Frequently Asked Questions for Certified Mail

What is Certified Mail?
Certified Mail is a service offered by the United States Postal Service (USPS) that provides proof of mailing and delivery for First-Class Mail. Certified Mail is often required for legal document so you can prove that you mailed your documents on a specific date.

How does Certified Mail work?
When you send a Certified Mail item, you receive a unique tracking number and a receipt as proof of mailing. The item is assigned a barcode that allows you to track its progress from acceptance to delivery.

What is the purpose of using Certified Mail?
The primary purpose of using Certified Mail is to have a verifiable record of mailing and proof of delivery, which is particularly important for legal or sensitive documents.

How much does Certified Mail cost?
The cost of Certified Mail varies based on factors such as weight, destination, and additional services. The USPS website provides a current pricing guide that includes the cost of Certified Mail along with any additional services you may choose to include, such as Return Receipt or insurance.

What is the difference between Certified Mail and regular mail?
Certified Mail offers additional features and services that regular mail does not provide. These include proof of mailing, tracking, and delivery confirmation. With Certified Mail, you have a record of when the item was sent, its location during transit, and proof that it was delivered to the intended address.

Can I track Certified Mail online?
Yes, each Certified Mail item is assigned a unique tracking number, allowing you to track its progress through the USPS website or other tracking tools such as and You can see when the item was accepted, when it reached various postal facilities, and when it was delivered or an attempted delivery was made.

Is Certified Mail more secure than regular mail?
Certified Mail is sent in an envelope and doesn’t offer any added security. However, their is tracking and proof of delivery which gives you greater insight into the location of your letter.

Can I send Certified Mail internationally?
No, USPS Certified Mail is not available for letters going outside of the United States. If you need tracking and/or proof of mailing or proof of delivery we recommend that you use Registered Mail.

What is a Return Receipt for Certified Mail?
A Return Receipt is an additional service that provides proof of delivery by returning a physical or electronic receipt with the recipient's signature to the sender. It serves as further evidence that the item was successfully delivered to the intended recipient. This added service comes at an additional cost.

How long does it take for Certified Mail to be delivered?
Delivery times for Certified Mail can vary based on factors such as the destination and any potential delays within the postal system. Generally, it takes 4-10 business days for domestic delivery, but it's important to note that this timeframe is an estimate and not a guaranteed delivery timeline. If a recipient is not at home at the time of delivery, this may cause further delays.

Can I send Certified Mail to a P.O. Box?
Yes, you can send Certified Mail to a P.O. Box or any valid US mailing address.

What happens if the recipient is not available to sign for Certified Mail?
If the recipient is not available to sign for Certified Mail, a delivery notice is left at their address. They can then pick up the item from their local post office or schedule a redelivery.

How many pages can I include in Certified Mail?
Certified Mail can weigh up to 13 ounces which is around 50 sheets of 8.5" x 11", 20# paper.

How do I request the signature upon delivery?
To request a signature upon delivery you will need to purchase a Return Receipt along with your Certified Mail fees.

I have more questions about certified mail, where can I get answers?
We strive to provide answers to all of your mailing questions in our help tool. Simply search for a word or phrase you are interested in.