As experts in the mail industry, we often encounter questions regarding Certified Mail, especially when it comes to sending them to P.O. Boxes. Well, we’re about to shed some light on the very popular question: Can you send Certified Mail to a PO Box?
The quick answer is yes, you can send Certified Mail to a P.O. Box, however, there are things to consider when doing so but we’ll talk more about that later.
Understanding and Tracking Certified Mail
Before getting into the specifics of sending to P.O. Boxes, let’s first understand what a Certified Mailing entails. It’s a service offered by the United States Postal Service (USPS) providing senders with a level of assurance that their important documents have been sent, delivered or attempted for delivery. When sending mail via Certified you can also get a Green Card, also known as a Certified Mail Return Receipt or an Electronic Return Receipt (ERR) and get a copy of the signature of the recipient sent back to you.
Who Would Send a Certified Letter?
Sending a Certified letter is a popular choice for individuals and businesses dealing with crucial documents, legal papers, contracts, or sensitive information. It offers proof of mailing and delivery, which can be invaluable in various scenarios, such as legal proceedings, contract disputes, or important communications where a record of receipt is essential.
Can You Send Certified Mail to a P.O. Box?
Like we mentioned above, the answer is yes, you can send Certified Mail to a PO Box. However, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind to ensure a smooth and successful delivery.
When addressing Certified letters to a P.O. Box, it is crucial to include the P.O. Box number in the address. This ensures that the postal service can accurately route the mail to the correct destination within the post office. The recipient’s name and the P.O. Box number is essential for a precise delivery.
It’s worth noting that Certified Mail sent to a P.O. Box requires the recipient to visit their local post office to retrieve the mail. Unlike regular mail, which is placed directly in the P.O. Box, Certified letters often involve a signature upon receipt (ERR), adding an extra layer of security and accountability. And if you’re wondering, “Does Certified Mail require a signature?” No, it does not but you can definitely choose it as an option for added tracking and security.
Certified Mail tracking is included. As a sender, you’ll receive a receipt with a unique tracking number. This tracking number allows you to monitor the delivery status, giving you peace of mind about the progress of your important documents or packages.
All-in-all, Certified Mail is a versatile and secure option for sending important items, and yes, it can be sent to a P.O. Box. By following the proper addressing guidelines and understanding the additional steps involved, you can ensure that your letter reaches its destination with precision and reliability.
To avoid unnecessary trips to the Post Office and to take the hassle out of sending any type of mail then use our website! Once you upload your job, we do the rest for you, including printing, inserting and mailing your letters. When sending USPS Certified Mail online through LetterStream, the Certified Mail cost starts at $7.34, which includes the Certified Mail fees and then goes up depending on the add-on services and type of envelope you’d like to use.
If you’re wondering how long Certified Mail takes to be delivered, just know that there are a few different items to consider when answering this question.
Speed of Sending Certified Mail
Let’s start with pointing out that Certified Mail is actually just USPS First Class Mail with the Certified Mail Service included. After you purchase postage to send your Certified Mail, you’ll then receive your USPS tracking number. Along with that Certified Mail tracking number you will see a charge for First-Class postage and the purchasing fee for the Certified Mail forms.
This means that USPS Certified Mail should travel across town or across the country at the same speed as a normal First-Class mail piece. If you send a First-Class letter and it normally takes about four days, your Certified letter will probably take about four days, as well.
Now just remember, the 4-day time frame is just something to go off of. It’s just a random number, not the fine print. Think about the saying “results may vary.”
Delivery of Certified Mail
When it comes to tracking your mail and the actual delivery of the letter, it gets a little more complicated.
A Certified letter does not and is not supposed to be placed in someone’s mailbox. Instead, the mail carrier is supposed to deliver or do a delivery attempt to the required recipient.
Once delivered the mail carrier will collect a signature of the person who accepts the letter. If someone is home to sign for the letter, then ta-da! You now have your proof of mailing, proof and delivery and your mailing is officially complete.
If you require a Return Receipt, green card or an Electronic Return Receipt, the USPS may not load all the Certified Mail tracking information into their website the same day that the letter gets delivered. This means you might need to add another day to the process. It might be best to wait about a day to check for the proof of delivery.
What If No One Is Home to Sign for the Certified Letter?
Now, let’s say that no one is home when the mail carrier attempts to deliver the letter. In this case, the mail carrier is supposed to leave a USPS PS Form 3849. This instructs the addressee that a Certified letter is available for them to pick up. The USPS may or may not attempt redelivery, but they are supposed to hold the letter at the location for 15 days waiting for someone to pick it up.
