How Does Certified Mail Work with USPS?

Certified Mail work is a specialized service provided by the (USPS) United States Postal Service that provide senders proof of mailing and confirmation of delivery or attempted delivery. This service is crucial for businesses and individuals who need to send important documents and items securely and verify their delivery statuses. Here’s a comprehensive overview of how Certified Mail functions with the USPS:

Understanding Certified Mail

Certified Mail offers senders confirmation of both mailing and delivery, ensuring that mail reaches the intended recipient securely and reliably. This service includes a unique tracking number and a detailed delivery record, making it ideal for sending legal documents, crucial financial communications, and other mail that requires a verifiable delivery history.

Preparing Your Certified Mail

To send Certified Mail, you first need to prepare your mail piece. You can use any mail envelope that suits your document, but you must meet the standard USPS size and weight restrictions. Once your mail piece is ready, attach a Certified Mail form to the front. This form includes a barcode that the USPS uses for tracking purposes.

Certified Mail Work

Filling Out the Certified Mail Form

You can obtain a Certified Mail form, PS Form 3800, from any USPS post office. You must fill out this form correctly to ensure proper processing and delivery. Information required includes the sender’s address, the recipient’s address, and the sender’s signature. The form also provides options for additional services such as Return Receipt. For more detailed information, you can refer to the Liteblue website.

Additional Services: Return Receipt

You can opt for a Return Receipt service for additional proof of delivery. This service delivers a receipt featuring the recipient’s signature upon mail delivery. This receipt is proof of delivery and can be crucial for legal or financial documentation. Manage your mailing services effectively by using the Liteblue Login portal.

Mailing Your Certified Mail

After attaching the filled Certified Mail form to your mailpiece, you can take it to any USPS office. At the office, the postal clerk will issue a receipt with the acceptance date of your mail and a tracking number. You should keep this receipt as your official proof of mailing.

Tracking Your Certified Mail

The tracking number provided on your receipt enables you to track the progress of your mailpiece. You can follow your Certified Mail via the USPS website or by using their tracking hotline. This service accurately indicates when your mail is delivered or when an attempt is made.

Delivery Attempts

If the recipient is not available to receive the Mail, USPS will leave a notice and make additional attempts to deliver the Mail. If the mail remains undelivered after several attempts, the sender will receive it back with documented details of the delivery attempts.

Receiving Your Mail

Upon delivery, the recipient must sign for the Mail. The sender gets this signature through the Return Receipt service or sees it online if they choose the electronic option.

Archived Records

USPS maintains a record of the delivery (including the recipient’s signature) for a specified period, typically two years. The sender can access this record if needed for future reference, providing peace of mind and legal proof of mailing and delivery.

Costs and Considerations

The actual price of sending Certified Mail depends on the weight of the mail piece and any additional services selected, such as Return Receipt. Although Certified Mail costs more than standard postage, the benefits of secured delivery and confirmed receipt make it a valuable service for essential communications.


USPS offers Certified Mail, a reliable and secure service that delivers, tracks, and confirms your essential documents. This service is vital for legal, financial, and critical communications requiring proof of mailing and delivery. Whether you’re a business owner, legal professional, or someone sending a crucial document, Certified Mail ensures that your documents receive careful handling. With the ability to track your Mail and confirm delivery, Certified Mail is an indispensable tool in today’s world of essential communications. For more information, visit