USPS Certified Mail | What Is Certified Mail 

 November 11, 2020

By  Vada Shelby

When someone wants to send a ‘confirmed mail’, it’s known as USPS certified mail. In detail, a Certified Mail means that when you send an article, post, document, etc. to someone, the person who receives the object will sign their confirmation. The ‘confirmation sign’ is then given to the sender as proof that the receiver has received the object. The confirmation can be carried out in the form of both real and digital confirmation. However, as the world has become largely digital, there’s more of digital confirmation through tracking numbers, which are provided to the sender, right at the time of sending the mail. The number is called Tracking Number which can be tracked till the end, the digital sign then gets uploaded to the tracking number which the sender can check online.

What is Certified Mail?

Generally, Certified Mail is an ‘extra’ domestic mail service that provides a unique Tracking Number to the object mailed and essentially provides the sender with a legally recognized proof for the essential things – mailing as well as delivery. It’s a whole legal tracking system from beginning to the end wherein the sender can have an hour to hour updates regarding the article sent.

Now the next important questions crop up. Why should one use Certified Mail? First of all, it makes the matter important, and all the three concerned parties understand the importance of mail. The three parties that are, sender, the company ensuring delivery and the receiver all understand the urgency and legality of the mail. The receiver is bound to check the mail because the object has to be opened and checked because it’s certified and that it’s not spam mail. Hence, the filtering out happens automatically. Since the receiver also signs the paper, it sends a message to the receiver to open it at any cost.

Many companies and corporate organizations generally send important documents and messages by mails, such as legal notifications, shareholder statements, annual reports, product recall notice, shareholder statements, etc. These documents are of crucial importance, and it’s required that they should reach the hands of a receiver and the receiver should open it. The gravity is right here, and that’s where Certified Mail steps in. In some cases, the certified mail also specifies the use of the object. That is, how the object is to be treated, what is it for and why it’s crucial for the receiver.

The functioning and process of certified mail :

Before the delivery of the object, it’s is made mandatory by certain mailing companies that the receiver should first sign the receipt – which will be given to the sender – and then the receiver will receive the object. Also, some companies maintain a delivery record for two years, just in case any legal matter comes up.

Also, there’s are certain options by which certified emails can be sent –

  • Certified Mail – This kind of delivery provides a unique tracking number which can be used to track the progress of the parcel. It confirms the arrival of the parcel by entering the tracking number and checking the progress of the parcel. However, with this option, the letter carrier has the freedom to deliver the letter to anyone available at the address.
  • Certified mail with return receipt (Green Card) – For the additional security, and some extra fee, a return receipt green card is attached to the parcel, which is signed by the recipient and later, which is mailed to the sender. This makes the parcel extra safe as there’s a guarantee that the concerned person has received the object. This generally happens if the parcel is personal and the sender doesn’t want anyone else to read it.
  • Certified Mail with Electronic Receipt – For an additional fee, an electronic receipt is available in the PDF format that includes an image of the recipient and an approved stamp. This is the modern and digital format of the signature and is faster and quicker than the traditional method.
  • Certified mail with restricted delivery and return receipt – This is the kind of delivery where the object will be exactly provided to the person concerned, and it returned if the person is not available even after 3-4 attempts. This is to ensure the secrecy and privacy of the object and that the information is classified which can’t be disclosed. This is the strictest method.

How Long Does Certified Mail Take?

Because this is the most secure and time-consuming method, be patient about your certified mail delivery as it might take around 3-10 days. Also, the process is longer because the object has to be delivered to the exact person and if the person is not available, then it might take more time, depending on the person’s availability.

Generally, what happens that the object is delivered to the person, and when the person is not available the object is taken back to the delivery company. A fresh attempt is made after seven days if no one makes an attempt to take the object, and if the person is not again available, the object is taken back.

Finally, after 10 to 12 days a third and final attempt is being made. Again, if the person is not available and no attempt is made to take back the object, the object comes back to the post office. The whole process might take anywhere between 17 and 21 days after that the object is returned to the main office from where the sender dispatched the object. The post office then marks the object as ‘unclaimed’ and sends it back to the sender, after completion of 30 days.

How to send USPS Certified mail?

When it comes to the USPS, the main function of the certified mail is to send legal and important documents quickly and securely. The procedure is extremely simplified for the convenience of both the customers and the organizations. It can either be online, where you need to check that the service you choose to send your letter has the USPS mail tracking option available and checked. Making sure that you are provided with the Proof of Mailing and the USPS Delivery Proof is also important. On the other hand, the offline option needs you to go to the nearest local post office, ask for a Certified Mail Form or PS Form 3800. The form has a barcode sticker that needs to go on the envelope on the right of the address to track your mail through USPS. There is also a receipt as proof. Payment is decided by postage and mail class used. Restricted Delivery, Return Receipt, or any other add-on service may also be bought.