Let’s say, 20 or so days have now gone by, and the letter could still be moving around. If this happens it is still not considered “lost.” There’s a chance it may still be delivered.
For argument’s sake, let’s say the intended recipient does not go to the post office to pick up the piece of mail. If this happens the local post office will hold the mail piece for 15 days and then return the letter to the sender’s address that is documented in the return address portion of the letter. This means a few more days might be added due to the letter being sent back to you.
Is the Certified Letter Lost Yet?
At the end of the day, USPS Certified Mail might get delivered in 1 or 2 business days, but it might also take up to 25-30 days due to travel time. It’s a big gap, we know.
If 30 days have past and the letter is not delivered or returned back to you, there are some things you might have to think about:
What was the return address you put on the Certified letter?
Did you include a return address?
Did someone else’s name get added by mistake?
Was the address accidently mistyped?
If none of the above options have happened, then the mail piece may, in fact, be lost forever. However, it could still show up to the correct location, but not until 45 days later. If you’re shaking your head at that…know we get it.
Long story short, there is a reason they call it snail mail. Unfortunately, it can take a long time for a Certified letter to arrive at the correct destination and this is something a lot of people may not realize.
We always recommend calling the United States Postal Service for assistance in tracking down your certified mail. Their number is 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) or you can visit the USPS website.
To learn more about how to conveniently send your Certified Mail through LetterStream, visit our Certified Mail page, here.
Can I use Certified Mail for marketing purposes? The simple answer is yes, you sure can. You can use USPS Certified Mail to send all sorts of documents to anyone in the United States. However, a better question to ask might be, “Why would you want to send your Marketing Mail via Certified Mail?”
The obvious reasons to send your marketing campaign this way might be because Certified Mail gets attention when it arrives, you can track it and see when it is delivered with Certified Mail Receipts.
It could also be due to your desire to ensure that your prospective clients are receiving the promotional deal that you’re distributing. Initially, this seems like a great idea. You would know exactly when your prospects got your promotional material and when you might be expecting a call from them about placing an order for your product.
However, let’s flip that coin over and propose some ideas about why Certified Mail might actually not be a good tool to have in your marketing toolbox.
Does Certified Mail Bring Goodwill?
What is marketing? It’s basically about generating goodwill and revenue. You’d love for your customers to remember your name and have a good feeling about your product or services whenever they hear it. Additionally, you’d like for your customers to be motivated to purchase your product. This generally comes from trust in your brand, the right timing and the right offer or promotion.
Let’s ponder the concept of “goodwill” first. How will Certified Mail create goodwill; a pleasant feeling or association when your company’s name is mentioned? Does Certified Mail have goodwill associated with it? You may be surprised but have you considered that it might actually has the opposite effect on people?
Certified Mail means business and it is designed for legal proof, assigning responsibility and proving delivery through USPS tracking. Not that Certified Mail is bad, but have you ever heard someone say, “I’m so excited about a Certified letter I’ve received?” Have you personally ever said that when you received a piece of Certified Mail? Didn’t think so.
Keep in mind, it’s possible that everyone’s first thought, when receiving a Certified letter, is “uh oh, what have I done?” “Did I forget to pay my bill?” “Is someone suing me?” “How much is this going to cost me?” If this is your experience, you can see that Certified Mail generally never makes anyone feel good.
Does Certified Mail Bring Joy?
What happens when your potential client opens the Certified letter and finds your happy promotional material inside? Will they be relieved that it’s not bad news? Yes, but what will be their next reaction be? Will they say, “I’m so happy this isn’t bad news! I’m so happy that I’m even going to buy the product that is being promoted.” Well, to be honest that seems a bit overly optimistic. In reality, they are going to feel duped. They will be a bit angry that you caused them panic.
It’s a bit like tying your advertisement to a rock and tossing it through someone’s window. It will make a scene, cost you a lot of money and make the recipient mad, but they will get the message. Now, ask yourself why you would want to do this? How powerful does your offer need to be in order to overcome the fear and trepidation that a Certified letter causes?
Let’s face it, sometimes people hide from bad news (I’m sure you’ve seen this concept in action). Yes, you’re going to be happy that you know when your promotional piece was delivered, but there’s not a great chance that all of the pieces will be opened when they arrive.
Some recipients may set it aside until they have a chance to meet with their accountant. Some may wait until they are having a really good day in fear that the contents may drain them of joy. Some may just put it at the bottom of their mail pile in hopes it will go away. Now, we wouldn’t really recommend these options as the best course of action, but we have seen and heard of this taking place involving Certified letters.
