500 Additional Services

503 Extra Services

Overview

1.0 Basic Standards for All Extra Services

2.0 Registered Mail

3.0 Certified Mail Services

4.0 Insured Mail

5.0 Certificates of Mailing

6.0 Return Receipt

7.0 USPS Tracking

8.0 USPS Signature Services

9.0 Collect on Delivery (COD)

10.0 Special Handling

11.0 Return Receipt for Merchandise

 

1.0 Basic Standards for All Extra Services

1.1 Description

Extra services described in 2.0 through 11.0 provide optional services for mailpieces such as insurance coverage, restricted delivery, and evidence of mailing, or a record of delivery (which includes the recipient’s signature). Mailers can access delivery information for extra services under 1.8.

1.2 Fees and Postage

Extra Service fees are charged per piece in addition to correct postage. See Notice 123—Price List.

1.3 Paying Fees and Postage

Except as provided under 604.6.1 and for official mail of federal government agencies collected under 703.7.0 (for Department of State, see 703.3.0), postage and extra service fees are paid at the time of mailing. Unless otherwise restricted by standards, extra service fees may be paid using precanceled stamps (except for Registered Mail and items with USPS Tracking or Signature Confirmation), ordinary postage stamps, metered or PC Postage indicia, or by permit imprint.

1.4 Eligibility for Extra Services

Exhibits 1.4.1, 1.4.2, and 1.4.3 provide the eligibility of each extra service for domestic mail as follows:

  1. Exhibit 1.4.1, Eligibility – Domestic Mail
  2. Exhibit 1.4.2, Eligibility – Other Domestic Mail (e.g., APO/FPO/DPO, territories and possessions, and Freely Associated States)
  3. Exhibit 1.4.3, Eligibility – Domestic Returns
1.4.1 Eligibility—Domestic Mail

Exhibit 1.4.1 provides the eligibility of each extra service for domestic mail. The exhibit also provides the additional extra services that may be combined with each extra service. The combined extra services are subject to the eligibility of the mail listed for each extra service. The following extra services or additional extra services may be added at the time of mailing, if the standards for the services are met and the applicable fees are paid.

Exhibit 1.4.1 Eligibility—Domestic Mail

 

EXTRA SERVICE

ELIGIBLE MAIL

ADDITIONAL COMBINED EXTRA SERVICES

Registered Mail

Registered Mail Restricted Delivery

Registered Mail COD (PM, FCM, and FCPS-Retail, only)

Priority Mail

First-Class Mail

First-Class Package Service — Commercial

First-Class Package Service — Retail

Return Receipt

Signature Confirmation

Certified Mail

Certified Mail Restricted Delivery

Certified Mail Adult Signature Required 1

Certified Mail Adult Signature Restricted Delivery 1

Priority Mail

First-Class Mail

First-Class Package Service — Commercial

First-Class Package Service — Retail

Return Receipt

(For Certified Mail Adult Signature Services 1, only Form 3811 option is available.)

Insurance

Insurance Restricted Delivery

(If insured > $500.00)

 

Note: Priority Mail Express includes $100.00 of insurance and Priority Mail includes either $100.00 or $50.00 of insurance; see 503.4.0.

Priority Mail Express

Priority Mail

First-Class Mail

First-Class Package Service — Commercial

First-Class Package Service — Retail

USPS Retail Ground

Bound Printed Matter

Library Mail

Media Mail

Parcel Select

Parcel Select Lightweight 1

(bulk insurance only)

USPS Marketing Mail 2, 7

(bulk insurance for (nonprofit) parcels only 1

USPS Tracking

Signature Confirmation

(if insured for < or =$500.)

Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery

(if insured for <=$500)

Adult Signature Required 1

Adult Signature Restricted Delivery 1

Return Receipt

(if insured >$500.00, Form 3811 only.)

Return Receipt for Merchandise

(if insured for < or =$500)

Special Handling-Fragile

Hold For Pickup

Certificate of Mailing

(Form 3817 (retail use only) or Form 3665-Firm) for individual pieces only; Form 3665-Firm is for 3 or more pieces presented at one time (see 5.0).

Priority Mail

First-Class Mail

First-Class Package Service — Commercial

First-Class Package Service — Retail

USPS Retail Ground

Bound Printed Matter

Library Mail

Media Mail

Special Handling-Fragile

Certificate of Bulk Mailing

(Form 3606; only evidence of number of identical weight piece mailed (see 5.0).

Priority Mail

First-Class Mail

First-Class Package Service — Commercial

First-Class Package Service — Retail

USPS Retail Ground

Parcel Select

Parcel Select Lightweight

USPS Marketing Mail 7

Special Handling-Fragile

Return Receipt

(Form 3811 must bear an IMpb linked to the IMpb for the host extra service for the appended mailpiece.)

Priority Mail Express

(Form 3811 only)

Priority Mail 3

First-Class Mail 3

First-Class Package Service — Commercial 1, 3

First-Class Package Service Retail

USPS Marketing Mail 1, 4, 7

Parcel Select 1, 8

Parcel Select Lightweight 1, 9

USPS Retail Ground 5

Bound Printed Matter 1, 5

Library Mail 5

Media Mail 5

Certified Mail

Certified Mail Restricted Delivery

Certified Mail Adult Signature Required (Form 3811 only)

Certified Mail Adult Signature Restricted Delivery (Form 3811 only)

Collect on Delivery

Collect on Delivery Restricted Delivery

Registered Mail

Registered Mail Restricted Delivery

USPS Tracking 4

Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery

(Form 3811 only)

Signature Confirmation

(Form 3811 only)

Insurance

(if insured >$500.00, Form 3811 only.)

Special Handling-Fragile

Adult Signature Requested 1

(Form 3811 only)

Adult Signature Restricted Delivery 1

(Form 3811 only)

Signature Confirmation

Priority Mail

First-Class Package Service — Retail

(electronic option only)

First-Class Package Service — Commercial

(electronic option only)

USPS Retail Ground

Parcel Select

Parcel Select Lightweight

Bound Printed Matter

Library Mail

Media Mail

Collect on Delivery (COD)

Insurance

(if < or =$500)

Registered Mail

Registered Mail Restricted Delivery

Return Receipt 6

(Form 3811 only)

Special Handling-Fragile

Hold For Pickup

Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery

Priority Mail 3

First-Class Package Service — Retail 3

First-Class Package Service — Commercial

USPS Retail Ground

Parcel Select

Parcel Select Lightweight 4

Bound Printed Matter

Library Mail

Media Mail

Collect on Delivery (COD)

Insurance

(if < or =$500)

Registered Mail

Return Receipt

(Form 3811 only)

Special Handling-Fragile

Hold For Pickup

Adult Signature Required 1

Adult Signature Restricted Delivery1

Priority Mail Express

Priority Mail

First-Class Package Service — Retail

First-Class Package Service — Commercial

Parcel Select

Parcel Select Lightweight

Insurance

Return Receipt

(Form 3811 only)

Hold For Pickup

USPS Tracking

(Except for Periodicals, USPS Tracking is available for all products, restrictions may apply. USPS Tracking is provided at no additional charge except for USPS Marketing Mail.)

First-Class Package Service — Retail

USPS Marketing Mail 1, 2

(electronic option only)

Insurance

(bulk insurance (for USPS Marketing Mail (nonprofit) parcels) only 1, 2)

Return Receipt 4

Collect on Delivery (COD)

COD Restricted Delivery

Priority Mail Express

(1-Day and 2-Day only)

Priority Mail

First-Class Mail

First-Class Package Service — Commercial

First-Class Package Service Retail

USPS Retail Ground

Parcel Select

Bound Printed Matter

Library Mail

Media Mail

Return Receipt

Signature Confirmation 2

(not available for purchase with Priority Mail Express COD)

Special Handling-Fragile

Hold For Pickup

Note: For Registered Mail see Registered Mail COD (9.1.3).

Return Receipt for Merchandise

Priority Mail

USPS Marketing Mail 7

(machinable and irregular parcels only)

Parcel Select

USPS Retail Ground

Bound Printed Matter

Library Mail

Media Mail

USPS Tracking

Insurance

(if insured for <=$500)

Special Handling-Fragile

Special Handling-Fragile

Priority Mail Express

Priority Mail

First-Class Mail

First-Class Package Service — Commercial

First-Class Package Service Retail

USPS Retail Ground

Parcel Select

Bound Printed Matter

Library Mail

Media Mail

Collect On Delivery (COD)

Insurance

Return Receipt 6

Return Receipt for Merchandise

Signature Confirmation 2

1. Not at retail.

2. Parcels only.

3. If also purchased with Adult Signature services, Certified Mail, COD services, insurance over $500.00, Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery, or Registered Mail services.

