What is registered mail?
Registered Mail is a unique service offered by the U.S. Postal Service designed to provide as much protection as possible for high-value packages and letters. Here’s everything you need to know about the basics of this service.
USPS offers registered mail for extra security for high-value letters and packages
When you choose to send a package by registered mail, USPS establishes a chain of custody to protect the letter or package at every step of its journey. USPS makes every effort to handle this type of mail; letters and packages sent using this particular service are protected by safes, cages, airtight containers, locks and keys during transit. All of these safeguards prevent any given letter or package from being lost, damaged or stolen at any point during its journey to its final destination.
The level of protection your messages receive
Aside from the extra protection, the biggest benefit of this service is that USPS will pay for a higher level of shipping insurance if a package is lost or damaged. Unlike the regular USPS Priority Mail service, which charges your package up to $100 at the commercial price (or $50 at the retail price at the post office), Registered Mail protects your package up to $50,000!
That said, shippers can also protect letters and packages over $50,000. USPS states that you can register items over $50,000 and they will provide additional security for those items. However, compensation for loss or damage is still limited to $50,000 regardless of the actual value of the item you have registered. If you are interested, you will need to contact your local post office and ask for information.
Higher security means (potentially) slower delivery
The biggest disadvantage of using registered mail is the time it takes for delivery. Generally, USPS delivers registered mail and packages at the same speed as the specific USPS mail class you originally purchased. For example, if you add registered mail to a Priority Mail package, USPS will deliver it within 1-3 business days.
However, since the USPS provides an extra layer of security for registered mail, speed is not their priority…and delivery may be slower.A sort of a lot of Slower.In fact, when you use this service, you may sometimes need to Final delivery 10-14 days.
How do I send a letter or package by registered mail?
If you want to provide the highest possible security for your USPS shipment, you’ll need to hand your package over to the local post office counter staff or village postman. From there, USPS will ask you to provide all required information, such as your destination information, and the declared value of your mail.
The Different USPS Mail Classes You Can Use
Another thing to keep in mind is that registered mail is not available for every mail class. According to the USPS website, you can add registered mail to the following services:
- first class mail
- First-class parcel service (commercial and retail)
- Priority Mail
You’ll notice that the above list excludes certain USPS services, such as Media Mail and Parcel Select Ground. Therefore, if you ship using any of these services, you will unfortunately not be able to use registered mail.
To learn more about registered mail details, check the USPS website.