How to Retrieve a Letter Already Mailed Through the Post Office

Envelope with postage on wooden surface
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Perhaps you wrote something that you shouldn't have, accidentally wrote down the wrong address, or perhaps you slipped the wrong bill into the wrong envelope. Whatever the case may be, you need to get the letter you mailed back before it reaches the hands of the marked recipient. The United States Postal Service offers a recall form so that you can get your letter back, unopened. Follow these simple steps to prevent your mail from making it into the wrong hands.

Obtain a copy of the U.S. Postal Service's sender's application for recall of mail. You can get this form on the U.S. Postal Service's website or from your local post office.

Read More: How to Get a Letter Certified

Check the box beside "letter" in part one to denote that you are retrieving a letter. If you sent a package or a letter by express or priority mail, check the appropriate box.

Record the time and day of when you mailed the letter, where you mailed the letter, as well as the time and date you filed the application for recall. Be sure you are completely accurate in your information, as the Postal Service tracks mail by precise times and locations.

Describe your letter in detail. Include any identifiers that would make it stand out from other letters. Include envelope size and color. As well, fill in the section marked for addresses and be sure to include details such as the color of ink or labels used. This will help in the retrieval process to differentiate between other pieces of similar mail.

Provide the post office with a valid reason for the recall of mail. Be honest and direct. For instance, if you accidentally mailed to the wrong address, write "addressed incorrectly."

Take your form to the local post office. Inquire about the charges you will incur. Record the charges in the "expenses incurred" portion of the form, and present payment at the time of submission. Sign and date the form, and provide your address and telephone number of where they should send the returned mail to. Turn the form into the post office and wait for your letter to be retrieved.

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