December 8, 2023

Sending USPS Certified Mail® to a PO Box?

Send Certified Mail to a PO Box
Can you send USPS Certified Mail® to a PO Box?

Yes. This is a common question ask daily. You can send Certified Mail® to a P.O. Box in the United States. USPS Certified Mail® letters are addressed and delivered to the PO Box with no changes in mailers process.   In other words you just address the letter using the PO Box instead of the street delivery address.

When the USPS letter carrier delivers the letter the process that documents when the letter was received  at the delivery address is a little bit different.  A delivery notification card is placed inside the PO Box instructing the recipient they have a Certified Mail® waiting for pick up from the Post Office window clerk.  Because USPS requires someone to sign for each Certified Mail® letter the delivery notification card must be presented to the window clerk at the USPS Post Office. Then the recipient is presented the delivery confirmation Signature card and the date and time of the delivery confirmation are electronically captured and recorded by USPS.  This is how the United States Postal Service handles delivery when you address a certified mail label or form to a PO Box.


You can save time and money by sending USPS Certified Mail® by using Electronic Return Receipts a part of CertifiedMailLabels and Send Certified Mail. These labels and envelopes have been approved by USPS and do not use stickers or forms.  This makes sending USPS Certified Mail® with Electronic Return Receipt fast and easy.  The service includes proof of mailing, in-route letter tracking  and Electronic Delivery Confirmation as proof of delivery even if you send a letter to a P.O. Box.  Old fashioned Green Cards are expensive, hard to manage and can easily get mis-placed.  By addressing your letters online you can print Certified Mail® tracking numbers, bar codes and skip the trip to the Post Office!  No software to buy, no monthly costs or stickers or forms to fill out.

Call us at 800-406-1792 to learn more about automating USPS Certified Mail®. We have Enterprise Solutions for mail houses and large volume mailers.

Certified Mail Automation ‘Quick Print Kit’

Our Certified Mail Quick Print Kit provides automated mailing solutions for commercial mail houses, letter shops and printers that need to print and mail USPS Certified Mail letters. [Read more...]

2012 Certified Mail Postal Rate Increase Update


The United States Postal Regulatory Commission revised and approved new 2012 USPS Certified Mail Rates  that became effective January 22, 2012.

Last year the United States Postal Service was seeking permission to increase Postal Rates in 2011.  The increase represented an average of 5.6 percent to offset the USPS losses in recent years. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and other businesses were concerned what impact the 2011 rate hike would have on business and became very vocal about the proposal. The Postal Regulatory Commission reached a unanimous vote declining the USPS rate increase in 2011. The reason for the decline was the lack of a solid feasible business plan for “overcoming the fundamental quandary USPS faces.” The Commission concluded the current budget problems and a number of rate cutting measures needed to be taken by USPS first.

The USPS Certified Mail Special Service rates and First Class postage rates increased the cost of sending Certified Mail with green cards to $5.75.  USPS Certified Mail letters cost is made up from three postage fees. The new 2012 Certified Mail Special Service fee costs $2.95.  Second, the Return Receipt service is available in two options.  The old fashioned green card price costs $2.35 for each letter, or the Return Receipt Electronic service can be used and costs $1.15 in place of the green card.  The third and final postage fee that makes up a USPS Certified Mail letter is First Class postage.  The one-ounce rate increased to $0.45.

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How Can I Reduce USPS Certified Mail Costs? You can reduce the costs to send USPS Certified Mail by using the Electronic Return Receipt – ERR in place of the old fashioned green card Return Receipt.  The Return Receipt Electronic provides the final delivery confirmation signature from USPS when your letter is delivered. This reduces the total cost of each letter from $5.75 to $4.60.  It is a true $1.15 cent postage savings per letter not to mention the time savings.  Certified Mail Envelopes includes Electronic Return Receipt with proof of mailing, in-route tracking and proof of each letters delivery with each Certified Mail Envelope.  This eliminates those forms or peel and stick labels.  Just address your letter online and print the cover page on your local printer. Slide the address cover page into the envelope add postage and mail.  It’s fast and easy.  No more labels, or forms to fill out.  No more green cards – and you can mail your letter from any mail box.

