According to USPS reports, more than 190 million pieces of certified mail go into circulation each year. This just goes to show that while the internet is still king with regard to quick and efficient communication, ”snail mail” still plays a key role in society. 

But what is certified mail, anyway? It’s basically an additional service that you pay for that ensures you receive proof that your letter was mailed, delivered, and received by the recipient. 

Here’s a quick guide on sending certified mail, if you ever find the need to. 

When Would You Need to Send Certified Mail? 

Most of the time, the occasion arises when you have something important and, possibly, confidential that you need to send to another person, via mail. Why not email these documents? Because you more than likely need a physical signature or the person needs to receive these documents in person. 

The most common scenarios include: 

  • Legal matters/proceedings 
  • Confidential and important government documents 
  • Foreclosure notices
  • Tax returns 
  • Personal healthcare records
  • Compliance documents 

Let’s take a closer look at how to send certified mail and ensure the intended person receives the documentation in good time. 

1: Obtain a Certified Mail Form (3800) 

You can get one of these from any local post office. This is important because it comes with a green and white sticker and a barcode that allows you to track your mail through the US postal service (USPS). 

Fill out the form as thoroughly as possible, including the recipient’s full name and address. Hang onto the perforated receipt which proves that you mailed them. 

2. Choose Your Mail Priority Type 

You can choose between first-class mail or priority mail. First-class includes the cost of all envelopes and packages weighing up to 13 ounces, but it’s not as fast. Whereas priority mail delivers your documents in an expedited fashion — taking only 2-3 days. 

Once you’ve chosen your mail type, you need to pay the right postage fee for your chosen delivery. Bear in mind that you can also save money by printing your own labels — you can start creating excel batch labels with this website! 

3. Determine Your Delivery and Receipt Service 

This service is useful if you have a specific person that needs to receive and sign the documents. If this is the case, make sure to select the option for this service on the form, then initial the column to endorse it further. 

The next thing you need to do is think about the type of receipt service you want. If you want a guarantee that the person has signed for and received your mail, you should opt for a return receipt service, which usually costs a little extra. 

Basically, this ensures you receive the receipt with their signature. You can choose between an email option or the traditional snail mail option.

4. Safely Store All Postage Records

While you can track the whereabouts of your mail online, it’s also important to keep physical postage records safe and secure. Store your receipt, stamped with the mailing date. There is a unique number on this receipt that allows you to track your package and confirm its delivery online. 

Sending Certified Mail is Easier Than You Think 

Despite the electronic world, we live in today, there are still plenty of scenarios that warrant sending certified mail. If you find yourself in this boat, we hope this article has helped with a few useful tips. 

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