Certificate of mailing service is available only at the time of mailing and provides evidence that mail has been presented to the Postal Service for mailing. Certificate of mailing service does not provide a record of delivery, and the Postal Service does not retain copies of PS Form 3817, Certificate of Mailing, or PS Form 3877, Firm Mailing Book for Accountable Mail, or USPS-approved facsimiles. The fee paid for certificates of mailing does not insure the item against loss or damage. The Postal Service postmarks (round-dates) each form or firm sheet at the time of mailing and then returns it to the mailer as the mailer’s receipt.
A customer may purchase a certificate of mailing (individual pieces) when sending the following:
- Unregistered First-Class Mail International items.
- Unregistered First-Class Package International Service items.
- Free Matter for the Blind.
- Airmail M-bags.
A certificate of mailing cannot be obtained in combination with Registered Mail items, insured parcels, or items paid with a permit imprint.
To obtain a duplicate copy of the certificate of mailing, the mailer must present the original form or firm sheet and an additional certificate endorsed “Duplicate” or a copy indicating the original dates of mailing. The Postal Service postmarks (round-dates) the additional certificate to indicate the current date.
In addition to the correct postage, the mailer must pay the certificate of mailing fee for each article on PS Form 3817 at a Post Office facility. For a separate fee, the mailer may request a duplicate copy of PS Form 3817 after mailing (see 311.22). See Notice 123, Price List.
When mailing three or more pieces, the mailer may optionally use PS Form 3877. In addition to the correct postage, the mailer must pay the certificate of mailing fee for each article on PS Form 3877 by affixing ordinary (uncanceled) stamps, meter imprints, or PC Postage imprints to PS Form 3877. Mailers paying for the postage with a permit imprint may also pay the fee at the time of mailing using the same permit imprint account. For a separate fee, the mailer may request a duplicate copy of PS Form 3877 after mailing (see 311.22). See Notice 123, Price List.
To obtain a certificate of mailing service for individual pieces, the mailer must present an eligible item for mailing (see 311.21) to a Post Office facility. For customers served by rural carrier service, the carrier obtains the certificate at the Post Office, attaches the stamps, obtains the postmark (round-date) on the certificate on the day of mailing, and delivers the certificate to the customer on the next trip.
To obtain a certificate of mailing service for three or more pieces of eligible items (see 311.21), the mailer may use PS Form 3877 or a USPS-approved facsimile. All entries on firm sheets must be typed or printed in ink. The mailer may also use USPS-approved computer-generated firm sheets that contain the same information as PS Form 3877. The mailer must obliterate all unused portions of the addressee column by drawing a diagonal line through them. The mailer must pay the certificate of mailing fee by affixing ordinary (uncanceled) stamps, precanceled stamps, meter stamps, or PC Postage stamps to the items. The mailer and accepting employee must initial any alterations to the firm sheets. The postmarked (round-dated) sheets of the books become the mailer’s receipts.