Marketing materials sent via First-Class Mail or Marketing Mail through the postal service, on its best day, is neutral. But using the Certified Mail service is often considered threatening, and definitely does not make people happy.
Does Certified Mail Generate Sales?
As we look at the sales or revenue, the question might be, “which mail product will generate a greater return on investment (ROI)?” Meaning, will $1,000 of First-Class Mail generate more revenue than $1,000 of Certified Mail?
Let’s Break it Down:
Using very rough numbers, let’s say a First-Class piece of mail costs $1 each including the postage rate, and a piece of Certified Mail costs $10. Yes, $10 is more than the cost of Certified Mail fess, but by the time you spend your time creating Certified letters and going to the post office, you’ll be hard pressed to do this for less than $10 a letter. But those arguments are for another time, so feel free to pick any number you want for this exercise. We’ll go with $10 for simplicity.
If you send your offer via First-Class Mail, you’ll be able to send out 10 times (10x) the number of letters. In one case you’ll send 1,000 pieces of mail and in the other you’ll send out only 100. And if Certified Mail is not opened, you may lose another 20 recipients. If those who do open it are annoyed that you tried to trick them, you may lose another 50 recipients.
In our little hypothetical situation, you can deliver your message to 1,000 recipients (First-Class Mail) or 30 (Certified Mail), for the same money. In this case, the clear answer and most cost-effective way is to send your marketing piece or mail campaigns is via First-Class Mail or Marketing Mail.
Can Customers Refuse Certified Mail?
Of course, another problematic part of sending Certified Mail is that people can actually refuse the letter. They can just pretend like they aren’t home when the mail carrier arrives. If a notice is placed in the recipient’s mailbox or left on their door for them to drive to the post office and pick up their letter, they can choose not to do so. Sometimes people have seen Certified Mail and now just make it a habit of saying “that person doesn’t live here anymore,” in which case the letter gets returned to the sender.
What is Better Than Certified Mail for Marketing Purposes?
That’s a pretty easy questions; just about anything.
You can save a bundle and preserve goodwill by sending your promotional products or direct mail piece by First-Class Mail. You can also save a few more pennies by sending via USPS Marketing Mail, but it has some complications you’d need to deal with (a topic for another day).
Another powerful option is to send your message on a postcard. The recipient doesn’t even need to open it. Instead, they’ll see your offer immediately when they are sorting their mail. Yes, you may not feel like those are glamorous options, but there is a reason that over 100 billion First-Class and Marketing Mail documents are sent each year.
What is a More Glamorous Option Than Certified Mail?
If money is no option, the speed of delivery is what you desire and if you want the recipient to be wowed by your mail piece, then we recommend using FedEx. It’s fast, it’s powerful and there’s a much better chance of excitement when the truck pulls up than there is for Certified Mail.
Consider this: Good things like checks, refunds, rebates and offer letters come in through FedEx. Bad things like past due notices, legal notices, food recalls, fines and fees come in Certified Mail.
At first glance, Certified Mail seems like a great way to send marketing material, but maybe a second glance is what is needed before making your decision. Send your legal correspondence via Certified Mail. Send your promotional materials via First-Class Mail. When you need to make a massive statement along with your marketing message, send it via FedEx.
(Here’s our shameless plug… if you do intend to send a lot of FedEx letters, we have a great way to get them out quickly while probably saving you a considerable amount of money.)
So, you want to send a Certified letter but you’re not sure what the cost will be. Before we begin talking about that, let’s do a quick overview of what Certified Mail is, shall we?
What is Certified Mail?
Certified Mail is the right product when you need proof of mailing, proof of delivery and detailed tracking of the letter as it travels to its intended recipient. You can choose to have the recipient must sign for the letter. That is, as long as you choose to add a Return Receipt to your mailing. More on that later.
Certified Mail is only available for letters bound for addresses within the United States and can only be used on letters that weigh less than 13 ounces. This service is often used from important legal documents or for legal matters where you need to prove that you mailed something.
USPS Certified Mail Cost
Ok, so now that you have a brief understanding of what sending a letter by certified mail is, let’s talk more about the cost.
The cost of Certified Mail varies depending on the weight of your mail and whether you want a Return Receipt included. Again, we’re still saving that for a little later on.
Now keep in mind, if you’re sending Certified Mail the traditional way, through the United States Post Office (USPS), then you have some work to do on your end as well.
Not only do you have to provide the letter itself, through creating it and printing it, but you have to get an envelope, seal it, drive to the post office, wait in line, fill out the Certified Mail label, add postage to it, pay for it and then drive back home or to the office. Remember, time is money.