Who Send Certified Mail?

Certified emails are sent by only a specific set of customers, and the USPS has guidelines defined for this purpose. To send a mail, the package must be either only a First-class Mail item, a First-Class Package Service-Commercial, or Priority Mail service. This is because these items can be Certified Mail Restricted Delivery, Certified Mail Adult Signature Required, or Certified Mail Adult Signature Restricted Delivery. With these strict restrictions, it is important to remember that the USPS has a list of items that cannot be sent under this heading, which includes International mail, Priority Mail Express, Media Mail, Library Mail, Bound Printed Matter, and USPS Retail Ground™.

So that’s how certified mail works. You can send the mail through various methods and then if it remains undelivered, it reaches back to the sender. Since the process is lengthy, it is required that the sender keeps patients, because more scrutiny is involved in the process.

However, that’s the best method when privacy and secrecy have to be maintained, together with a guarantee. This is the reason Certified Mails are most popular among all types of mailing services. The combination of security and speed offered by this option of mail is quite unmatched by a lot of competitors, which helps it stand apart in the space.

Certified Mail cost :

The US certified mail costs you adequately but these rates have increased lately. The Postal Regulatory Commission who commands the rates of USPS certified mail has been declared the new rates of US certified mails which are given below:

  • The fee for certified mail is USD 3.35
  • Receipt for Electronic Delivery Confirmation costs you USD 0.80
  • Return Receipt for Old Fashioned Green Card costs you USD 2.75
  • Return Receipt Electronic Signature has been priced at USD 1.45
  • First-class postage is USD 0.46
  • USPS certified mail for additional OZ first class postage costs you USD 0.21
  • Flats 1 OZ rate is USD 0.98
  • The cost for Restricted Delivery Service is USD 4.95
  • The price for Certified mail for signature after the mailing has been discontinued.

Conclusion: All the detailed information about certified mail of usps have been given in this post like what is certified mail, who send it, what time it takes to reach, how much does it cost to us, etc. We hope you understood that better. For more information, you may contact us by commenting on the post.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

Q.1. What Is Certified Mail Used For?

Certified Mail is a service given by USPS that provides the sender both the mail receipt and electronic verification whether the delivery was made or that a delivery attempt was made.

Q.2. What Happens If No One Signs For Certified Mail?

Always remember someone should be there at the time of delivery to sign the certified mail. If you are mailing at a residential address and no one is there at home, the letter
carrier will leave a delivery reminder slip in the mailbox. You must pick up this slip within 5-7 days otherwise USPS will send a second delivery notice.

Q.3. Should I Be Worried For Certified Mail?

Not always, the certified mail is scary. Sometimes, a person just wants to know that the mail is getting to the recipient. Even if you reject the certified mail, it can still be taken into legal action that it was attempted to be delivered.

Q.4. How Reliable Is Certified Mail?

Certified Mail is considered a secure even failsafe way to send a letter. But sometimes certified mail also can be fail to reach its destination. If it happens, whether you are a sender or receiver, USPS has a procedure to follow.

Q.5. Can Certified Mail Be Tracked?

Certified Mail can be tracked by the USPS tracking system. All the items get scanned when they are accepted into the mail stream and go through various automated processing centers and finally at the delivery destination.

Q.6. What Does It Mean When Certified Mail Is Unclaimed?

After the attempts of delivery, there are no attempts by the recipient to receive the delivery, the status is changed into “Unclaimed” By Recipient.

Q.7. When Should You Use Certified Mail?

Certified Mail is used when someone needs proof that the mailpiece was sent and received.

Q.8. What Happens If A Certified Mail Is Sent To Wrong Address?

If the address provided on the envelope is wrong then it’s a different story but if the mistake is done by the sender of the post office then the sender will send a new mail piece to the right address again.

Q.9. Can USPS Certified Mail Be Tracked Online?

YES! You must choose the Certified Mail Tracking on the USPS Official website. Enter the 20 digit tracking number and you will get an update.

Q.10. How Many Time Will USPS Try To Deliver A Certified Mail?

If the delivery is not done and you are unable to pick up the delivery reminder slip from the mailbox within 5-7 days, USPS will again send delivery notice and it will be last.

Vada Shelby


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