4. If also purchased with bulk insurance over $500.00.

5. If also purchased with COD, insurance over $500.00, or Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery.

6. If also purchased with insurance over $500.00, COD services, or Registered Mail services.

7. USPS Marketing Mail Nonprofit, USPS Marketing Mail Parcels (Machinable, Irregular) only.

8. If also purchased with Adult Signature services, COD services, insurance over $500.00, or Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery.

9. If also purchased with Adult Signature services, bulk insurance over $500.00, or Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery.

1.4.2 Eligibility—Other Domestic Mail

As provided for the classes of mail under 1.4.1, and unless otherwise restricted (also see “Overseas Military/Diplomatic Mail” and “Freely Associated States (FAS)” sections of the Postal Bulletin), extra services are available for mail addressed to APO/FPO destinations (also see 703), and to ZIP Codes in U.S. territories and possessions (also see 608.2.0), or Freely Associated States (also see 608.2.0), as follows:

Exhibit 1.4.2 Eligibility—Other Domestic Mail

 

EXTRA SERVICE

APO/FPO/DPO

US TERRITORIES AND POSSESSIONS

FREELY ASSOCIATED STATES

Registered Mail

Registered Mail Restricted Delivery

Registered Mail COD

Limited 1

Limited 1

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Limited 2

Certified Mail

Yes

Yes

Yes

Certified Mail Restricted Delivery

Yes

Yes

Yes

Certified Mail Adult Signature Required

No

Yes

No

Certified Mail Adult Signature Restricted Delivery

No

Yes

No

Insurance

(< or = $500.00)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Insurance

(> $500.00)

Limited 3

Yes

Yes

Insurance Restricted Delivery

Limited 1

Yes

Yes

Certificate of Mailing

Yes

Yes

Yes

Certificate of Bulk Mailing

(Form 3606; only evidence of number of identical weight piece mailed (see 5.0).

Yes

Yes

Yes

Return Receipt

(Form 3811 must bear an IMpb linked to the IMpb for the host extra service for the appended mailpiece.)

Limited 4

Limited 4

Limited 4

Signature Confirmation

Limited

(Available only to select APO/FPO/DPO destinations.)

Yes

No

Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery

No

Yes

No

Adult Signature Requested

No

Yes

No

Adult Signature Restricted Delivery

No

Yes

No

USPS Tracking

Limited 5

Yes

Yes

COD

No

Yes

Limited 2

COD Restricted Delivery

No

Yes

Limited 2

Return Receipt for Merchandise

Yes

Yes

Yes

Special Handling-Fragile

Yes

Yes

Yes

1. Available only to select APO/FPO/DPO destinations.

2. Except for items sent to Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.

3. If insured for more than $500.00, signature service provided only if hardcopy return receipt (form 3811) is also purchased.

4. Electronic option is not available for items mailed to APO or FPO addresses or U.S. territories, possessions, and freely associated states.

5. Availability of electronic information regarding an event scan may be limited.

1.4.3 Eligibility—Domestic Returns

Extra services for return mailpieces are available as follows:

Exhibit 1.4.3 Eligibility—Domestic Returns

 

RETURN SERVICE

ELIGIBLE EXTRA SERVICES

(paid by permit holder)

ELIGIBLE EXTRA SERVICES

(paid by sender)

Merchandise Return Service

Registered Mail

Insurance < or =$500.00 1, 2

Insurance >$500.00 1, 2, 4

Return Receipt for Merchandise

Special Handling-Fragile

Registered Mail

Insurance < or =$500.00 1, 2

Insurance >$500.00 1, 2, 4

Return Receipt for Merchandise

Special Handling-Fragile

Certificate of Mailing 3

Priority Mail Return Service,

First-Class Package Return Service, Ground Return Service

Insurance < or =$500.00 2

Insurance > $500.00 2, 4

Insurance < or =$500.00 2

Insurance > $500.00 2, 4

Parcel Return Service

Insurance < or =$500.00 2

Insurance > $500.00 2, 4

Insurance < or =$500.00 2

Insurance > $500.00 2, 4

Certificate of Mailing 3

1. Insurance may be combined with Special Handling.

2. Insurance must be purchased; no included insurance is provided for returns.

3. Individual pieces using Form 3817 or Form 3665 by sender only.

4. Signature service is not provided for items insured for >$500.

1.5 Mailing
1.5.1 Where to Mail

Some extra services may be purchased online or mailpieces may be presented to a retail employee at a Post Office, station, or branch (including any authorized contractor). Except for Registered Mail (see 2.0), COD (see 9.0), and Adult Signature (see 8.0), items with postage and extra service fees affixed may be placed in, but not on, a Post Office maildrop, a street letterbox, or a rural mailbox, or may be given to the carrier (for that delivery address). A mailer may schedule a Pickup on Demand, or schedule a Package Pickup using www.usps.com for items bearing extra services (except for Registered Mail, COD and Adult Signature in certain circumstances); however a physical scan must be received from the USPS as evidence of acceptance (See 1.10 for obtaining mailing receipts for extra service items). Items with extra services bearing a permit imprint must be accepted at the Post Office that issued the permit, at a time and place designated by the Postmaster, except as provided for plant-verified drop shipments.

1.5.2 Presenting to Rural Carriers

Mail with extra services may be presented to rural carriers for mailing. When Registered Mail, Insured Mail, Certificate of Mailing, Collect on Delivery (COD), and Adult Signature in certain circumstances, is desired, additional conditions under the standards for the extra service must be met. The USPS is not liable for any article or money left in a rural mailbox until the carrier issues a receipt.

1.6 Refunds

See 604.9.0 for eligible refunds for extra service fees.

1.7 Forms and Labels
1.7.1 Retail Forms and Labels

When purchasing extra services, mailers must use USPS-provided retail PS Forms or Labels (see forms at http://pe.usps.gov/), or use USPS-approved privately printed forms or labels or barcoded shipping labels under 1.7.2, or under 5.0 for Certificate of Mailing forms.

1.7.2 Privately Printed Forms or Labels

Except for Certificate of Mailing service using privately printed forms (i.e., facsimiles) as provided under 5.0, if authorized, a mailer may use privately printed extra service forms and labels for domestic mail only, if the forms and labels are nearly identical in design elements and color to the USPS form, with an Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb) and human-readable numbers that meet USPS specifications in 204.2.0. Prior to use, mailers must send samples of their privately printed form to the National Customer Support Center (NCSC) for review and approval (see 608.8.0 for address and PS Form 5052 for details). Customers affixing both a barcoded address label and a barcoded extra service label on the same mailpiece must ensure that the barcodes on both labels match. Mailers generating shipping labels bearing an IMpb must also affix the appropriate colored non-barcoded color-coded label for Registered Mail (under 2.1.2) or Certified Mail (under 3.2.1). For mailers printing their own barcodes, which requires sending electronic shipping services files, see 204.2.0.

1.7.3 Intelligent Mail Package Barcodes

Items for which extra services are added must bear a correct Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb).

1.7.4 Acceptance

Mailers who use the electronic option or print their own labels must submit a copy of their original Form 3152 with their first mailing. Mailers should keep the certification form on file. If requested by the USPS after the first mailing, the form must be presented within 24 hours. Mailers who wish to obtain an electronic entry scan must submit either Form 3152, or Form 5630, with each mailing to include the electronic file number associated with that mailing. The electronic file number on the form must be in either a barcode format (preferred) or written on the form. Mailers of single-piece price mail, with postage affixed using the electronic option price, are not required to submit Form 3152.

1.8 Obtaining Delivery Information and Delivery Records

Delivery records for extra services are available as follows:

  1. Information by article number can be retrieved at www.usps.com or by calling 1-800-222-1811. A proof of delivery letter (including recipient’s signature, when available) may be provided by email.
  2. Bulk proof of delivery allows mailers using privately printed labels to receive proof of delivery signature data electronically. The proof of delivery records are sent in a signature extract file format. Bulk proof of delivery records are available to mailers meeting the standards provided in Publication 199, Supplement for Bulk Proof of Delivery Services, available on RIBBS.
  3. A return receipt (hardcopy Form 3811) may be purchased at the time of mailing and is received by mail.
1.9 Delivery
1.9.1 Basic Standards

Delivery of mail with extra services that require an addressee’s signature is subject to 508.1.0 and 508.2.0. Delivery of Registered Mail (under 2.0) and collect on delivery (COD) (under 9.0) are also subject to additional standards for delivery.