Keeping all of that in mind here is the breakdown cost of what the USPS charges to send a Certified Mail piece:
Here’s an example of what it would cost: If you want to send a 1-ounce letter with Certified Mail rates and a Return Receipt, the total cost would be $8.56. This includes the $4.35 certified mail fee, the $3.55 return receipt fee, and the postage for a 1-ounce letter.
Ok, ok. Now that we’ve broken down what the post office charges. Let’s do a quick overview of what a Return Receipt and Electronic Return Receipt (ERR) are and how they are different.
What is a Return Receipt? A Return Receipt is a physical copy of the green card, also known as the “PS Form 3811,” that is mailed back to the sender to show that the recipient received and signed for the letter.
What is an Electronic Return Receipt (ERR)? On the other hand, an ERR is the same as a Return Receipt except it is electronically sent back to the sender showcasing that the recipient received and signed for it.
A Different Approach to Mailing Certified Mail
Remember above where we talked about the extra time and effort that goes into sending a Certified letter by going directly through the postal service?
What if we told you there was an easier, more convenient and overall affordable way to send a Certified letter or letters?
LetterStream makes the process so efficient you’ll be asking yourself why you haven’t done this sooner. Instead of buying and using all of your supplies and instead of making the inconvenient trip to the post office, you can simply go to LetterStream.com, create or login to your account, upload your Certified Mail into our online portal (or create one from a template we offer) and send it on its merry way.
We handle all of the printing, inserting, and mailing so you don’t have to. Plus, we offer an Electronic Return Receipt that you can track right in your customer account.
Your cost for sending a single Certified letter online through LetterStream includes:
Certified Mail Letter Fees
Printing and mailing your letters in less than two (2) business days
USPS Tracking Number
Electronic Return Receipt
Trackable Online Status
Along with never having to leave the comfort of your home or office
This comes out to only $9.49 for a single letter. If you don’t want the Electronic Return Receipt then you can get a certified letter starting at only $7.27.
Why Would I Use Certified Mail?
OnlineCertifiedMail.com is a related partner site to LetterStream but is dedicated exclusively to the process of processing, mailing and tracking Certified Mail. It has an easy-to-use interface to quickly send a single letter or two.
To learn more about OnlineCertifiedMail.com click here.
Comparing Costs for USPS Certified Mail
The cost of USPS certified mail is comparable to the cost of other secure mail services, such as UPS and FedEx Ground Economy. However, USPS certified mail is often the most affordable option for sending a certified letter the traditional way.
For sending certified mail online or as e-certified mail (a new term being used for online Certified Mail), our service is actually the cheapest. When you factor in the supplies we include (paper, envelope), labor and sending of the letter (so you don’t have to use gas to drive to the post office and wait in line) and Certified Mail fees, our price is unbeatable.
Is Insurance Offered When You Send Certified Mail?
Insurance is an optional service offered by the USPS and you might be wondering what the cost is for that. However, insurance actually is not offered for Certified Mail. Instead, you can purchase insurance using Registered Mail. Registered mail is similar to certified mail as you get the tracking and proof of delivery, but with Registered Mail, you are also able send it internationally and get the proof of insurance you may be looking for.
We do offer this as an option at LetterStream. However, please keep in mind that the cost is quite high, starting at about $30 per letter. Plus, it generally takes between 7–30 days to be delivered (possibly longer depending on location), and successful delivery and signatures are not guaranteed.
All-in-all, the cost of certified mail is a fair price for the peace of mind that it provides. If you need to mail important documents, certified mail is a secure and affordable option. If you want the ease and convenience without the hassle of going to the post office to send your letter, then check out our Certified Mail page to get started!
You’ve heard the old adage, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Well, while that goes to show the determination of the 300,000 plus fearless United States Postal Service (USPS) mail carriers, it doesn’t always reflect the full story of mail delivery.
Mail Delivery Disrupted
Mail delivery can be disrupted by a great many natural and not-so-natural causes. Take Hurricanes for instance. While mail carriers may be determined to show up and sort and deliver the mail, sometimes roads are closed or impassible due to high water and they aren’t able to make it to their designated Post Office.
Sometimes Post Offices are damaged by rising flood waters, a storm surge and even extra heavy rain that seeps into the building before it could drain away. When Post Offices are flooded, they need to be shut down and mail needs to be diverted to nearby postal facilities until the water has cleared and the Post Office can be used again.
What you might not know is that the USPS keeps an active list of all the Post Offices that are closed and the various reasons that cause them to be unable to sort or process mail.
