If you have been a consistent follower of your daily blogs, then you must have come across what certified mail and registered mail are. As you already know, both these services are offered by USPS and the primary reason why they have been implemented is to provide certain layers of security to your mails. Although both the certified and registered mail are seemingly alike, they have a clear distinction that draws a line between the two. In this article, we will take a look at the difference between certified and registered mail, and how the services and security levels vary in Certified Vs Registered mail.
Certified Vs Registered Mail
Ever since the establishment of mail delivery systems, the United States Postal Services has been delivering mails to every location in the country. And now that there has been significant growth in the mailing needs of the economy, USPS came up with new ways to provide safe and secure mail delivery to every resident. If you have never used the mail to send important messages, then this might come off as a surprise to you that USPS delivers almost 47% of the world’s mail.
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As a business owner or a professional, you understand the need to have a secure means of mail-sharing services. To serve the needs of the people, many mail carriers services such as FedEx, UPS, and USPS have developed their business models which help carry out a secure mail transaction. Two of the most highly assured services by USPS are Certified Mail and Registered Mail. not only are these services popularly used in the United States but in other countries as well. Before taking a look at the Certified Vs Registered mail, lets us first take a look at what these services are in the first place.
What Is Certified Mail?
Certified mail was established way before the registered mail in the year 1955, giving the senders proof of receipt while they are mailing packages using USPS first class service. The certified mail can be used for mailing first class letters and packages or priority mail.
When a sender mails a package using certified mail, they will receive a mailing receipt, which acts as proof of delivery. Just in case the recipient does not receive the package, the sender can share the mailing receipt as proof that the package was lawfully dispatched by them. In addition to the proof of delivery, a return receipt is also purchased by the sender. A return receipt allows the sender to receive a copy of the recipient’s signature or any equivalent signature upon successful mail delivery. In simple words, the recipient needs to sign the receipt when the mail is successfully delivered to them.
These receipts are available to the users when they are purchasing the certified mail service. If the return receipt is not purchased by the customer in the first attempt, then they can purchase the return receipt after mailing which is also known as the duplicate return receipt. If due to any reason, the recipient denies the receipt of the mail, then the sender will receive a notification for that as well.
What Is Registered Mail?
Registered mail is the successor of certified mail and was launched in the year 1855. The registered mail gave the users many more layers of security when compared to certified mail. Due to these advanced security measures, registered mail is preferred over certified mail. Registered mail provides both physical and electronic signatures on the return receipt and also tracks every move of the mail carrier. The recipient must sign the return receipt to be able to receive the package. Other than this, registered mail also offers insurance of $25,000 based on the value of the merchandise. Registered mails are stored in locked seals, cages, and other forms of highly secure lockers.
Difference Between Certified and Registered Mail
Now, that you have an idea of what certified mail and registered mail are, lets us take a look at some of the major differences between both these services. Here is a breakdown of the differences between Certified Vs Registered mail.
Certified Vs Registered Mail: Level of Security
Let us get down to the primary difference, which is the level of security both these services provide. When it comes to the mail handling capabilities of both these services, certified mail provides an intermediate level of protection. As mentioned already, certified mail only delivers the mail securely to the recipient. Registered mail, on the other hand, offers much more security as the mails are placed in highly secured lockers, cages, or sealed containers.
Certified Vs Registered Mail: Purpose of the Mailing Services
The initial purpose of certified mail is to ensure that the mails are delivered to the recipient on time. As certified mail offers proof of delivery, this mailing service can be used if you want the delivery to be accurate. The purpose of using registered mail is to ensure the security of the items. Considering that registered mail is used to send important paperwork or documents, the mails are heavily guarded.
Tracking Code and Mail Tracking
Certified Vs Registered mail also differs in terms of the tracking code and the tracking features. The certified mail offers a tracking code of 20 digits which is clearly mentioned on the mailing receipt. Moving towards the tracking features, the tracking for certified mail can be done through the USPS tracking portal and the tracking information includes the electronic delivery confirmation. If you are having trouble locating the tracking status of the certified mail, then you can contact customer service on their toll-free phone number.
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For registered mail, the tracking code consists of 13 digits and the tracking features are a lot more advanced yet intricate at the same time. The tracking information also includes all the delivery attempts made to deliver the item to the sender. Along with this, the tracking information also includes a tract chain of custody, i.e., a chronological order that records the sequence of steps the mail has gone through. The user will also get an electronic and physical signature. In case you are having trouble with the registered mail, then you can give a call to the customer service and also have an insurance claim filed.