1.10 Receipts

Except for domestic certificates of mailing under 5.0, the mailer receives a USPS sales receipt and the postmarked (round-dated) extra service form for services purchased at retail channels. The mailer must provide the receipt when submitting an insurance claim or filing an inquiry. For articles mailed via PC Postage or other online services, the mailer may access a computer printout online that identifies the applicable extra service number, total postage paid, insurance fee amount, declared value, declared mailing date, origin ZIP Code, and delivery ZIP Code. For three or more pieces with extra or accountable services (includes international Certificate of Mailing) presented for mailing at one time, the mailer uses Form 3877 (firm sheet) or USPS-approved privately printed firm sheets (see 1.7.2) in lieu of the receipt portion of the individual form. All entries made on firm sheets must be computer-generated or made by typewriter, ink, or ballpoint pen. Alterations must be initialed by the mailer and accepting employee. Obliterate all unused portions of the addressee column with a diagonal line. USPS-approved privately printed firm sheets that contain the same information as Form 3877 may be approved by the local Postmaster or manager Business Mail Entry. The mailer may omit columns from privately printed Form 3877 that are not applicable to extra service requested. If the mailer wants the firm sheets receipted by the USPS (postmarked), the mailer must present the firm sheets with the articles to be mailed at a Post Office. The postmarked firm sheets become the mailer‘s receipts. For Registered Mail and COD, the mailer submits the forms in duplicate and receives one copy as a mailing receipt after the entries are verified by the postal employee accepting the mailing. Except for Registered Mail and COD items, the USPS keeps no mailing records for mail pieces bearing extra services.

2.0 Registered Mail

2.1 Basic Standards
2.1.1 Description

Registered Mail is subject to the basic standards in 1.0; see 1.4 for eligibility. Registered Mail is the most secure service that the USPS offers. It incorporates a system of receipts to monitor the movement of the mail from the point of acceptance to delivery. Registered Mail provides the sender with a mailing receipt and, upon request (see 1.8), electronic verification that an article was delivered or that a delivery attempt was made. Customers may obtain a record of delivery (which includes the recipient’s signature) by purchasing a return receipt (6.0), at the time of mailing. Customers may direct delivery of Registered Mail only to the addressee (or addressee’s authorized agent) using Registered Mail Restricted Delivery (2.1.4). Postal insurance is included in the fee for articles with a value of at least $0.01 up to a maximum insured value of $50,000.00. Postal insurance is not available for articles with no value ($0.00). The fees for articles valued over $50,000.00 include insurance up to $50,000.00, and increasingly higher fees for handling costs. The face (address side) of a registered article must be at least 5 inches long and 3-1/2 inches high, regardless of thickness. Registration may not be obtained if:

  1. Sent as business reply mail or in a business reply envelope
  2. Addressed to a Post Office to which it cannot be transported safely.
  3. Prepared improperly or packed inadequately to withstand normal handling (see 2.3.4).
  4. Tied or fastened with one or more articles, unless enclosed in the same envelope or wrapper.
  5. Presented for mailing in a padded envelope; envelope or mailer manufactured of spun-bonded olefin, such as Tyvek; plastic envelope or mailer; or envelope or mailer made of glossy-coated paper.
  6. Not listed as eligible mail under 1.4.
2.1.2 Label 200

Registered Mail must bear the barcoded red Label 200 (see forms at http://pe.usps.gov/), or a non-barcoded red Label 200-N (when a mailer-generated shipping label bearing an IMpb (under 204.2.0) is also affixed on the same mailpiece). Mailers must place the applicable label above the delivery address and to the right of the return address, or to the left of the delivery address on parcels. If authorized, a mailer may use a privately printed Label 200 under the standards in 1.8).

2.1.3 Deposit

Registered Mail service is only available at the time of mailing and must be presented as follows:

  1. A retail employee at a Post Office, station, or branch (including any contractor-operated unit). A postmaster may require that an article of unusually high value be presented only at the main office or at designated stations and branches.
  2. A rural carrier on a rural route. The article and sufficient cash for postage and required fees for mailing the article may be left in a rural mailbox. The carrier must hand any change to the sender or place it in an envelope and leave the envelope in the box on the carrier’s next trip. Responsibility is not assumed for the article or cash until a receipt is issued. No responsibility is assumed for the change left in the box by the carrier.
  3. A rural carrier at a nonpersonnel rural unit. The sender must meet the rural carrier to have mail registered.
2.1.4 Additional Standards for Registered Mail Restricted Delivery

Registered Mail Restricted Delivery permits a mailer to direct delivery only to the addressee (or addressee’s authorized agent). The addressee must be an individual (natural person) specified by name.The mailer may request Registered Mail Restricted Delivery at the time of mailing by advising the USPS clerk or by marking the mail “Restricted Delivery” the address and to the right of the return address, and paying the applicable fee. A firm mailer must enter the proper fee in the correct column of the firm sheet and place the required endorsement on the mail. Customers may obtain a record of delivery (which includes the recipient’s signature) by purchasing a return (6.0). If a return receipt is requested, the correct block on Form 3811 must be checked to show that restricted delivery is also required. Mail marked “Restricted Delivery” is delivered under the conditions in 508.1.1.7 and 508.1.1.8.

2.1.5 Registered Mail COD

Sealed domestic mail bearing First-Class Mail or Priority Mail postage may be sent as Registered Mail COD when meeting the standards in 9.0 and as follows:

  1. Such mail is handled the same as other Registered Mail.
  2. The maximum amount collectible from the recipient on one article is $1,000.00. Indemnity is available up to the registry limit of $50,000.00 by paying the registry fee for the value declared. The total fees charged for Registered Mail COD service include the proper registry fee for the value declared plus the Registered Mail COD fee. The mailer must declare the full value of the article being mailed, regardless of the amount to be collected from the recipient.
  3. The registered label and the COD form must be affixed to each article. The registration number is used for delivery receipt and indemnity claims.
2.2 Fees and Liability
2.2.1 Declaring Full Value

The mailer must always declare the item’s full value (see chart below) to the USPS (by stating it to the USPS clerk or entering it on the firm sheet if a firm mailer) when presenting it for registration and mailing. Private insurance carried on Registered Mail does not modify the requirements for declaring the full value. The accepting USPS employee may ask the mailer to show that the full value of the matter presented is declared, and may refuse to accept the matter as Registered Mail if a satisfactory declaration of value is not provided. Only articles of no value may be mailed as Registered Mail without insurance.

 

MAIL MATTER

VALUE TO BE DECLARED

Negotiable Instrument (instruments payable to bearer, including stock certificates endorsed in blank)

Market value (value based on value at time of mailing)

Nonnegotiable Instrument [registered bonds, warehouse receipts, checks, drafts, deeds, wills, abstracts, and similar documents (certificates of stock considered nonnegotiable so far as declaration of value is concerned unless endorsed in blank)]

No value or replacement cost if postal insurance coverage desired 1

Money

Full value

Jewelry, Gems, Precious Metal

Market value or cost

Merchandise

Market value or cost

Nonvaluable (matter without intrinsic value such as letters, files, records)

No value or replacement cost if postal insurance coverage desired 1

1. A mailer who does not know replacement costs should contact a person or firm familiar with such documents and determine replacement costs before mailing the articles.

2.2.2 Fees Paid by Permit Imprint

When Registered Mail fees are paid by permit imprint, the exact amount of postage and fees paid must be shown within the permit imprint, except for pieces in a manifest mailing where only the registry fee must be shown.

2.2.3 Official Mail

Official mail of authorized government agencies, if prepared under applicable standards in 703.7.0 for transmission of mail without prepayment of postage, may be sent by Registered Mail without prepayment of a registration fee.

2.2.4 Merchandise Return

When the permit holder chooses Registered Mail with merchandise return service under 505.3.0, the item may be sent without prepayment of postage and fees.

2.2.5 Indemnity

Except for matter registered with merchandise return service, no indemnity is paid for any matter registered without prepayment of postage and fees.

2.3 Mailing
2.3.1 Addressing

The mail must bear the complete names and addresses of both sender and addressee.

2.3.2 Opened Envelope

Any envelope or package that appears to have been opened and resealed, or otherwise improperly prepared, may not be registered.

