How long does it take USPS to deliver a Certified Letter?

When sending a USPS Certified Mail letter with First Class mail delivery, plan on 3 to 10 business days for delivery. You can expedite delivery by upgrading to USPS Certified Mail with Priority Delivery which is typically a 1 to 3 day service. USPS Certified Mail is considered Special Service Mail and it does receive high-priority delivery service.

USPS Certified Mail was not designed to be the fastest form of mail. Rather, it was designed to provide ‘proof’ and meet compliance and regulatory requirements. Senders receive ‘proof of mailing’ and ‘proof of letter delivery’ with USPS Certified Mail.

Someone must be available to sign for each USPS Certified letter. If you are mailing to a residential address and no one is home, a delivery reminder slip (Notice) is to be left in the mailbox by the letter carrier. This reminder informs the person that a USPS Certified Mail letter is being held at the local Post Office for pick-up. The recipient must go to the Post Office to sign for the letter and pick it up. After 15 business days, if the letter has not been picked up, it will be returned to the sender. However, a second delivery attempt within the 15 days can be scheduled by the sender. To learn more about scheduling a redelivery attempt, visit