want to speed up the time to get your certified mail sent, and want to learn how to keep great records of your mailings for years to come, contact us today.

Sending Notices to Local Residents via Certified Mail

USPS Certified MailWe are always fascinated to learn more about how our customers are using certified mail. Most of our large volume certified mail users are sending mail for legal reasons, but the spectrum of legal mailings is quite broad (lien letters, collection letters, class action lawsuits, medical device recalls, parking tickets, gym membership cancellations, etc.).

The other day we even created a certified letter mailing for a new bar in Chicago.

Did you know that (according to Chapter 4-60-130 of the Chicago Municipal Code): “If 50 or more legal voters reside within a distance of 500 feet from the licensed premises, the applicant is required to send written notice to all legal registered voters within 500 feet of the licensed premises. The applicant must send notices via certified mail with a return receipt requested.”

This is found in the Chicago Late Hour Liquor License Application Process.

So if by chance a similar city ordinance applies to you, keep LetterStream in mind. We mailed 100% of the letters the same day the bar owner gave us the go-ahead!

Send Mail Magically With The LetterStream API

LetterStream Mail API SolutionEver wish for an even faster way to send out USPS First-Class and Certified Mail?

Our website already saves countless hours of tedious work involved with sending mail, but you might be sending so much mail that you need an even faster way.

If so, the LetterStream API might be the solution you need. It allows you to automatically send thousands of pieces of mail instantly through a behind-the-scenes connection to LetterStream computer systems. Most APIs require programmers to implement them, and ours is no different in that regard, but some of our clients have implemented it in just a few days.

Our API is being used by many different types of companies, including software companies, collection agencies, billing companies, etc. and even individuals who need to send a lot of mail quickly. It has access to many of the mailing products available on our website including postcards, first-class letters, invoices, statements, newsletters, checks and certified mail.

You can advertise your partnership with LetterStream or keep it quiet and price the mailings to your customer however you see fit; because with the API your users and customers can send real mail without even knowing about LetterStream.

To learn more, click here to get detailed information about our API, or simply contact us to get started.

How To Send USPS Certified Mail Online

USPS certified mail online

Have you ever wondered if you can send certified mail online, without having to go to the post office? Well it is possible; but only a few websites exist that can make it happen.

Generally to send certified letters you would need to take your letter to the post office, fill out certified mail forms, apply a certified mail tracking barcode to your letter, and present the finished product to the postal clerk for them to calculate charges and collect payment.

But with LetterStream.com and OnlineCertifiedMail.com, you can completely eliminate the trip to the post office!

Caution: Some companies claim they can do this too, but they often require you to purchase special software, forms or labels. So before signing up for any services for certified mail online, make sure you determine what extra work or purchases might be required of you.

With LetterStream and OnlineCertifiedMail the process is extremely easy. All you need is your document in electronic form (Word, PDF, etc.) and the address you need to send it to. The entire process of creating and sending a certified letter online takes less than 2 minutes.

In addition to saving the time and hassle of going to the local post office, these two sites allow you to track the status of your certified mail online, showing each of the USPS scans of the certified mail barcode and even the signature of the person who signed for the letter. You don’t even have to enter the 20-digit tracking number; you simply click on the letter you need to track. All mailings are neatly saved and organized online.

LetterStream.com has the added bonus of an online search tool that allows you to search by recipient name or mailing name so you can quickly find the information you need. The LetterStream site is much better for mailing large quantities of certified letters as well, as you can upload entire mailing lists in CSV and Excel formats.

So the next time you bemoan the idea of going to the post office and standing in line to send certified mail, take a moment to review these two sites. You’ll be glad you did!

Should You Consider Outsourcing Mailing Projects?

outsourcing mailI was working on a proposal this morning for a potential client and found myself pondering the benefits of outsourcing mail room operations and letter shop activities.

For those of you who would like a better printing and mailing solution but are hesitant to enter the world of outsourcing, consider the idea that you are already outsourcing many of your mission critical activities.  Yes, that’s right.  You are already outsourcing a tremendous amount of your business operations.

You are outsourcing the activities of keeping your money safe to your local bank.  You are outsourcing all of your phone conversations to cell and telecom providers.  You are outsourcing your electricity to the power company.  Once you start thinking about it, the only things you don’t outsource are your core competencies… those things that provide uniqueness to your product and a competitive edge to your organization.

Still skeptical?  Check out what other experts say… here’s a good article in Inc Magazine that supports our logic and might shed some additional light.

The question then becomes: Is printing and mailing your competitive advantage?  Is folding and inserting what makes your company unique?

If you’d like to see what it might look like to outsource your printing and mailing activities to an organization as reliable as the local power company and probably more helpful than your banking institution please give us a call and let us show you how our unique and competitive solutions can help you focus more on yours.

World's Longest Receipt?

USPS post office receiptWhen we returned from the Post Office the other day, we thought we might have set the world record for the longest receipt. After all, the cash register receipt was 48 feet and 8 inches long! Turns out we were a little short. The longest receipt is well documented online at 57 feet and 6 inches.

Why did we have such a long receipt? Sometimes we print and mail rather unique jobs for our customers, and if that means generating a receipt at the local post office that’s nearly 50 feet long, so be it. In this case we were mailing certified mail flats that necessitated a trip to the post office due to something special we were doing for our client.

