The United States Postal Service (USPS) reported in 2016 that nearly 200 million mail pieces include Certified Mail® services annually. Below you will find the most commonly asked questions about Certified Mail.

What is Certified Mail?

Certified Mail® is a USPS service that provides the sender with proof of mailing and proof of delivery or delivery attempt. This proof includes:

  • The date an item was mailed
  • USPS tracking
  • Delivery confirmation

Certified Mail normally takes 2-5 business days for delivery. A signature is required upon delivery to provide proof the item was delivered. If no one is available to receive the letter, a notice will be left stating a delivery attempt was made. The item will then be held at the local Post Office for 15 days before being returned to the sender.

How does Certified Mail work?

Once the mail piece is delivered, senders receive an Electronic Delivery Confirmation™ which is a receipt that provides evidence of mailing and proof of USPS Certified Mail letter delivery. Certified Mail Labels provides a PDF report that is automatically generated and emailed for each Certified Mail Label when it is delivered. The PDF reports can be accessed and printed for up to 10 years.What is Certified Mail?

Return Receipt Electronic provides proof of USPS Certified Mail® delivery as well. Similar to the Electronic Delivery Confirmation™, the Return Receipt Electronic also includes a copy of the recipient's signature and address of the recipient. When the letter is delivered, USPS creates a PDF file that can be emailed to you hours after delivery. A copy of this report is also stored inside your Certified Mail Labels account for 10 years.

Return Receipt Signature Restricted Delivery is a Certified Mail Special Service that provides additional evidence of the letter delivery. 

USPS enables the delivery of the item only to the addressee or addressee’s authorized agent. The addressee must be an individual (or natural person) specified by name. Restricted Delivery may be used only when combined with Certified Mail, Insured Mail over $200, and Registered Mail.

Customers receive Electronic Delivery Confirmation by email. A record of the transaction including USPS postage, Special Service, mail piece acceptance, tracking, and delivery or the delivery attempt record is kept in your account for 10 years.

How to send Certified Mail?

The most convenient and cost-effective way of sending Certified Mail is with Certified Mail Labels. Certified Mail Labels is an online service that allows users to create USPS Certified Mail® labels, Priority Mail labels, and Express Mail labels with USPS Postage from the comfort of their home or office.

Sending Certified Mail with Certified Mail Labels is easy and replaces USPS Form 3800 mailing receipts by providing electronic verification and delivery status. Just create a free account, add your method of payment, and make and print your labels. Then, drop them in an outgoing post box.

Click here for a detailed, step-by-step, guide to creating an account. Sending Certified Mail is easier than it’s ever been. It is no longer necessary to spend hours waiting in line at the Post Office, filling out multiple forms by hand, and overspending for the same service you can get with Certified Mail Labels.

Does Certified Mail require a signature?

Yes, Certified Mail requires a signature upon delivery to provide proof the item was delivered. If no one is available to receive the letter, a notice will be left stating a delivery attempt was made. The item will then be held at the local Post Office for 15 days before being returned to the sender.

For an additional $2.10, senders can purchase a Return Receipt Electronic Signature which will display who signed for the delivery and the delivery address on the PDF report. Learn more about Electronic Return Receipt.

What is Certified Mail usually used for?

Certified Mail is used primarily for important legal and compliance mail, regulatory, and notice to owners' mailings. Certified Mail fulfills many legal and business requirements for compliance mail.

However, it should be used anytime you wish to receive proof of postage and delivery, desire to stand out among other mail pieces, and need archived tracking information for long-term record-keeping. Here are 8 reasons to send Certified Mail.

Do you have to pay extra for certified mail? How much does it cost to get certified mail?

Yes, sending Certified Mail cost more than other mailing services. It is an extra service through USPS.

The postage meter rate to send a 1-ounce USPS Certified Mail® letter with a Return Receipt (old-fashioned Green Card) is currently $8.10. If you use Certified Mail Labels with Electronic Delivery Confirmation, the cost can be reduced to $5.65. Additional options such as Return Receipt Electronic Signatures will cost $2.10.

In summary, purchasing your Certified Mail Labels online and skipping a trip to the Post Office will save you $2.45 per mailing off the old-fashioned green cards and forms. As well as, save you time and stress.

See how much money you can save on every certified letter sent with Certified Mail Labels.

What is the cheapest way to send a certified letter?

The most inexpensive and easiest way to send Certified Mail is with Certified Mail Labels. Save $2.45 per mailing off the old-fashioned green cards and forms when you send your letter with Certified Mail Labels.

What is a Certified Mail Label?

We call it a ‘label’ but it is just a plain sheet of paper that prints on your color printer. It is designed to be folded and glued onto the outside of your envelope.

You may also purchase our approved USPS Certified Mail Envelopes and print on just a black ink laser printer for automated mailings. There is nothing to glue, tape, or affix. This envelope contains the green USPS Certified Mail banner and large cellophane window so that USPS barcode readers can easily sort and process the Certified Mail as an automated transaction for expedited delivery.

To begin, create a free account. Then, set up your payment method and begin easily sending Certified Mail from your home or office all for less than it costs at the Post Office.

In seconds, you can print USPS Certified Mail, Return Receipt Electronic, Restricted Delivery, and even Priority Mail labels online with USPS PC Postage and skip the trip to the Post Office!

You can also track the delivery of each of your USPS items. Our Electronic Delivery Confirmation Report™ can be sent directly to your email. We also archive the proof of delivery, tracking files, and Return Receipt Signatures safely inside your online account for 10 years. You will never misplace your mailing receipts again.