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Certified Mail™ is a service offered by the United States Postal Service. When an item is sent using this service, the person who sends it will receive a proof of delivery confirmation. Many people like to send things via Certified Mail™ to ensure that they know when the items arrive, and it can be bundled with other services, such as a return receipt with the recipient's signature and restricted delivery, which authorizes the release of the mail to a particular person only.
One important thing about Certified Mail™ that people should be aware of is that it does not include insurance, and it can only be used for First Class or Priority Mail. Therefore, it is not appropriate for valuable items, although it can be extremely useful in a situation where someone wants a delivery record. For example, legal documents may be sent this way so that all parties are aware of when the documents are sent and received, and in some cases, signing a delivery receipt is treated as proof that someone has viewed the material.
The mailing and delivery record for Certified Mail™ is stored at the post office. Users can log onto the United States Postal Service website and use a unique identifying number to look up their packages if they want to determine when and if they were delivered. In the event that delivery fails, the item will be returned to the sender.
The Certified Mail™ service is more costly than just sending something via regular First Class or Priority Mail. For this reason, most people only use it on occasions when they really need it, although the service is sometimes used in vote caging, a tactic that involves the use of mass mailing to challenge the addresses of registered voters. It is recommended for any situation in which someone wants to confirm that something arrived, from college applications to the results of medical testing.
For people who want insurance, Registered Mail™ is a better option. Registered Mail™ includes insurance and delivery confirmation, and it is treated differently than Certified Mail™ by postal employees. For example, much tighter security precautions are used to protect Registered Mail™, and there is a streamlined process in place for making claims against lost or stolen items.
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is Certified Mail™?
Certified Mail™ is a service offered by the United States Postal Service (USPS) that provides the sender with a mailing receipt and electronic verification that an article was delivered or that a delivery attempt was made. It's commonly used for sending important documents where proof of mailing and delivery is required. According to the USPS, this service also allows for tracking and may include options for return receipt and restricted delivery.
How can I track my Certified Mail™?
Once you send a piece of Certified Mail™, the USPS provides you with a unique tracking number. You can use this number on the USPS website to track the status of your mail. The tracking feature allows you to see when your mail item was delivered or when a delivery attempt was made, giving you peace of mind and confirmation that your item has reached its intended recipient.
Is Certified Mail™ the same as Registered Mail™?
No, Certified Mail™ and Registered Mail™ are two different services offered by the USPS. Certified Mail™ provides proof of mailing and delivery, with options for electronic verification. Registered Mail™, on the other hand, is designed for sending valuable or irreplaceable items, offering a higher level of security and insurance. Registered Mail™ also provides the sender with a receipt and detailed tracking, but it is handled separately from other mail and may take longer to deliver.
How much does it cost to send Certified Mail™?
The cost of sending Certified Mail™ is in addition to the standard postage rate for the weight and class of the mail being sent. As of the knowledge cutoff in 2023, the fee for Certified Mail™ starts at $3.75. Prices can vary based on additional services such as Return Receipt or Restricted Delivery. For the most current pricing, it's best to check the official USPS pricing page or visit a local post office.
Can Certified Mail™ be sent to international addresses?
Certified Mail™ is a service that is only available for domestic mail within the United States and its territories. If you need to send important documents internationally with similar proof of mailing and delivery, the USPS offers International Registered Mail™ and Priority Mail Express International®, which provide tracking and delivery confirmation for international destinations.