Need to send a letter, but want the ability to track it? Certified Mail is the only mailing service the Postal Service offers that comes with a tracking number. As a general rule of thumb, you should always use certified mail for mailing sensitive documents such as tax payments, checks, and legal notices. You can also purchase certified mail if you simply want to keep an eye on your letters and make sure they arrive at their destinations (I’m looking at you, all you control freaks out there). Read more about how you can track a certified letter with USPS, where to follow along with it, and how much this service costs.
Tracking a Certified Letter is the Same Process as Tracking a Package
When you purchase certified mail, USPS will assign you a unique tracking number on your receipt. The postal worker at the counter will often circle this for you, so it’s easy to spot. However, if they don’t, just look for the long string of numbers on your receipt. You can’t miss them! If all else fails, look for the numbers underneath the barcode on your green Certified Mail slip.
If you want to track your certified letter, simply type in your tracking number in the tracking search box on the USPS website. That link will take you directly there!
Can I Purchase Certified Mail Online?
Unfortunately, you typically cannot purchase certified mail service online, either through USPS.com or through online shipping software that sells discounted postage. The sole exception is by making an account with Stamps.com…which, in our opinion, is more headache than it’s worth. Outside of that, your best option to use this service is to go to your local Post Office and wait in line. Sorry we don’t have better news!
Certified mail costs $3.55, but that’s not the final amount you’ll pay. This fee is in addition to the cost of postage that you need to pay to send the letter in the first place. Remember, the cost of a forever stamp for First-Class Mail is currently $0.55. So, when you include certified mail on top of that, you’re looking at a minimum of $4.10 (3.55 + 0.55). Also, keep in mind that any letters weighing more than 1 ounce cost an additional $0.15 per ounce.
Have any questions? Drop us a line in the comments and we’ll get back to you!