How to Send a Letter Certified Mail

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Using the United States Postal Service (USPS) certified mail service documents when the letter is sent and when delivery is attempted and completed. It allows the sender to confirm that mail was received. Requesting a return receipt documenting when the delivery occurred provides further assurance that the mail reached its destination. Certified mail service typically is used with priority mail or first-class mail. .

Take your addressed mail to the post office and request either first-class mail or priority mail along with certified mail service.

Enter the name and address of the recipient onto Form 3800 using legible handwriting.

Check the box indicating a request for a return receipt if you want one. Find the portion of the certified mail form that the mail carrier detaches after delivering the letter. Copy the certified mail number into the proper blank on the detachable portion, and write your name and address in the blanks provided. You will receive this receipt after the mail carrier delivers the certified mail.

Place the proper portage onto the envelope, including any certified mail fees and other mailing fees.

Give the mail to a USPS counter employee for mailing.


  • You can print your own Form 3800, provided the form is approved. At least three samples of your privately produced certified mail form must be submitted to a USPS manager for approval. When a manager approves your Form 3800, you can print and fill out your certified mail form and place certified mail letters directly into a mailbox.
  • Visit the Track and Confirm webpage and enter your certified mail number into the appropriate field to receive delivery confirmation online.



About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

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