If you find yourself pondering how you are going to get your next certified mail project out the door, keep LetterStream in mind. We have a lot of fast, automated processes for mailing certified letters.

And if we don’t already have an automated solution for your complex mailing, you might just be the opportunity we need to get a real world record receipt!

Thanks to the team and our friends at the local post office for making the magic happen when complex mailings arise.

LetterStream Exhibits At The National CAI Trade Show

CAI 40th AnniversaryFor the fourth year in row, LetterStream is exhibiting at the National CAI (Community Association Institute) Trade Show.

This year’s event starts tomorrow and is taking place in San Diego, CA, (April 17-20th). It celebrates CAI’s 40th Anniversary as an organization dedicated to building better communities.

Homeowner associations (HOAs), and the management companies that assist them, send a tremendous amount of mail each year in order to keep homeowners informed and up to date. Each homeowner is assessed their homeowner fees via statement, invoice or payment coupon book. In addition, each homeowner is made aware of budgets, annual meetings and election results via letters, email and postcards.

LetterStream assists communities by providing critical online communication tools for homeowner associations and property management companies alike, to make the numerous mailings easier to manage.

Letters, statements, postcards, coupon booklets, violation letters, late payment notices, and certified mail are but a few of the types of mailings that LetterStream offers to HOAs. The LetterStream website has a solution for each of these different types of mailings, and is feature-rich, giving you control of your mailings.

If you are attending the National CAI trade show, stop by our booth (#805) to learn how we make mailings easy.

Happy Anniversary CAI!

See LetterStream At The Arizona Chapter CAI Trade Show

See LetterStream at AZ-CAI trade show

Meet with the LetterStream team at the CAI trade show and learn great new ways to create and send mail, including: HOA violation letters, statements, postcards, invoices, collection notices, intent to lien letters, certified mail, annual meeting notices, newsletters, new homeowner packets and even electronic documents.

LetterStream staff will be available to answer questions about outsourcing your mailing projects and streamlining your outbound mail operations.

New products featured at the show include eDocuments, PRO Postcards and an Android app for creating full color, first-class postcards (see newsletter). Rumor has it that the mysterious Letterman, blog writer extraordinaire, may even be present.

The expo is this Friday, April 12, 2013 from 11:30am to 3:30pm at Rawhide, and will be well attended by property management companies and community managers. Rawhide is located in Chandler, Arizona (5700 West North Loop Rd). To learn more about the Arizona Chapter of CAI, visit their website at www.cai-az.org. To learn more about LetterStream, visit our website at www.LetterStream.com.

How Do You Organize Certified Mail Return Receipts?

certified mail green card PS Form 3811

These slippery little green cards have a way of getting lost. For you mailroom folks, you probably know them as a PS Form 3811, but the rest of us simply call them green cards. Obviously “Certified Mail Return Receipt” is a more complete term, but it is probably not the term we use when trying to find the one we lost.

So the big question is, how do you keep track of green cards? They are small and get mixed in with empty envelopes that you put in the trash, they fall out of file folders even while in a filing cabinet, they get piled up waiting for a rainy day for someone else to file. Let’s face it, they are hard to file and they are hard to find. There’s nothing like the attorney calling and saying, “We are headed to court, what happened to the green card?”

Here’s a better way to organize your PS Form 3811 receipts… skip the entire paper process altogether and keep your electronic signatures organized online–always available, always filed correctly, always filed instantly, and best of all, never lost.

Wondering how?

The best way to get your certified mail receipt electronically filed is to create your certified mail online. When you use LetterStream or OnlineCertifiedMail.com to create your certified letter, your PS Form 3811 as well as all of the related USPS tracking scans will be available online for you to access when you need then.

The online process of making real Certified Mail is fast and easy, with no forms to fill out, no envelopes to seal, and no trips to the post office. We take care of all that so you can focus on other pressing issues. Oh, and one more benefit… you won’t need to type in that 20-digit certified mail tracking number–you can look up information about your certified letter by searching on the job name or the recipient’s name.

Stop searching for green cards. Use our online tools and let us organize them for you.

LetterStream Joins ACA International – Visit Us At The Expo This Week!

ACA International website


LetterStream
‘s ability to send First-Class and Certified Mail with ease, one-at-a-time and in bulk, is attracting the attention of credit departments and collection agencies.

ACA International, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, is a not-for-profit trade association for professional businesses and individuals in the credit and collection industry.

By establishing an affiliate membership with ACA, LetterStream will have a greater presence in the collection and credit market and can highlight their unique solutions in the field.

Sending Certified Mail during a collection process can be a time consuming process. However, with LetterStream’s easy-to-use website, Certified Mail can often be created and mailed the same day. In addition, online tracking and signature reporting tools provide easy access to the important documents that prove the mailing followed proper collection practices.

For industry collection software and service bureaus that send large quantities of mail from various departments, LetterStream’s API allows automatic transmitting of letter data directly to LetterStream for printing and mailing. This process makes all the work involved in printing and mailing completely disappear.

Visit LetterStream at the ACA International Spring Forum and Expo in Scottsdale, Arizona this week.

2013 Spring Forum & Expo
March 20-22, 2013
Talking Stick Resort – Scottsdale, Ariz.