2.3.3 Sealing

The mailer must securely seal envelopes. Paper or cellulose strips or wax or paper seals must not be placed over the intersections of flaps of letter-size envelopes where the postmark impressions are made. Packages must be sealed with mucilage or glue or with plain paper or cloth tape. Packages containing currency or securities may not be sealed exclusively by paper strips, but must first be sealed securely with mucilage or glue. Large envelopes (flats) that are completely sealed and that also have paper strips or paper tape across the intersections of the flaps may be considered packages for sealing requirements. To be used on Registered Mail, tape must visibly damage the envelope or wrapper if removed and must absorb the ink in a postmark impression. USPS employees are not permitted to help customers prepare or seal mail to be registered.

2.3.4 Fragile Item

The mailer must tell the USPS employee whether the item is fragile and, if so, describe the interior packing. All articles presented for registration must be packed as specified in 601.3.0. The USPS may refuse packages not properly packed to withstand normal handling in the mail. Indemnity may be denied if articles are not properly packaged.

2.3.5 Window Envelope

A window envelope must have a transparent panel covering the opening to be eligible for registry. If the panel is glued to the envelope, the envelope may contain only matter without intrinsic value. If the panel is part of the envelope, the envelope may be used for all Registered Mail.

2.4 Additional Standards for Delivery
2.4.1 Safe Delivery

In addition to the basic standards for delivery under 1.9.1, the postmaster may require the addressee to call for Registered Mail at the Post Office, if delivery by carrier would not be safe.

2.4.2 Bad Condition

If the addressee accepts a registered article in bad condition (repaired with sealing stamps or reenclosed in a new envelope or wrapper), the addressee must open it without disturbing the seal, in the delivering employee’s presence. If anything is missing, the envelope or wrapper must be given to the employee after it is endorsed to show what was missing.

2.5 Inquiry on Uninsured Article
2.5.1 Who, When and How to File

The procedures in this section apply only to Registered Mail with no declared value. Only the mailer, or a merchandise return service permit holder, may file an inquiry for Registered Mail items with no declared value. The inquiry should be made after 15 days from the mailing date, either at www.usps.com by entering the article number or by calling 1-800-222-1811. See Publication 122 for additional information.

2.5.2 Duplicate Inquiry

A duplicate inquiry may not be filed sooner than 30 days after the original inquiry.

3.0 Certified Mail Services

3.1 Basic Standards
3.1.1 Description

Certified Mail is subject to the basic standards in 1.0; see 1.4 for eligibility. Certified Mail provides the sender with a mailing receipt and, upon request, electronic verification that an article was delivered or that a delivery attempt was made. Customers can retrieve the delivery status as provided in 1.8. Certified Mail is dispatched and handled in transit as ordinary mail. Except for Priority Mail pieces with included insurance, no insurance coverage is provided when purchasing Certified Mail. USPS maintains a record of delivery (which includes the recipient’s signature). Customers may obtain a delivery record by purchasing a return receipt (6.0) at the time of mailing. Customers may direct delivery of Certified Mail only to the addressee (or addressee’s authorized agent) using Certified Mail Restricted Delivery (3.2.2); or to an adult using Certified Mail Adult Signature Required or Certified Mail Adult Signature Restricted Delivery when meeting the applicable standards for Adult Signature under 8.1.3.

3.2 Mailing
3.2.1 Form 3800

Certified Mail must bear the barcoded green label part of the Form 3800 (see forms at http://pe.usps.gov/), or a non-barcoded green Label 3800-N when a mailer-generated shipping label bearing an IMpb, under 204.2.0, is also affixed on the same mailpiece. Mailers must place the applicable label above the delivery address and to the right of the return address, or to the left of the delivery address on parcels. A mailer of Certified Mail must:

  1. On Form 3800, enter the name and complete address of the person or firm to whom the mail is addressed.
  2. If a return receipt is requested, enter the fee on the mailing receipt. Endorse the mail, near the Certified Mail endorsement on the address side of the mailpiece, “Return Receipt Requested.” Enter the Certified Mail number on the return receipt card and address it to the intended recipient on the reverse of the return receipt to show where the receipt is to be sent (this does not have to match the sender’s name and return address on the mailpiece). Attach it on the front of a package or large envelope (or to the back of a small envelope) so the card does not cover the address. When a return receipt is requested, the sender’s name and complete delivery address is required on the mailpiece.
  3. Affix to the envelope enough postage to pay for the Certified Mail fee, the class of mail used, and any additional extra service fees when applicable.
  4. If a postmarked sender’s receipt is requested, attach the Form 3800 with the completed receipt to the address side of the article and present the article to the USPS employee, who then round-dates the receipt (and receipts the time, if requested) to show when the article was accepted. Otherwise, attach the “Certified Mail” sticker to the address side of the article, detach the receipt, mark the receipt to show the date, and mail the article.
  5. For Certified Mail Restricted Delivery, meet the additional standards under 3.2.2).
3.2.2 Additional Standards for Certified Mail Restricted Delivery

Certified Mail Restricted Delivery permits a mailer to direct delivery only to the addressee (or addressee’s authorized agent). The addressee must be an individual (natural person) specified by name.The mailer may request Certified Mail Restricted Delivery at the time of mailing by advising the USPS clerk or by marking the mail “Restricted Delivery” above the address and to the right of the return address and paying the applicable fee. A firm mailer must enter the proper fee in the correct column of the firm sheet and place the required endorsement on the mail. Customers may obtain a record of delivery (which includes the recipient’s signature) by purchasing a return receipt (6.0). If a return receipt is requested, the correct block on Form 3811 must be checked to show that restricted delivery is also required. Mail marked “Restricted Delivery” is delivered under the conditions in 508.1.1.7 and 508.1.1.8.

4.0 Insured Mail

4.1 Insurance Coverage-Priority Mail Express

Priority Mail Express is insured against loss, damage, or missing contents, subject to these standards:

  1. Insurance coverage for Priority Mail Express Open & Distribute shipments ends on receipt at the destination postal facility and the content of each Priority Mail Express container is considered one mailpiece for indemnity coverage.
  2. All Priority Mail Express signed for by the addressee (or agent) constitutes a valid delivery, and no indemnity for loss is paid. For Priority Mail Express items not requiring a signature, a delivered scan event constitutes a valid delivery, and no indemnity for loss is paid.
  3. Merchandise insurance coverage is provided against loss, damage, or missing contents and limited to a maximum liability of $100.00. Additional insurance under 4.1.1 may be purchased up to a maximum coverage of $5,000.00. Nonnegotiable documents are insured against loss, damage, or missing contents, up to $100.00 per piece, subject to the maximum limit per occurrence as defined in 609.
  4. Customers may file a claim online for insured Priority Mail Express at www.usps.com/domestic-claims. Additional terms of indemnity claims are in 609.
4.1.1 Additional Insurance-Priority Mail Express

[1-21-18] Additional insurance, up to a maximum coverage of $5,000.00, may be purchased for merchandise valued at more than $100.00 sent by Priority Mail Express. The additional insurance fee is in addition to postage and other fees. See Notice 123—Price List. The insurance fee is entered in the block marked “Insurance” on the mailing label. If the label does not contain this block, the mailer uses the “COD” block by crossing out “COD,” writing “INS” to the right, and entering the fee for the requested coverage. Coverage is limited to the actual value of the contents, regardless of the fee paid, or the highest insurance value increment for which the fee is fully paid, whichever is lower. When “signature required” service is not requested or when “waiver of signature” is requested, additional insurance is not available.

