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Certified Mail Reculations

Certified mail is used with First-Class or Priority mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service. With Certified mail, the sender requires a signature be obtained from the person receiving the letter or parcel. The signature can either be kept on record by the post office or can be returned to the sender. Certified mail is used to protect a sender by confirming the recipient received an item and on what date it arrived.

Signature Is Required
For delivery of Certified mail in accordance with regulations, the mail delivery person must obtain the signature of the person who received it at the address of record. This may or may not be the person to whom the parcel is addressed. When an article goes by Certified mail with no other designations, the only requirement is that the signature is obtained from anyone (secretary, wife, friend) at the location to which the parcel was sent.

Restricted Delivery
If a sender wants to be sure that the person for whom the parcel is intended, the addressee, receives the item, he should further request Restricted Delivery for the Certified mail document. This will not guarantee delivery or timing of delivery but will restrict the signer of the Return Receipt to the person to whom the item is addressed. This is necessary in large offices where a mail room may receive items or in a situation in which the sender wants to make sure the item doesn’t get into the wrong hands.

Failed Delivery
Those who deliver the mail are required to physically deliver the parcel to the specified address and obtain the required signature. If the addressee is no longer at the address, the item will be returned to the sender. If the intended recipient is not at the location at the time of delivery, the postman will leave an attempted delivery note with the next scheduled delivery time. If the mail delivery person is unable to deliver the parcel, the addressee will receive a note that the item will be available for pick up at the post office for a limited number of days before being returned to the sender.

Certified mail is not guaranteed delivery nor does it automatically carry insurance. For a sender to be remunerated for items not delivered or returned, he must purchase insurance for the item. In these cases, Certified mail may not be the best option for delivery and the sender may want to consider other options.

Legal Documentation
Certified mail designates that a parcel or letter was delivered to a particular person at a specified address on a noted date. It cannot certify what the contents of the letter or parcel are. Sending parcels containing legal documents or payments by Certified mail cannot prove that they were actually delivered, only that a letter from the sender was signed for and received.

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Reasons To Send Certified Mail

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.

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