Sending a letter by Registered Mail assures you that your letter will get to its final destination safely, provides insurance in case of loss and proves precisely when it was delivered to your addressee. It is an option you may want to use when sending a high-value item or a very important document. Here's how you do it.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Letter in an envelope or mailer that meets USPS requirements for Registered Mail
- First Class postage
- Priority Mail fee
- Money to pay for the Registered Mail fee and any other additional services
- Postal carrier or rural route carrier
- Registered Mail receipt with tracking code
- Computer with Internet connection
Determine that you are sending an article that can be sent by Registered Mail. Your item must be at least 5 inches long and 3 1/2 inches high. Your envelope cannot be made of spun-fiber olefin (such as Tyvek), tied to another article outside of the envelope, in a business reply envelope or mailer, a plastic envelope or mailer, or an envelope or mailer made of glossy material.
Write your full return address and the address of the party you are sending the item to on the front of the envelope. Seal the envelope and make sure it is in good condition for mailing.
Attach the correct postage (either First Class or Priority Mail) to your envelope. The fee for Registered Mail is paid separately from normal postage fees.
Bring your envelope or mailer to a postal employee at a post office, a rural carrier on a rural route or a rural carrier at a non-postal employee unit.
Decide if you wish to purchase additional insurance for your item over and above the normal amount included in the Registered Mail fee, a traditional or electronic return receipt, a COD collection charge or a restricted delivery. Each service has their own separate fee if you wish to include them with your Registered Mail item.
Obtain a receipt from the carrier. It will have a unique tracking code printed on it that you can use to check your letter's progress. You can do this later online or by calling (800) 222-1811.
Tips and warnings
- Hold onto your receipt. If necessary, you can use it as evidence in a court of law that you sent the letter or article on or before a specific day, and that your addressee received it.
- A Registered Mail item can be any width as long as it meets the height and length requirements.
- If you are sending a very high value item, like diamonds or other precious stones, the postal service may require you to take it to a downtown main branch before sending it Registered Mail.
- Postal employees or rural carriers are not allowed to prepare your letter for mailing in any way except to attach the seal with the bar code that will track your letter. Make sure it is ready to go by the time you meet with the employee or carrier.
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