USPS Service Page Alerts
At the time of this publication, the USPS website (USPS.com) has a link in the footer of their website called USPS Service Updates. Clicking the link will take you to their Service Alerts page.
Today, August 30, 2023, the USPS shows 50 Post Offices closed in the state of Florida for Hurricane Idalia, which has yet to make landfall. When Idalia comes to shore and pushes a storm surge towards the coast, we are likely to see even more Post Office closures.
Also, it’s not just current Post Office closures that show up on this page but also past ones. Consider this list of closures for Hurricane Ian on November 4 of 2022.
Keep in mind, it’s not just Hurricane’s that can disrupt mail delivery times. Any natural disaster, including fires, mudslides, tornados, floods, earthquakes and volcanos, to name just a few, can cause a Post Office to close and delay mail. Even non-weather events can close a Post Office. Here are a couple of post offices that were closed due to power outages.
Not all closures result in delayed mail. Sometimes our cherished mail pieces can be diverted to a nearby Post Office and mail carriers report for duty at this secondary facility and carry on with their work. However, just because the mail carrier can sort the mail, it doesn’t mean that the coast is clear for them to deliver mail to their entire mail route.
So, when you send USPS Certified Mail and follow the Certified Mail Receipts or tracking information, you might see odd delays and rerouting of the mail. Sometimes this is due to postal closures. First-Class Mail doesn’t have the same transparency in that tracking as it isn’t typically included in First-Class Mail service. But, you still may discover that a letter arrived a few days later than you anticipated. When wondering why, consider checking the USPS service alerts just to see what might be happening in that local area.
Given the number of storms and unforeseen circumstances that takes place around us, we have to give our local mail carriers a hand for working and doing their best, despite the weather, in order to get our mail delivered on time, every (or nearly every) time.
Do you ever feel confused by the different options when it comes to sending mail or even just the terminology itself? Don’t feel bad, you’re not alone. It can be hard to know when to send something as First-Class Mail over Certified Mail, or when to send via FedEx vs United States Postal Service (USPS). In this article we’re not going to break down each type of mailing (we’ll save that for another day), but we will give you a little breakdown of Certified Mail and how it works.
What Is Certified Mail?
Certified Mail is a secure and reliable service offered by the United States Postal Service (USPS) that provides proof of mailing and delivery. Whether you’re sending important documents, legal papers, or sensitive information, Certified Mail offers an extra layer of assurance and peace of mind.
Sending Certified Mail
You may be wondering what the USPS Certified Mail process entails. In order to send Certified Mail, you need to fill out PS Form 3800, which serves as proof of mailing. The USPSP Certified Mail requirements includes a form to be filled out with the recipient’s address, your return address, and additional details such as insurance and registered mail options if necessary.
The Certified Mail fees are the same no matter how many or how few pieces of paper are in the envelope. However, First-Class postage does increase with each additional ounce of weight.
When you hand over the item at the Post Office counter, the clerk will provide you with a stamped proof of mailing. Once the payment is made, you will receive a receipt with a unique tracking number. This receipt includes the date and time of mailing, as well as the tracking number. It is crucial to keep this receipt safe as it serves as evidence of your sending the item.
Tracking and Delivery
The great thing about USPS Certified Mail is that it comes with a tracking feature that allows you to monitor the progress of your mail piece. Using the unique tracking number provided on the receipt, you can look up your tracking number by accessing the USPS website or mobile app to check the delivery status.
The tracking information typically includes the date and time of acceptance, arrival at various postal facilities, and final delivery confirmation.
Once the Certified Mail item reaches the recipient’s local post office, the carrier will attempt delivery. They will bring the Certified Mail to the recipient’s front door looking for someone to be available to accept it. If the recipient is unavailable, a delivery notice will be left, informing them about the arrival of a Certified Mail item. The recipient can then choose to either pick it up from the post office or schedule a redelivery.
Keep in mind, if you want additional proof of delivery, you can request a USPS Certified Mail signature, also known as a Return Receipt or Green Card or more technically as PS Form 3811. This service provides a copy of the recipient’s signature and date of delivery, which is mailed back to you.
There is also an Electronic Return Receipt, which is the same as the Return Receipt except in digital form. A copy of the recipient’s signature gets emailed directly to you instead of being sent via regular mail.
Both options serve as concrete evidence that the item was delivered to the intended recipient.
Using LetterStream to Send Certified Mail
So now that you know how sending Certified Mail works, let’s go over another way to send your certified letter. Through us!
