Certified Mail Labels | How Long Does Certified Mail Take to Deliver on Average?It might surprise you to learn that the United States Postal Service (USPS) dates back to 1775. While people mainly use electronic devices for communication today, conventional mail still has many purposes.

One of the most notable is sending Certified Mail. How long does Certified Mail take to deliver? Let's explore the answer and the factors that influence it.

How Long Does Certified Mail Take to Deliver?

In most cases, the recipient of Certified Mail will receive their delivery within 3 to 10 business days. While this is not the fastest way to send a letter, Certified Mail is meant to provide an extra layer of security. People use Certified Mail when regulatory requirements are more important than shipping speed.

However, those who need faster shipping times can use USPS's Priority Delivery service. With this option, mail will typically arrive between one and three business days. People often use this service for mail that requires a fast response.

Factors That Affect Delivery Time

As with any form of shipping, certain factors can cause delays. Understanding these will help you anticipate deliveries. The below factors are considered when USPS publishes an estimated delivery date.


The further the destination, the longer it will take to reach. Keep in mind that distance-based delays tend to occur in increments.

For example, it might take three business days to send a letter to a destination 1,000 miles away. The same could be said for a destination 1,400 miles away.

However, it may take four business days to ship a letter to a destination 1,500 miles away. So, two destinations slightly apart could have different shipping times.

This is based on the locations of USPS hubs and distribution centers.

Mail Volume

The Postal Service sometimes experiences periods of high shipment volume. When more mail needs to be sent, it can take longer to accommodate. This can also lead to personnel shortages.

Spikes in mail volume are outside of anyone's control, but can often be predicted. For example, people tend to mail letters and send packages more often during the holidays, around IRS deadlines, etc.

Considering the time of year you are mailing and any major holidays or deadlines will allow you to anticipate possible delays.


There are numerous holidays observed by USPS. On these days, mail is not delivered. Instead, the delivery is pushed to the following day.

Likewise, USPS doesn't operate on Sundays. Learn more about the USPS Postal Holiday schedule.


Inclement weather can cause major delays when sending mail. The worse the conditions, the longer it will take for your mail to arrive.

The good news is that the USPS is efficient at anticipating poor conditions. This allows them to circumvent bad weather.

It's rare for weather to cause delays that last more than a day or two. Most senders will never even notice weather-related delays.

How to Avoid Delays

There are certain steps you can take to minimize delays. These can go a long way toward your mail being delivered on time. Let's explore what you can do.

Double-Check Recipient Info

Incorrect recipient info frequently leads to delays in Certified Mail delivery. Even a single misspelled word could cause issues. If you don't track your Certified Mail, weeks could go by before you realize it never reached its destination.

Imagine someone writes the wrong address on a piece of Certified Mail. The person who answers the door may decline to accept the mail.

If they don’t answer the door at all the delivery person may attempt to redeliver the mail at a later date. If they're still unable to get a signature, they'll send the mail to the local Post Office.

Complications could arise by the time you hear about this incident. Certified Mail letters often require timely deliveries and responses. This is especially true for legal documents and medical records. This is why verifying the recipient’s address and tracking the mail piece is particularly important.

Act Sooner Rather than Later

As previously mentioned, some delays are unpredictable. So, it's best to send Certified Mail as soon as possible.

If you do experience delays, you'll likely still have time before any possible deadline. To expedite this process, you can print your Certified Mail shipping labels at home.

Create and print USPS Certified Mail® labels, Priority Mail labels, and Express Mail labels with live USPS Postage online with Certified Mail Labels. Skip the trip to the Post Office and save time and money by creating your labels online.

Ensure Recipient Availability

Communicate with your recipient to confirm their availability. As previously mentioned, the mailperson will have to make additional attempts if nobody is home at the time of delivery.

They aren't always guaranteed to return the following day. The mailperson will leave a note that outlines different steps the recipient can take to obtain the certified mail piece.

When someone isn’t home during a delivery attempt USPS will leave a notice of the attempt. This will ask the recipient what USPS should do with their mail.

The recipient has the option to request an additional attempt or have their mail sent to the local Post Office. Additional delays can occur if the recipient doesn't respond with a chosen option.

Send Certified Mail Appropriately

Taking the above precautions can help you prevent delivery delays. Certified Mail Labels provides an easy and cost-effective process that allows senders to print Certified Mail labels from the comfort of their home or office. It's fast, easy, and can save you $3.15 on every certified letter. Schedule an online demonstration today to learn more about how it works.
Certified Mail Labels | Get Started for Free Today