4.2 Insurance Coverage — Priority Mail

Priority Mail pieces bearing an Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb) or USPS retail tracking barcode (see 4.3.4) are insured against loss, damage, or missing contents, up to a maximum of $50.00 or $100.00, subject to the following:

  1. Insurance coverage is provided against loss, damage, or missing contents and is limited to a maximum liability of $100.00 when the Priority Mail pieces bear an Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb) and if the mailer pays Commercial Plus prices.
  2. Insurance coverage is provided against loss, damage, or missing contents and limited to a maximum liability of $50.00 when the Priority Mail pieces bear an IMpb or USPS retail tracking barcode, and does not otherwise qualify for $100.00 of insurance coverage as described in 4.2a.
  3. In addition to the insurance coverage under 4.2a or 4.2b, additional Priority Mail insurance may be purchased up to a maximum coverage of $5,000.00.
  4. Priority Mail pieces meeting the requirements under 4.2, but not supported by a Shipping Services file must have a full acceptance scan in order to qualify for automatic insurance coverage.
  5. Insurance coverage under 4.2a or 4.2b is not provided for Priority Mail pieces mailed as Merchandise Return Service, Priority Mail Open and Distribute, or Premium Forwarding Service.
  6. Customers may file claims online for insured domestic Priority Mail items at www.usps.com/domestic-claims. Additional terms for indemnity claims are in 609.
4.3 Basic Standards
4.3.1 Description

Insured mail is subject to the basic standards in 1.0; see 1.4 for eligibility. The following additional standards apply to insured mail:

  1. Insured mail purchased at a retail Post Office location, online through Click-N-Ship, a USPS-approved provider of PC Postage products or customer-generated integrated barcodes provides up to $5,000.00 indemnity coverage for articles that are lost, damaged or have missing contents. In order to be eligible for insurance indemnity, a mailpiece must have received at least one USPS processing scan or the customer must provide proof of insurance (see 609.3.1). Customers are encouraged to deposit insured mailpieces with a USPS retail associate.
  2. Bulk insurance prices are available for insured articles entered by authorized mailers who meet the criteria in 4.4. This service is not available for insurance purchased online.
  3. Insured mail provides the mailer with a mailing receipt. No record of insured mail is kept at the office of mailing; however, the USPS maintains insured mail delivery records for a period of time. An item insured for $500.00 or less receives a delivery scan. An item insured for more than $500.00 receives a delivery scan (includes returns products meeting the applicable standards in 505) and the USPS obtains and provides the recipient’s signature as the delivery record to the mailer electronically (excludes returns products). Customers may optionally obtain a delivery record by purchasing a hardcopy return receipt (Form 3811; also see 6.0 excludes returns products). Customers may direct delivery of mail insured for more than $500.00 only to the addressee (or addressee’s authorized agent) using Insurance Restricted Delivery (4.5).
  4. Postal insurance may be purchased at only one source for each mailpiece; combining postal insurance from multiple sources is not permitted.
  5. First-Class Mail, First-Class Package Service — Retail, First-Class Package Service — Commercial, and Priority Mail may be insured, if it contains matter that is eligible to be mailed at USPS Marketing Mail, USPS Retail Ground, or Package Services prices.
  6. For insured mail, the mailer guarantees to pay the applicable return and forwarding postage, unless the mailer writes instructions on the wrapper or envelope not to forward or return the mail.
4.3.2 Ineligible Matter

The following types of mail may not be insured:

  1. Parcels containing matter offered for sale, addressed to prospective purchasers who have not ordered or authorized their sending. If such matter is mailed, payment is not made for loss, damage, or missing contents.
  2. Nonmailable matter.
  3. Articles so fragile that they cannot be carried safely in the mail regardless of packaging.
  4. Articles not adequately prepared to withstand normal handling in the mail. As a rule, any mailable package should be insurable.
  5. Matter mailed at First-Class Mail, First-Class Package Service — Retail, or Priority Mail prices that consists of items required to be mailed at First-Class Mail prices.
4.3.3 USPS Inquiries

USPS employees are required to ask whether the mailpiece presented for insurance contains anything liquid, fragile, perishable, flammable, or potentially hazardous.

4.3.4 Markings and Forms

[1-21-18] The treatment of pieces is determined by the insurance amount as described in 4.3.1c and under the following conditions:

  1. Retail Systems Software (RSS) sites - A label and a receipt will be provided at the retail counter. The label printed at the retail counter will include postage and an Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb) that contains the appropriate service type code for the product and extra service purchased.
  2. Non-RSS sites:
    1. For retail pieces insured for $500.00 or less, the mailer must affix a barcoded Form 3813 (see forms at http://pe.usps.gov/) to each piece above the delivery address and to the right of the return address.
    2. For retail pieces insured for more than $500.00, the mailer must affix a barcoded Form 3813-P (see forms at http://pe.usps.gov/) to each piece above the delivery address and to the right of the return address.
  3. Mail for which insurance is purchased online must meet the standards in 204.2.0 and in Publication 199 and must include the text marking “Insured” in the indicia area of the online label; no Form 3813 or 3813-P is required.
  4. All insured pieces must be postmarked by USPS unless postage is paid by postage meter stamp, permit imprint, or PC Postage (when insurance is purchased online). Mailing receipts are provided under 1.10.
  5. Private insurance endorsements or markings may not appear on the address side of mail but may appear elsewhere, if they do not resemble official postal endorsements.
4.3.5 Presenting to Rural Carriers

For insured mail, a mailer may leave the mail in a rural box if the mailer has purchased insurance online, or with a note showing the requested amount of insurance based on the value of the article, if stamps are affixed for postage and fees, or money for postage and fees is left in the box.

4.4 Bulk Insurance for USPS Marketing Mail and Parcel Select Lightweight
4.4.1 Eligibility

To mail at the bulk insurance prices, for USPS Marketing Mail (except Marketing Parcels) and Parcel Select Lightweight, mailers must obtain an authorization under 4.4.2 and meet the following criteria:

  1. Mail a minimum of 10,000 insured articles annually. Mailers may total all insured articles mailed at multiple locations.
  2. Provide a printed Form 3877 or facsimile and a copy of Form 3877 on a disk or other electronic medium.
  3. Pay postage and fees with permit imprint under a manifest mailing system (705.2.0).
4.4.2 Authorization

Mailers must apply for authorization to mail at the bulk insurance prices through their local Postmaster by completing the customer portion of the bulk insured service verification form. The Postmaster will verify on this form that the mailer meets the requirements in 4.4.1, certifying that the mailer qualifies, and then forward the form to the manager of Corporate Accounting (see 608.8.0 for address). After reviewing the information, Corporate Accounting will notify the Postmaster of their concurrence who will then notify the customer of the approval.

4.5 Additional Standards for Insurance Restricted Delivery

Insurance Restricted Delivery permits a mailer to direct delivery only to the addressee (or addressee’s authorized agent). The addressee must be an individual (natural person) specified by name.The mailer may request Insurance Restricted Delivery at the time of mailing by advising the USPS clerk or by marking the mail “Restricted Delivery” above the address and to the right of the return address and paying the applicable fee. A firm mailer must enter the proper fee in the correct column of the firm sheet and place the required endorsement on the mail. Customers may obtain a record of delivery (which includes the recipient’s signature) by purchasing a return receipt (6.0). If a return receipt is requested, the correct block on Form 3811 must be checked to show that restricted delivery is also required. Mail marked “Restricted Delivery” is delivered under the conditions in 508.1.1.7 and 508.1.1.8.

5.0 Certificates of Mailing

5.1 Basic Standards
5.1.1 Description—Individual Pieces

Certificates of Mailing are subject to the applicable basic standards in 1.0, see 1.4 for eligibility. Certificates of Mailing (Form 3817 and Form 3665 (firm sheet), including USPS-approved privately printed versions as provided under 5.1.7) may be presented only at the time of mailing and provide evidence that individual mailpieces have been presented to the USPS for mailing. Certificates of Mailing do not provide a record of delivery, and the Postal Service does not retain copies of either form. Form 3817 is available for fewer than three individual pieces, presented at one time at a retail Post Office, station or branch). Form 3665 (firm sheet) is available for three or more pieces, as limited in 5.1.6. Each individual Form 3817 or each sheet of the Form 3665 (firm sheet) (or USPS-approved privately printed form) is postmarked (round-dated) at the time of mailing; the form(s) are then returned to the mailer and become the mailer‘s receipt.

5.1.2 Paying Fees

For Certificate of Mailing, in addition to the correct postage, the applicable Certificate of Mailing fee must be paid for each article on Form 3817 or listed on Form 3665-Firm and for duplicate copies of either form. When postage evidencing indicia are used to pay the fee, they must bear the full numerical value of the amount paid in the imprint.