No more trips to the Post Office.

Current Certified Mail Envelope Costs

1.  First-Class Postage $0.45  (this is a letter size envelope, up to 1 oz in weight)
2.  Certified Mail Fee $2.95
3.  Electronic Return Receipt is included with USPS Certified Mail Envelope $1.55

The Total Cost per Letter $4.95   (Includes all postage costs, envelope and use of our online web site to print each address page.)

You can try the service by signing up for the free trial.  No credit card is needed. You still need to add postage ($2.95 + $0.45), but you can save the cost of the $2.35 green card return receipt fee.  This free trial allows you to see how the Electronic Return Receipt works.  You get setup with a web based login to address, print address sheets, track and report each mailing. You have access 24/7 and they file and store each Electronic Return Receipts for 7 years automatically.  USPS has approved Certified Mail Envelopes so the process is fast and easy to use.  No monthly fees or hidden costs.  All you need to do is add postage.

Free Trial Evaluation:  Get 2 Certified Mail Envelopes with Electronic Return Receipt
   Certified Mail Envelopes Free Trial:

Follow this link to read more about the Electronic Return Receipt – ERR.

Last year, in 2011 USPS Certified Mail Postal Rate Increases included the After Mailing cost to purchase the Return Receipt Electronic Signature.  This cost was proposed to increase $0.25 to $4.85 per letter.  USPS said the new postal rates must go up to help cover a potential $7 billion loss projected in 2011.  Each additional ounce of weight would also increase from 17 cents to 18 cents.

The USPS must prove “exceptional or extraordinary circumstances” in order for the new Postal Rate Increase in 2011 to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to approve prices above the rate of inflation.  The PRC will approve the request if it finds pricing above CPI to be “reasonable and equitable and necessary.” The country continues to work through the worst recession since the 1930s. Key business customers have been devastated and have withdrawn from using the mail: credit card companies, financial institutions, real estate companies, retailers.

USPS mail volume has plummeted by more than 25.6 billion pieces, or 12.7 percent, in one fiscal year. Total volume stands at 177 billion pieces.  USPS First-Class Mail is the highest revenue contributor to the Postal Service bottom line and also the fastest volume decline.

Mail volume in general has declined at a higher rate than it did following the terrorist attacks of 9/11. More and more Americans are switching to electronic alternatives, further eroding a dwindling customer base. The Postal Service seeks to balance its financial challenges against the needs of its customers through a moderate increase and to gradually increase some prices to improve their financial performance while mitigating the effect on customers.

Experts believe future price increases can be greatly alleviated if the Postal Service was deregulated and became more competitive  or given the tools necessary to be a more flexible, customer-focused: change delivery frequency, restructure the pre-payment of retiree health benefits and expand access to products and services that are more convenient to customers.

Included in this new proposal is stopping delivery of mail service on Saturday.  A significant USPS price increase is under consideration that will impact 2011 USPS Postal Rates & mailing costs including special services mail like USPS Certified Mail. This includes many of the USPS Special Services that include USPS Certified Mail with Return Receipt Requested service, USPS Certified Mail Restricted Delivery, and USPS Registered Mail.

For many consumers the initial focus or cost of mailing a First Class letter may appear to be increasing $0.02 per letter, however due to many new financial and regulatory requirements in banking, health care and lending the cost of sending compliance letters by USPS Certified Mail in 2011 could be much higher.

Certified-Mail-Envelopes with Electronic Return Receipt & Signatures

Send USPS Certified Mail® inside our USPS approved Certified-Mail-Envelopes with Electronic Return Receipt for $4.52 vs the old fashioned green card that costs $6.74.  [Read more...]

