Any company that mails letters probably knows about Certified Mail. However, most people aren’t aware of the nitty-gritty of this USPS mailing service. What exactly is it, and what exactly does it do to help both businesses and people across the country daily? We have compiled a detailed guide to help you understand Certified Mail. Once you are done reading it, you will know what Certified Mail is, who uses it, what its benefits are, and how Certified Mail is different from Registered Mail.
Certified Mail is a special service offered by the United States Postal Service (USPS). It is usually used for sending time-sensitive and important materials and documents. Certified Mail can be tracked, provides proof of mailing, and a complete record of delivery. The sender is given a mailing receipt and provided with electronic verification that shows that the article was delivered.
Anyone living within the United States can use Certified Mail service. However, it is mostly used by companies. Certified Mail offers the business secure delivery, proof of mailing, and proof of delivery. So, if a customer complains that they didn’t receive the article sent by the company, the company can use the proof of delivery to show that the article was delivered.
When you send a Certified Mail, you get proof of delivery. The person who receives the letter signs it and this serves as proof that they got the mail. Certified Mail only provides you a proof of delivery and shipment, but Registered Mail provides insurance coverage and security for your shipment. Regular shipping insurance may only cover lost or damaged items that are USD $5,000 or less. But Registered Mail covers items of up to USD $50,000.
This makes Registered Mail suitable for companies that ship expensive items like jewelry or electronics.
Certified Mail offers security and assurance for sensitive documents that require proof of mailing and delivery. Therefore, you should use this service when you are sending sensitive documents that you can’t afford to lose.
• Proof of Mailing
In order to send a certified mail, you must fill out a form. The perforated receipt on the form acts as a proof of mailing. A unique tracking number is assigned to each mail piece by the USPS and the postal service provides a record of delivery signed by the recipient. The signatures are collected and stored by USPS for two years.
• Return Receipt
If you want to purchase a return receipt, you can get it after paying an additional fee. The return receipt is a hard copy receipt that shows the delivery date, and time of the delivery. These receipts can now also be obtained in electronic format. In fact, electronic return receipts are now quickly replacing the hard copy version of the return receipts. The reason is that the electronic files are much easier to store, cost less, and can be easily administered. Moreover, you can easily email or share the electronic pdf files.
• Tracking Ability
Each Certified Mail item is tracked by the USPS tracking system. This allows you to check your delivery status through a few different ways. Two of them include:
• Via the official USPS website (www.usps.com). Entering the tracking number on the website. You can find the tracking number on your mailing receipt.
• By telephone using the USPS tracking number for your Certified Mail.
The article you send is scanned when it’s accepted into the mailing stream, in-route though various automated processing and mail sorting centers and at the destination when it is delivered. The tracking information is updated by the USPS every hour.
The archival ability of the USPS Certified Mail is particularly useful for companies. Companies can use the Certified Mail service for delivering important documents. Each document they send creates a record of mailing and when the document is received by the intended recipient, it creates a record of delivery.
This information proves helpful for firms that need a detailed record of delivering important documents to people in a timely manner. Proof of delivery and return receipts provide companies the assurance that important documents have been delivered. What Happens if the Recipient Isn’t Home to Collect the Certified Mail?
If no one is home to collect the Certified Mail sent by you, the article will be returned to you. That’s because the recipient must sign for the mail. This is required even when you don’t request a return receipt. A receipt is required by the Certified Mail that the letter was accepted by someone so that you have the proof that the letter was delivered successfully.
If no one is home to receive the Certified Mail, a notice will be left so that when the people return, they can collect the item from the local post office. If no one comes to pick up the letter, the post office will make more attempts to deliver it.
The number of times the post office attempts to deliver the Certified Mail depends on how busy they are. However, on average each post office attempts to deliver the item twice. If no one picks up the letter and the item isn’t able to be delivered, then the post office will return the letter to the sender.
This means that the letter will be forwarded to the return address that’s displayed on the shipping label. So you don’t have to worry about losing your item if no one is home to receive it, as you will get it back in this case. If you need additional information, find more about tracking here now.
In a nutshell, if you want to send sensitive documents and want to ensure that it doesn’t get lost and you get a complete record of mailing and delivery, use the USPS Certified Mail service.