Reasons to Send Certified Mail

By Shelley Moore

Certified mail is a service offered by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) that allows you to verify a letter or package you sent has been delivered and received. Certified mail can only be sent to locations in the United States and its territories, and to APO/FPO addresses. As of 2009, certified mail service costs $2.80.

Delivery Tracking

When you purchase certified mail service, you receive a date-stamped receipt, along with a tracking number you can use to verify delivery.

Confirmation of Receipt

Unlike delivery confirmation, certified mail verifies the package was received. The postal carrier obtains a signature from someone at the specified address at the time of delivery.

Timing Importance

People often choose certified mail when sending legal documents or items for which the date of arrival is essential.

Restricted Delivery Option

Certified mail can include restricted delivery service if you want to confirm a specific person receives the package and signs for it.

Return Receipt Option

Another special service available is return receipt, which provides a return postcard with the recipient's signature or an e-mail attachment with an image of the signature.

About the Author

Newspapers I have written articles for on a freelance basis or have worked as a stringer for include the Brown Deer Herald, Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, Greendale Village Life, LaCrosse Business News, Milwaukee Sentinel, and River Hills Herald. All are (or were) based in Wisconsin except the Dubuque paper. I also published several short articles in the 1990s with the National Research Bureau, which for many years issued booklet publications such as A Better Life for You, Money Saving Ideas, Reader's Review, and Selected Reading.