Print Outsourcing Compliance Letters


Print Outsourcing USPS Certified Mail

Today’s business economy has many companies looking at print outsourcing to keep up with compliance and regulatory mailings. Many companies looking to cut costs and lighten staff work loads turn to Certified Mail Envelopes for solutions.  [Read more...]

Electronic Return Receipt

Certified Mail Envelopes include proof of delivery. Electronic Return Receipt for USPS Certified Mail saves time, money and replaces old fashioned green cards. [Read more...]

Certified Mail® Tracking

USPS Certified Mail® tracking provides the mailer ‘in-route’ tracking.  Origin Acceptance is the scan code used to record when each letter enters the mail stream. The date, time and Post Office of entry are recorded as evidence of mailing.


In-route tracking scans like Processed through Soft Facility, Arrival at Unit, Depart USPS Sort Facility, Notice Left, Refused and Delivered provide additional tracking about the letter’s delivery.  USPS Certified Mail® tracking has improved due to upgraded technology, new scanners and the intelligent mail bar codes.  USPS Certified Mail® tracking numbers can track your letters delivery information online at for up to 90 days after mailing.  The information reported may include messages like “Arrival at Unit’  ‘Notice Left,’ ‘Returned to Sender,’ ‘Refused’ and ‘Delivered.’  USPS has provided much better letter tracking and improved scan activity in recent years.  Local letter carriers are doing a much better job of recording the attempted delivery with dates and times, as well as reporting the tracking in-route and the final delivery.

USPS  Certified Mail® labels are assigned article numbers that consist of numbers that begin with a  70, 71  or new technology codes using the digital postmark may begin with a 94.  An example of this type of number is 9414815901016802011146.  This is the USPS Certified Mail® article number.  If you mistakenly try to track a FedEx tracking number into USPS it smart enough to tell you of the error, and inform you the tracking number was an invalid USPS tracking number.

All packages entering the mail stream are first scanned by USPS personnel. USPS only provides Special Service tracking service after the labels are printed or shipped from by an approved USPS third-party supplier.  In general most customers report the USPS tracking system needs improvement.  USPS’s Certified Mail® article and tracking numbers do not provide in-transit information like there is from UPS or FedEx.

For USPS Certified Mail®, proof of mailing and proof of delivery are what most people need. The tracking function only provides information about the actual letter’s delivery status.  If you use Priority Mail delivery this level of service will provide 2-3 day delivery in the U.S.  ‘In-route’ tracking and delivery confirmation are provided with this level of service.  Remember USPS does not scan each Certified Mail Envelope at every Post Office  like FedEx, UPS or other common carriers.  The USPS letter tracking services are improving slowly across America.  Many users report Certified Mail® letter tracking services much different than FedEx or UPS and the data is helpful to tell whether the letter has been delivered.  It is not uncommon for letters and packages to many time display an origin scan then a delivery scan.  Because USPS Certified Mail® requires every Certified letter to be signed for, it may take up to 3 weeks sometimes until a change in the tracking/delivery status changes.

If you send the USPS Money Order it is suggested you obtain a tracking confirmation. While en route scans may be provided in the future they are not a feature of Delivery Confirmation service today.

Delivery confirmation is provided as a part of Priority Mail and Certified Mai®l.  If you use Express Mail you will receive a confirmation email with a USPS tracking number. Your postage service includes the Delivery Confirmation and Tracking service fees. Additionally USPS sells Signature Confirmation services that provide a PDF file of the Signature when your item was delivered.

In summary, USPS Certified Mail® tracking is improving slowly.  USPS tracking is not available for military APO/FPO deliveries.  If USPS Certified Mail® delivery confirmation is unable to confirm delivery of your letter you are entitled to a refund for the Certified Mail special service because it was not properly administered or recorded.

Remember USPS tracking is really delivery confirmation and may not show up until the letter is delivered. The USPS system is primarily used to verify that something is sent or been delivered.