5.1.3 Mailer Preparation

A Certificate of Mailing form must be completed by the mailer and all entries must be typed or printed in ink, by ballpoint pen, or computer-generated. Alterations must be initialed by the mailer and acceptance employee. Mailers must obliterate all unused portions of the addressee column with a diagonal line. The postmarked form or firm sheets becomes the mailer‘s receipt. Certificate of Mailing forms must show the names and addresses of the sender and addressee(s) and may show the amount of postage paid. The mailer may also place identifying invoice or order numbers on the certificate as a reference. When the number of articles presented justifies such action, the mailer must comply with these standards:

  1. When the mailer requests the maximum of two individual certificates (Form 3817) at the same time, the forms must be affixed by the stub to the pieces.
  2. When the mailer describes and lists three or more individual pieces on Form 3665 (firm sheet) or a USPS-approved privately printed form, but does not present the pieces in the order shown on the sheets, the mailer must consecutively number each entry line on the sheet and lightly number each piece to show both the corresponding sheet and line number.
  3. When the number of articles presented exceeds the allotted space on the form, use multiple sheets, and in the provided blank spaces in the lower left of the form, number them consecutively to show sheet number and total number of sheets (such as “Page 1 of 4,” “Page 2 of 4,” etc.).
5.1.4 Duplicate Copies—After Mailing

To obtain a duplicate copy of the certificate after mailing (Form 3817 only), the mailer must present the original postmarked certificate and an additional certificate endorsed “Duplicate” or a copy showing the original dates of mailing. The additional certificate is postmarked (round-dated) to show the current date.

5.1.5 Presenting to Rural Carrier

For certificate of mailing (Form 3817 only), a mailer may provide mail to the rural carrier with the fee for the certificate. 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 mailer on the next trip.

5.1.6 Acceptance

Certificate of Mailing Form 3665 (including USPS-approved privately printed versions) with mailings of fewer than 50 pieces and less than 50 pounds of corresponding articles presented at one time must be presented to a retail Post Office, station, or branch. Certificate of Mailing Form 3665 (including USPS-approved privately printed versions) with mailings of at least 50 pieces or 50 pounds of corresponding articles presented at one time must be presented to a Post Office business mail entry unit (BMEU) or authorized detached mail unit (DMU).

5.1.7 Privately Printed Forms

If authorized, a mailer may use privately printed Certificate of Mailing forms (i.e., facsimiles) for domestic mail only, if the forms are nearly identical in design elements and color to the applicable USPS form. Prior to use, mailers must send a sample of their privately printed form to com_facsimile@usps.gov for review and approval. Mailers may use their current USPS-approved privately printed Form 3877 firm sheets as a domestic Certificate of Mailing, in lieu of the Form 3665 until February 28, 2018.

5.2 Other Bulk Quantities—Certificate of Bulk Mailing
5.2.1 Description

Certificate of Bulk Mailing is subject to the applicable basic standards in 1.0; see 1.4 for eligible matter. Form 3606-D, or USPS-approved privately printed forms of form 3606-D as provided under 5.1.7, may be presented only at the time of mailing and is used to specify only the number of identical-weight pieces mailed; it does not provide evidence that a piece was mailed to a particular address. Each Form 3606-D is postmarked (round-dated) at the time the mailing is presented and is returned to the mailer as their receipt. Certificate of Bulk Mailing service does not provide a record of delivery and the Postal Service does not retain any copies of Form 3606-D. The Form 3606-D cannot be used as a Certificate of Mailing of individual mailpieces or itemized lists. Mailers may use their current USPS-approved privately printed Form 3606 as a domestic Certificate of Bulk Mailing in lieu of the Form 3606-D until February 28, 2018.

5.2.2 Paying Fees

The applicable Certificate of Bulk mailing fee must be paid for mailings of identical-weight pieces reported on Form 3606-D, or for additional copies of the form if requested at the time of mailing, in addition to the correct postage. Mailers using Form 3606-D may affix ordinary stamps or postage evidencing indicia on the form to pay the fee. When postage evidencing indicia are used, they must bear the full numerical value of the fee in the imprint. Mailers using Form 3606-D with a permit imprint mailing also may pay certificate of mailing fees, at the time of mailing, using the same permit imprint.

5.2.3 Acceptance

Certificate of Bulk Mailing Form 3606-D (including USPS-approved facsimiles) with identical-weight mailings of fewer than 50 pieces and less than 50 pounds must be presented at any retail Post Office, station or branch. Certificate of Bulk Mailing Form 3606-D (including USPS-approved facsimiles) with identical-weight mailings of at least 50 pieces or 50 pounds must be presented to a Post Office business mail entry unit (BMEU) or authorized detached mail unit (DMU).

6.0 Return Receipt

6.1 Basic Standards
6.1.1 Description

Return Receipt service is subject to the basic standards in 1.0 see 1.4 for eligibility. A return receipt may be purchased at the time of mailing and provides a mailer with evidence of delivery (to whom the mail was delivered and date of delivery), and information about the recipient’s actual delivery address. A mailer purchasing a return receipt may choose to receive the return receipt by mail (Form 3811) or electronically (by email, or by signature extract file format under 1.8). A complete return address is required on the mailpiece when a return receipt is requested. For Priority Mail Express (Form 3811 option only), the return address on the Priority Mail Express label meets this requirement. The unique barcode on a return receipt must be electronically linked to the separate barcode for the host extra service (for additional information, see the Mail Package Barcode (IMpb) Implementation Guide available on RIBBS). The electronic option is not available for items mailed to APO or FPO addresses or U.S. territories, possessions, and freely associated states.

6.1.2 Calculating Postage with Return Receipt

The weight of the return receipt is excluded from the weight of the mailpiece to which it is attached when computing postage.

6.1.3 Endorsement

Mail bearing a return receipt (Form 3811) must be endorsed “Return Receipt Requested” above the delivery address and to the right of the return address. No endorsement is required on mail for which electronic return receipt service is requested.

6.2 Obtaining Service

Mailer’s requesting return receipt service at the time of mailing using Form 3811 must complete the mailer’s entries on the form, including the article identification number; and attach the form on the article. The mailpiece must bear the return address of either the mailer or mailer’s agent. The name and address of the person or organization to which the return receipt is to be returned must be that of the mailer or the mailer’s agent, except for certain restricted mailings of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. When required by sections 472.222.and 472.242 of Publication 52, a mailer must address the sender‘s address block of the return receipt to the Pricing and Classification Service Center (PCSC) PACT, Mailing Office (see 608 for address).

6.3 Other Requests for Delivery Information

A mailer who did not receive a return receipt (Form 3811) for which the mailer had paid may request information from the delivery record within 90 days of the date of purchase using Form 3811-A. The mailer must complete Form 3811-A, at any Post Office, station or branch, and produce their receipt showing that the applicable return receipt fee was paid.

7.0 USPS Tracking

7.1 Basic Standards
7.1.1 Description

USPS Tracking is subject to the basic standards in 1.0; see 1.4 for eligibility. USPS Tracking provides the mailer with information about the date and time an article was delivered or the date and time of the delivery attempt. See 1.8 to obtain delivery information. USPS Tracking is available only at the time of mailing. No record is kept at the office of mailing. USPS Tracking does not include insurance, but insurance may be purchased as an additional service unless otherwise restricted. Some statutes governing the mailing of legal documents may require the use of Certified Mail or Registered Mail, rather than USPS Tracking.

7.1.2 Electronic Option USPS Tracking for USPS Marketing Mail Parcels

If electronic option USPS Tracking is requested for all parcels in a USPS Marketing Mail mailing and the pieces are of identical weight, then postage may be paid only with metered postage or permit imprint under 244.2.0. Electronic option USPS Tracking may be purchased for USPS Marketing Mail parcels for mailers using privately printed forms or labels, or Label 400, and who establish an electronic link with the USPS to exchange acceptance and delivery data. Mailers wishing to obtain a mailing receipt may use Form 3877. If electronic option USPS Tracking is not requested for all of the pieces in the mailing, or if the pieces are not identical weight, then either the exact metered postage must be affixed to each piece or postage must be paid with permit imprint under a manifest mailing system (705.2.0).