LetterStream offers a different approach to sending Certified Mail. It’s not only easier but also way more convenient than the traditional way. It’s so convenient that you don’t have to leave your home, office, or wherever you are in that moment. Pretty nifty, huh?
Ready for how easy it is? You can literally upload your documents in just minutes and then have your Certified letter sent through our online portal without doing any other work, without wasting anymore time and without having to go to the post office. That’s it! Easy, right?
And, like we mentioned above, we also offer USPS Certified Mail tracking right inside of your online portal for quick and easy access. There’s never a need to keep track of, or enter, your tracking numbers because we keep track of them for you.
Click here to learn more about sending your Certified letter as Certified Mail through us.
Benefits and Considerations
Let’s talk about some benefits and considers when it comes to sending Certified Mail. The primary benefit of using the USPS Certified Mail process is the proof of delivery it offers. With the stamped proof of mailing and the tracking information, you have tangible evidence that you sent the item and that it was delivered to the recipient.
Certified Mail is often used for legal documents, court papers, and official correspondences, as it provides a level of assurance that is crucial in these contexts. It can be used to establish timelines, fulfill legal requirements, and maintain records of important communications.
While USPS strives to deliver Certified Mail promptly, it is essential to consider the timeframe for delivery. Depending on the distance and other factors, delivery may take several days.
Just be prepared; Certified Mail is not an overnight or expedited process. Actually, it could be slower than First-Class Mail as the mail carrier attempts to catch someone at home in order to collect a signature. If all goes well, a Certified Mail letter can be delivered in less than 5 business days, but don’t be alarmed if the process takes 15 business days or ever more in some cases.
To sum it up, USPS Certified Mail is a valuable service that adds an extra layer of security and proof of mailing (and sometimes delivery) when sending important documents or sensitive information. By going through the traditional way of sending certified mail or by using our online portal, you can easily track your item’s journey and ensure its delivery to the intended recipient.
When it comes to important mailings, United States Postal Service (USPS) Certified Mail is a popular choice for individuals and businesses alike. This service provides a level of security and accountability by offering tracking and proof of delivery. Let’s go on a little journey as we explore the trackability of USPS Certified Mail. We’ll talk about how to track it, the importance of certified mail proof of delivery, and what to do if your USPS Certified Mail tracking isn’t updating.
Understanding USPS Certified Mail Tracking
USPS Certified Mail is a service that provides added security for sensitive or important mail items. One of the key features of this service is the ability to track the progress of your mail piece. Each Certified Mail item is assigned a unique tracking number that allows both the sender and recipient to monitor its whereabouts. Pretty cool, right?
How to Track USPS Certified Mail Letter
Tracking USPS Certified Mail is a straightforward process. To track your Certified Mail item, follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Locate your USPS Certified Mail tracking number or mailing receipt. This number can be found on the receipt you received when you sent the mail or on the mailing label.
Step 3: Type in the tracking number into the specified box and select the “Track” option.
Step 4: The website or app will display the current status and location of your USPS Certified Mail item. You will be able to see when it was sent, where it is in transit, and when it is delivered.
A Simple Solution for Sending and Tracking Online Certified Mail
Now that you know how to track Certified Mail, let’s talk about using LetterStream as a simplified solution to send your Certified letter. If you’re new to our website here is a quick overview of the LetterStream way to send Certified Mail.
Nearly two (2) decades ago (wow! time sure does fly by fast), we pioneered the industry by creating and implementing the first process for sending certified mail online. Our process is not only effective but it’s extremely convenient for our customers. Normally when sending a certified letter, you have to gather the supplies, print your documents, stuff them into envelopes and take a fun little trip down to the post office where you probably get to wait in a nice little line.
Instead, we take care of absolutely everything for you! Well, nearly everything. You are required to sign into your account and upload your document(s), but that’s all! Honestly! We manage all the other aspects for you.
Plus, we’re not like other companies where you can buy the label and supplies but still have to print and send the letter yourself. We do it all for you, from start to finish!
If you already use our online portal to send Certified Mail, then you know we make this process even easier. You can simply login to your online account and directly track your mailing there.
USPS Certified Mail Delivery Confirmation
Ok, let’s get back to it.
Certified Mail offers a USPS tracking number with delivery confirmation to both the sender and the recipient. The USPS delivery confirmation feature provides peace of mind by verifying that the mail item has been delivered via signature confirmation. The USPS updates the tracking information to reflect the delivery status once the item reaches its destination. This confirmation can be crucial, especially when dealing with important documents or legal correspondence.