7.1.3 Additional Physical Standards

In addition to the applicable standards in 101, 201, and 7.1.3, for mail that is eligible for USPS Tracking under 1.4.1, all mailpieces must be large enough to hold the required delivery address, return address, mailing labels, postage, barcode, endorsements, and other mail markings on the address side of the mailpiece. In addition to the applicable standards in 101 and 201 and the purposes of USPS Tracking with USPS Retail Ground, Media Mail, Library Mail, Bound Printed Matter, or Parcel Select, the parcel must meet these additional requirements:

  1. Except as provided in (7.1.3b) for machinable parcels, the parcel must be more than 3/4 inch thick at its thickest point.
  2. If the mailpiece is a machinable parcel under 201.7.0 and no more than 3/4 inch thick, the contents must be prepared in a strong and rigid fiberboard box or similar container or in a container that becomes rigid after the contents are secured. The parcel must be able to maintain its shape, integrity, and rigidity throughout processing and handling without collapsing into a letter-size or flat-size piece.
7.2 Labels
7.2.1 Types of Labels

Mailers using privately printed USPS Tracking labels must meet the requirements in 1.8. Mailers not printing their own privately printed labels must use one of the label options as follows:

  1. Label 400 may be used by: electronic option mailers, USPS retail associates when affixed to mailpieces at a Post Office, station, or branch, or by mailers when affixed to mailpieces with postage and fees prepaid by metered indicia or ordinary stamps. A mailing receipt is provided to mailers who present mailpieces with an affixed Label 400 at a Post Office, branch, or station, or to their USPS carrier (except under 507.7.2.2). A mailer may also present mailpieces to a retail employee at a Post Office, station, or branch; and the retail associate will affix a USPS Tracking label to the item.
  2. Unique, product specific USPS-provided tracking labels are for use by electronic option mailers. The labels are populated with the product service type code and customer’s Mailer Identification (MID) number in the Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb).
7.2.2 Label Placement

The barcoded label section of Label 400 or USPS Tracking label must be placed completely on the address side of the mailpiece, above the delivery address and to the right of the return address or to the left of the delivery address. A privately printed USPS Tracking label (under 1.8) that is separate from the address label must be placed in close proximity to the address label.

8.0 USPS Signature Services

8.1 Basic Standards
8.1.1 Description

USPS Signature Services include Signature Confirmation, Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery, Adult Signature Required, and Adult Signature Restricted Delivery, all of which are subject to the basic standards in 1.0; see 1.4 for eligibility. Some statutes governing the mailing of legal documents may require the use of Certified Mail or Registered Mail rather than USPS Signature Services. USPS Signature Services are available as follows:

  1. Signature Confirmation provides the mailer with information about the date and time an article was delivered or the date and time of the delivery attempt. A delivery record (including the recipient’s signature) is maintained by the USPS and is available electronically or by email, upon request. The Signature Confirmation is available as a Retail option: Available at Post Offices at the time of mailing; a mailing receipt is provided. Electronic option: Available to mailers who establish an electronic link with the USPS to exchange acceptance and delivery data; no mailing receipt is provided.
  2. Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery provides the same service as provided under item a and permits a mailer to direct delivery only to the addressee (or addressee’s authorized agent). The addressee must be an individual (natural person) specified by name.The mailer may request Insured Restricted Delivery at the time of mailing by advising the USPS clerk or by marking the mail “Restricted Delivery” above the address and to the right of the return address and paying the applicable fee. A firm mailer must enter the proper fee in the correct column of the firm sheet and place the required endorsement on the mailpiece.
  3. Adult Signature service provides electronic confirmation of the delivery or attempted delivery of the mailpiece and signature of the recipient, who must be 21 years of age or older. Prior to delivery, the recipient must furnish proof of age via a driver‘s license, passport, or other government-issued photo identification that lists age or date of birth. The USPS maintains a record of delivery (including the recipient’s signature) for two years. The Adult Signature options are:
    1. Adult Signature Required — provides delivery to a person who is 21 years of age or older. Upon delivery, an adult who is 21 years of age or older must provide one of the forms of identification listed above and provide a signature for receipt of the mailpiece.
    2. Adult Signature Restricted Delivery—provides Adult Signature Required with the additional restriction of limiting delivery to a specific addressee or authorized agent who is 21 years of age or older. If the specific individual is not 21 years of age or older, the mailpiece will be returned to sender.
8.1.2 Standards for Signature Confirmation

[1-21-18] For Signature Confirmation with USPS Retail Ground, Media Mail, Library Mail, Bound Printed Matter, or Parcel Select pieces meeting the physical standards under 201.7.0, the parcel must meet these additional requirements:

  1. The surface area of the address side of the parcel must be large enough to contain a complete and legible delivery address, return address, postage, and any markings, endorsements, and extra service labels.
  2. Except as provided in (8.1.2c) for machinable parcels, the parcel must be greater than 3/4 inch thick at its thickest point.
  3. If the mailpiece is a machinable parcel under 201.7.0 and no greater than 3/4 inch thick, the contents must be prepared in a strong and rigid fiberboard box or similar container or in a container that becomes rigid after the contents are enclosed and the container is secured. The parcel must be able to maintain its shape, integrity, and rigidity throughout processing and handling without collapsing into a letter-size or flat-size piece.
  4. Mailers must use one of the following labels:
    1. Retail Systems Software (RSS) sites - A label and a receipt will be provided at the retail counter. The label printed at the retail counter will that include postage and an Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb) that contains the appropriate service type code for the product and extra service purchased.
    2. Non-RSS sites: Form 153 (see forms at http://pe.usps.gov/), obtained from the Post Office at no charge, may be used only with the retail option.
    3. Label 315 electronic Signature Confirmation is available to electronic option mailers.
    4. Privately printed barcoded labels must meet the requirements in 1.8. On the Priority Mail label, mailers must use the registered trademark symbol following the Priority Mail text or add the following statement at the bottom of the label in at least 6-point Helvetica type: “Priority Mail is a registered trademark of the U.S. Postal Service.” See Parcel Labeling Guide or Publication 97 available on PostalPro.
  5. The barcoded label section of Label 315 or Form 153 (see forms at http://pe.usps.gov/) must be placed completely on the address side either above the delivery address and to the right of the return address, or to the left of the delivery address. A privately printed Signature Confirmation label that is separate from a privately printed address label must be placed in close proximity to the address label.
8.1.3 Additional Standards for Adult Signature Service

Customers may obtain Adult Signature Required and Adult Signature Restricted Delivery by producing qualified shipping labels with Intelligent Mail package barcodes. The Adult Signature Required or Adult Signature Restricted Delivery fee must be paid in addition to the correct postage using Click-N-Ship, PC Postage, Permit imprint (if the customer electronically submits postage statements and mailing documentation) or IBI postage meter. Conditions in 8.1.1 and 8.1.2 also apply to Adult Signature Restricted Delivery items. A shipment of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco with Adult Signature service, mailed by certain individuals under 601.9.0, requires the mailer to present items at a retail counter.

9.0 Collect on Delivery (COD)

9.1 Basic Standards
9.1.1 Description

[1-21-18] Collect on Delivery (COD) is subject to the basic standards in 1.0; see 1.4 for eligibility. Any mailer may use COD to mail an article (using a unique COD number for each article) for which the mailer has not been paid and have its price and the cost of the postage collected (not to exceed $1,000.00) from the addressee (or agent). COD service provides the mailer with a mailing receipt and the USPS maintains a record of delivery (including the recipient’s signature). The recipient has the option to pay the COD charges (with one form of payment) by cash, or a personal check or money order made payable to the mailer (accepted by the USPS employee upon the recipient’s presentation of adequate identification). The USPS forwards the check or money order to the mailer. If payment is made by cash, a money order fee is included in the amount collected from the recipient (unless the mailer is authorized to participate in electronic funds transfer (EFT) for the remittance (contact the National Customer Support Center (NCSC) (See 608.8.0) for EFT enrollment information), in addition to the COD amount. The Postal Service cannot intervene in disputes between mailers and recipients of COD mail after payment was returned to the mailer. Customers may obtain a delivery record by purchasing a return receipt. Bulk proof of delivery service (7.0) is also available if electronic return receipt service is purchased at the time of mailing. Hold For Pickup service is available with COD as provided under 507.3.0 and allows COD mailpieces to be held at a designated Post Office location for pick up by a specified addressee or designee.

9.1.2 Additional Conditions for COD Mail

COD service is available under the following additional conditions:

  1. The name and address of the person to whom the remittance is to be sent must appear in the proper location on the COD form and in the return address area on the COD article with the postal endorsements for return if undeliverable. The return address must be the same in both locations except that a mailer using a privately printed COD form may print a different address on the remittance coupon where payments are to be sent.
  2. The mailer guarantees to pay any return postage, unless otherwise specified on the form.
  3. The goods shipped are ordered by the addressee.
  4. COD service may not be used for:
    1. Articles sent to international destinations, or from an APO/FPO/DPO address, including official mail and shipments to Armed Forces agencies.
    2. The return of merchandise about which some dissatisfaction arises, unless the new addressee consents in advance to such return.
    3. The mailing of only bills or statements of account, even with the addressee’s consent. If a legitimate COD shipment of merchandise is mailed, the balance due on a past or expected transaction may be included in the charges on a COD article, if the addressee consents in advance to such action. In such a case, USPS indemnity is limited to the value of the article lost or damaged, not the full COD charges to be collected.
    4. Movies mailed by exhibitors to movie manufacturers, distributors, or exchanges.
    5. Collection agency purposes.
    6. Articles sent to or from the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.
9.1.3 Registered Mail COD

Sealed domestic mail bearing First-Class Mail or Priority Mail postage may be sent as Registered Mail COD as provided under 9.0 and 2.1.5.