Certified Mail Proof of Delivery
One of the significant advantages of a Certified letter is the ability to obtain proof of delivery or signature confirmation. This proves that your mail reached the right person. The USPS provides several options for obtaining proof of delivery, including:
Return Receipt: This is a physical document that is signed by the recipient or an authorized person at the delivery address. It is then mailed back to the sender, providing a tangible proof of delivery.
Electronic Return Receipt (ERR): This option provides an electronic confirmation of delivery. The recipient’s signature is captured electronically and can be viewed online. Both ERR and return receipt will also show that the mailman attempted delivery but had no luck.
USPS Tracking: The online tracking information provided by USPS can serve as proof of delivery. The status updates and delivery confirmation on the USPS website can be used as evidence.
Keep in mind, if you’re using our service, we offer an Electronic Return Receipt (ERR) that you can track right in your customer account.
USPS Certified Mail Tracking Not Updating
In some instances, you may notice that the USPS Certified Mail tracking information is not updating as expected. This can be concerning, but there are a few factors to consider:
Processing Delays: It’s possible that the tracking information is delayed due to processing delays at the USPS sorting facilities. In such cases, it’s advisable to wait a few days and check the tracking status again.
Incorrect Tracking Number: Double-check the tracking number you entered to ensure accuracy. Even a small error can prevent the tracking information from updating. Again, keep in mind, LetterStream’s online portal takes this option out of the mix since we house and provide the certified tracking number for you.
Technical Issues: Occasionally, technical glitches or system maintenance can disrupt the real-time tracking updates. If you suspect this to be the case, try tracking the item again later.
If you have followed these steps and still have concerns about the tracking status of your USPS Certified Mail, it is recommended to reach out to USPS customer support for further assistance.
To learn more about our hassle-free, easy and convenient way to send certified mail from the comfort of your home or office (or anywhere really) then click here.
What is the difference between a Return Receipt and Electronic Return Receipt (ERR)?
Actually, let’s get more specific, shall we? What are the different types of Return Receipt for Certified Mail?
There are two different ways to get a Return Receipt through the United States Postal Service (USPS) for your Certified Mail. The first is the traditional green card, also known as PS Form 3811, which the Postal Service calls a Return Receipt.
The second method is an Electronic Return Receipt (ERR). No special forms are needed to purchase or take advantage of with ERR. An Electonic Return Receipt, simply put, is an electronic version of a Return Receipt.
Do I Need a Return Receipt?
Let’s back up just a bit and point out that you may not even need a Return Receipt for your Certified Letter. A simple Certified Letter without a Return Receipt will provide tracking on USPS.com or various other websites that have access to USPS tracking data, like LetterStream.com and www.OnlineCertifiedMail.com. So, if you just want to know the status of your letter, you may not need to spring for the additional expense of a Return Receipt.
The Return Receipt, however, does give you the added information of the name and signature of the person who received your letter. This provides you with a little extra information and might help you prove that someone actually saw your letter and took it into their hands.
Return Receipt Vs Electronic Return Receipt
So, back to the differences between Return Receipts. A Return Receipt, also known as a green card, is a green pre-printed postcard that you can pick up at your local post office and apply to the back of the Certified letter you are about to mail.
You will need to add your address to the green card or the address where you’d like the green card sent after the letter gets signed for. You’ll also want to put the tracking number from the Certified Mail barcode label (PS Form 3800) on the green card as well so you will know specifically which letter the green card relates to.
After paying the extra fees for Return Receipt and attaching the form to your letter, you are ready to give the letter to the USPS and let them do their part. When they deliver your Certified letter with Return Receipt included, they will have the person who gets your letter sign the green card.
The postal carrier will then take the green card back to the USPS and put it in the mail so it will be returned to the sender. If all goes well, you’ll have your green card back in no time (or maybe longer, just depends).
The process gets a bit simpler with Electronic Return Receipt. You simply tell the USPS cashier that you’d like to send your Certified Letter with ERR. No extra forms are required, but there is a charge for this service. The cashier will scan the Certified Mail barcode (PS Form 3800) that you’ve placed on your letter. This tracking number will appear on your USPS receipt along with the fees for Electronic Return Receipt. You will then be able to use this tracking number to check the status of your Certified letter.
Collecting a Signature
When the mail carrier delivers your Certified letter, they will collect a signature either on the green card or on their digital tracking pad. When they get back to their office, they will either scan it into their computer system or they will download the signatures from their digital tracking pad.
Once the signature is in their computer system, they will create an electronic document/letter providing details of the delivery. It will show the date the letter was delivered and include the signature of the person who received the letter. If you choose to send it as a Return Receipt, the green card will get mailed back to you. If Electronic Return Receipt is choosen, this document will not be mailed to you; however, you can go to USPS.com, enter the 20-digit tracking number from your receipt and request the signature via email when it is available.