9.1.4 Additional Standards for COD Restricted Delivery

COD Restricted Delivery permits a mailer to direct delivery only to the addressee (or addressee’s authorized agent). The addressee must be an individual (natural person) specified by name. The mailer may request COD Restricted Delivery at the time of mailing by advising the USPS clerk or by marking the mail “Restricted Delivery” above the address and to the right of the return address and paying the applicable fee. A firm mailer must enter the proper fee in the correct column of the firm sheet and place the required endorsement on the mail. Customers may obtain a record of delivery (which includes the recipient’s signature) by purchasing a return receipt (6.0). If a return receipt is requested, the correct block on Form 3811 must be checked to show that COD Restricted Delivery is also required. Mail marked “Restricted Delivery” is delivered under the conditions in 508.1.1.7 and 508.1.1.8.

9.1.5 Priority Mail Express COD

Any article sent COD also may be sent by Priority Mail Express (1-Day and 2-Day service only) when a signature is requested. The maximum amount collectible from the addressee on one article is $1,000.00, and indemnity is limited to $1,000.00. Priority Mail Express postage and the proper COD fees must be paid. Both the Priority Mail Express label and COD form must be affixed to each article.

9.1.6 Mailing

COD mail must be presented for mailing as provided in 1.5 to the local Post Office or to rural carriers when the articles are prepared properly, with stamps for the required postage and fees affixed. If the mailer wants insurance for an amount more than the COD amount to be collected, that amount must be shown.

9.1.7 Identifying Number

[1-21-18] Each COD article is identified by a number on each section of the COD Form 3816 or on an authorized COD Hold For Pickup single-ply barcoded shipping label. When COD is used with Priority Mail Express, Registered Mail, or a separate barcoded COD shipping label (under 1.7), the mailer must place both the label and the COD form on the front of the article. The Priority Mail Express article number or the Registered Mail number is used for delivery receipt and indemnity claims.

9.1.8 Delays

Mailers may report delays in remittance (more than 60 days for domestic mailings) to the Postal Inspection Service, providing all necessary particulars.

9.2 Forms
9.2.1 Form 3816

[1-21-18] Except when using a USPS-authorized COD Hold For Pickup single-ply barcoded shipping label which requires additional data to be provided to USPS electronically, the mailer must securely affix a completed COD Form 3816 to each article (retail version, see Forms and Publications at http://pe.usps.gov/. The form must be attached (or enclosed in an accessible clear envelope or pouch) either above the delivery address and to the right of the return address, or to the left of the delivery address on parcels. When a mailer uses a Form 3816 or USPS-authorized COD Hold For Pickup single-ply barcoded shipping label that does not provide detachable second and third copies, PS Form 3877 (firm sheets) or a USPS-approved privately printed version may be used as provided under 1.10. The mailer must submit firm sheets in duplicate and will receive one copy of the postmarked form as a mailing receipt (in lieu of Copy 3 of Form 3816) after the entries are verified by a postal employee. The acceptance Post Office retains the second copy.

9.2.2 Completing COD Forms and Labels

[1-21-18] The COD form or label must show article number, names and domestic addresses of mailer and addressee (for COD Hold For Pickup pieces, also see 507.3.0), amount due mailer, and amount of the money order fee necessary to make remittance. The USPS is not responsible for errors that a mailer makes in stating the charges to be collected. The information required on the COD form or label must be handwritten, typed or computer generated in ink. The mailer may not stipulate a specific payment method on the COD form or label.

9.2.3 Nursery Stock

A firm that mails nursery stock may use Form 3816 and include instructions for disposing of shipments not delivered immediately by printing instructions on the back of the delivery office part of the COD form (item a) and on the remittance coupon (item b) as follows:

  1. “If recipient refuses to pay charges for any reason, deliver at once without collecting the charges. See remittance coupon for further instructions.”
  2. “Return this coupon with payment. If parcel is delivered without collection of charges, or is destroyed after 10 days, check disposition and send coupon to sender in penalty envelope.”

10.0 Special Handling

10.1 Basic Standards
10.1.1 Description

Special Handling is subject to the basic standards in 1.0; see 1.4 for eligibility. Special handling provides preferential handling, but not preferential delivery, to the extent practicable in dispatch and transportation. The service does not itself insure the article against loss or damage. There are unique service codes included in the IMpb for the content categories (Fragile, Hazardous Material Transportation, Live Animal Transportation, Perishables, and Cremated Remains (only available with Priority Mail Express) of special handling.

10.1.2 Bees and Poultry

Unless sent Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, First-Class Mail, First-Class Package Service — Retail, or First-Class Package Service — Commercial, special handling-fragile is required for parcels containing honeybees or baby poultry.

10.1.3 Marking

Except for cremated remains (accordingly marked or with Label 139 affixed), marking “Special Handling-Fragile” (or optionally abbreviated as S.H.-Fragile) must appear prominently above the address and to the right of the return address on each piece for which the special handling service is requested and the applicable fee has been paid.

11.0 Return Receipt for Merchandise

11.1 Basic Standards
11.1.1 Description

[1-21-18] Return Receipt for Merchandise is subject to the basic standards in 1.0; see 1.4 for eligibility. Return receipt for merchandise is a form of return receipt service that provides the sender with a mailing receipt (separately printed at RSS offices or Form 3804 at Non-RSS offices) and a return receipt (Form 3811) (see forms at http://pe.usps.gov/). After delivery, the return receipt is mailed back to the sender and also supplies the recipient’s actual delivery address if it is different from the address used by the sender. A delivery record is maintained by the USPS, but no record is kept at the office of mailing. A return receipt for merchandise may not be requested after mailing, and restricted delivery is not available.

11.1.2 Return Receipt for Merchandise for USPS Marketing Mail

If return receipt for merchandise is requested for all of the pieces in a USPS Marketing Mail mailing consisting of pieces of identical weight, then postage may be paid only with metered postage or permit imprint. If return receipt for merchandise is not requested for all of the pieces in the mailing, or if the pieces are not identical weight, then either the exact metered postage must be affixed to each piece or postage must be paid with permit imprint under a manifest mailing system (705.2.0).

11.2 Mailing
11.2.1 How to Mail

[1-21-18] Return receipt for merchandise mail must observe these procedures:

  1. Retail Systems Software (RSS) sites - A label and a receipt will be provided at the retail counter. The label printed at the retail counter will include postage and an Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb) that contains the appropriate service type code for the product and extra service purchased. Mailer must affix Form 3811 to the piece.
  2. Non-RSS sites: Return receipt for merchandise mail must bear Forms 3804 and 3811.
    1. Enter on the receipt part of the Form 3804, the name and complete address of the person or firm to whom the mail is addressed.
    2. Affix the numbered, barcoded label part of the Form 3804 to the address side of the mailpiece. The label part of the form and the endorsement “Return Receipt Requested” must be placed above the delivery address and to the right of the return address, or to the left of the delivery address on parcels. Give the completed receipt part of the Form 3804 to a USPS employee. If asked to do so, the USPS employee must show on the receipt the time the article is accepted for mailing. If given to a rural carrier, the carrier returns the postmarked receipt to the mailer.
    3. To request waiver of signature, detach both parts of the gummed label sections of Form 3804 and attach them to the mailpiece. By signing the waiver on Form 3804, the mailer authorizes the USPS delivery employee to sign the return receipt in lieu of obtaining the signature of the addressee or the addressee agent. The item is then delivered to the addressee‘s mail receptacle or other secure location.
    4. Affix the correct amount of postage and fees to the article.
  3. Place the correct endorsement on the address side of the mailpiece. Enter the return receipt for merchandise number on Form 3811 and address it to yourself on the reverse of the return receipt. Attach it to the front of the mailpiece (or the back) so the card does not cover the address. The name of the person to whom the return receipt is to be returned must be the same as that of the sender.
11.2.2 Receipt Not Received

A mailer who did not receive a return receipt (Form 3811) for which the mailer had paid may request information from the delivery record within 90 days of the date of purchase using Form 3811-A. The mailer must complete Form 3811-A, at any Post Office, station or branch, and produce their receipt showing that the applicable return receipt fee was paid.