If you choose to mail you Certified letter, either through LetterStream or OnlineCertifiedMail.com then you can access a copy of the Electronic Return Receipt right in your online portal.
Is There a Difference Legally?
Some people want to know if there is a difference in the legal authority of a green card compared to an ERR. Long ago the USPS claimed on their website that there was no legal difference, however, they soon discovered that they are not the judge of that. Instead, the ultimate authority belongs to the local judge who gets to determine whether they are the same or not.
From our experience, the Electronic Return Receipt is accepted by most judges. We haven’t heard even a rumor of a judge tossing out the ERR as valid proof of delivery. If in doubt, we suggest that you contact the local authorities and see if they can confirm that an ERR is just as binding as a green card.
To sum it up, Return Receipt and Electonic Return Receipt both provide the same value when it comes to the added information of the name and signature of the person receiving your Certificated letter. One actually just is a bit more convenient than the other.
Using your LetterStream account you are able to track the entire process of your created Certified Mail – from job creation to successful delivery, and all other statuses in between.
Although we want nothing but the best for our customers, LetterStream cannot guarantee the success of a delivery or timeliness to your intended recipients since this is dependent upon the United States Postal Service (USPS).We do, however, offer real-time transit status and tracking information for each piece of Certified Mail, which provided directly from the USPS.
Here is a breakdown of the various status levels along the journey:
Mailed: Your Certified Mail piece has been printed, inserted into envelopes, and given to the USPS for processing and to attempt to be delivered. This begins the transit stage of your Certified Mail. Mailed pieces shouldn’t be confused with Delivered mail, as “mailed” simply means that your letter(s) are in the mail stream/system.
In Transit: Your Certified Mail is in the hands of the USPS. At this point, we are at the mercy of the USPS in regard to a successful delivery to the intended recipient.
Delivery Attempted: Delivery to the intended recipient has been attempted. The Post Office likely left a notice of attempted delivery for the recipient with instructions on how and where the item can be received.
Unclaimed By Recipient: After attempts of delivery had been unsuccessful, and the recipient does not make an attempt to receive the item, the status is changed to “Unclaimed By Recipient.”
Refused By Recipient: If the intended recipient refuses to accept and/or sign for the mail piece, the status is changed to “Refused By Recipient” and is returned to the sender.
Returned To Sender: In the event the mail piece is undeliverable due to a bad address, the recipient is no longer at the address, etc., then the status is changed to “Returned To Sender.”
Delivered: Your Certified Mail was successfully delivered to the recipient, and a signature was acquired. Once this status is achieved and the USPS gives you access to the electronic signature file, you can view the signature by clicking the “View” link to the right of the status indicators for each recipient.
You will also see 3 status boxes next to each recipient within your LetterStream account. These are color-coded by status.
See below for the color that represents the corresponding status:
White – No action has occurred, or the Post Office has not updated the tracking information
Lime Green – Recent status updated successfully
Light Yellow – Unclaimed/Business Closed
Orange – Out for Delivery/Attempted
Violet – Forwarded
Pink – Returned to Sender
Dark Green – Returned (2nd box will be pink)
Red – Refused (2nd box will be pink)
These rules are applied to the tracking status bar at the top of the page as well.
Come say Hi, and meet some of our LetterStream team. There are many ways that you can meet us, but in this case, all you have to do is stop by our booth. Were talking about the Las Vegas Debt Connection Symposium and Expo being hosted at the Red Rock Hotel, September 10th-12th, 2019. Our booth at this Expo will be stocked with our fantastic and passionate staff.
This Expo will be “focusing on networking and connection with clients, service providers, product suppliers, agencies, and attorneys- at a whole new level… This symposium and Expo’s concept is to have an opportunity to meet peers and other industry professionals, as well as finding new products and services that might make your job easier, better, more efficient, more productive, etc.” (DCSE)
LetterStream is going to have staff on hand to explain why outsourcing print and mail projects makes the most sense, as well as showing how mail managers can get their important mailings out the door in as little as two minutes. We’re sure there will be many questions about how Certified Mail can be sent and tracked online without ever going to the post office, and will be more than happy to answer every last one of them.
Please stop in and see us about your first-class mailing, statement mailing, payment coupon booklet printing, FedEx letters, annual meeting notice, postcards, certified mail, and any other mailing projects that you might need for a better solution.
Be sure to stop by booth #202, and say hello. We will be awaiting your arrival. See you soon!