The extra services offered in Certified vs Registered mail differ to a great extent. As certified mail only deals with proper time-sensitive delivery of merchandise, the only extra services you get are return receipt and proof of mailing. If the sender forgot to purchase the return receipt, then they can purchase the return receipt after mailing(duplicate return receipt).
With registered mail, you get a lot more extra services such as return receipt, return receipt after mailing, restricted delivery, and collect on delivery. If the recipient is not available at the premise when the delivery is made, then with the help of restricted delivery, the mail will be handed over to the recipient’s agent or anyone who is above 21 years of age(they need to provide valid forms of ID before accepting the mail).
Certified Vs Registered Mail: Insurance
Certified mail does not offer insurance for the mails that are sent through this service which differed to a great extent when compared to registered mail. To provide insurance for certified mail, you need to pay an extra amount.
Registered mail not only offers a vast range of extra services but also offers insurance for up to $50,000 depending on the value of the package. While sending the mail through registered mail, you must declare the full value of the package so that it is applicable for insurance. If the item is worth more than $50,000 then it can be registered, but the compensation offered by USPS is only confined to $50,000. If the item does not have any declared value then the mail can be sent without any postal insurance.
Certified Vs Registered Mail: Duration of the mail
Certified mail can be sent using the first class or the priority mailing classes. As both these mailing classes take 1-5 days to be delivered, you can expect the certified mail to arrive within this time frame. If priority mail is used, the time taken to deliver mail is less than 5 days.
Registered mail takes longer than certified mail to be delivered. The approximate duration is 10 to 14 days. These kinds of mails require signature and scanning at every stage. Due to this reason, these mails take longer than usual to be delivered to the destination.
Cost of Certified Vs Registered Mail
USPS postal rates keep changing occasionally. Due to a significant change in the postage rates, it is difficult to keep up with the latest postal fee and charges for extra services. USPS has made changes to the postal rates which took effect on August 29, 2021. The cost of certified mail for sending a traditional one-ounce letter using the old green return receipt will cost you $7.33. Some websites offer an electronically signed green return receipt which saves you some money and also saves some time as you do not have to wait for the return receipt to be signed and returned. In simple words, by using the online certified mailing application form and replacing the traditional green return receipt cards, you can save almost $2.20 per mail. Here is an image of the new postal rates for certified mail:
Registered mail is pretty expensive when compared to certified mail as this service follows many protocols to keep the mails safe. There has also been a change in the postal rates of registered mail. As of January 24, 2021, the price for sending a registered mail is $12.90. The year before, the price was $12.60. Over time, there has been a significant hike in the pricing patterns and this will continue to do so in the years that follow.
Sending Certified Vs Registered Mail
How to Send Certified Mail?
Although we have described the certified mailing service in great detail in our previous articles, i.e., “How to Send Certified Mail” and “USPS Certified Mail Tracking”, here is a simple walkthrough on how you can send certified mail:
You can send certified mail either at the post office or in the comfort of your home. To send certified mail from the post office, you need to ask for Form 3800 and fill it up. Paste on the top-right of the envelope and pay for postage. You can also opt for restricted delivery. Pay for the return receipt, which will be given to you at the post office or through email or PDF. Finally, ship your mails.
To send certified mail online, use a legitimate USPS business partner website and create a free account. Type the letter you want to send and scan it to upload it onto the site. Pay for the postage fee and your letters will be mailed on the same day.
How to Send Registered Mail?
Send Registered Mail at the Post Office
- Hop onto the official usps website and look for the nearest post office that offers this service
- while you are at the post office, ask for PS Form 3806. You can also download the form from the usps website to avoid wasting time at the post office
- Select the appropriate form based on the kind of mail you are sending(domestic or international)
- Hand over the application form along with the mailing fee and PS Form 3806 to the person at the counter. The payment is accepted in the form of cash, credit, debit and checks.
- If you want to purchase the insurance, make sure to let the postal services know
- Once all the formalities are completed, the mails are ready for shipping
Send Registered Mails at Home
- For off-site printing, you need to have Label 200. This service is only applicable for domestic mails. For international mails, you need to visit the post office to carry out the procedure.
- On your computer, fill out the form 3806.
- Print both form 200 and form 3806
- Then affix the label 200 onto the letter that is supposed to be shipped
- Hand them over to the post office for shipping
Due to the increase in mail thefts and identity thefts, having your mails sent without any extra safety features is considerably dangerous. To ensure that the mails are delivered to the right person and at the right time, USPS brought forward two of its exceptional services that guarantee timely mail delivery. Although both certified and registered mails are highly secure means of shipping mails and packages, the latter is rather preferred, thanks to the increased mail security. You can also go for certified mail if you want to deliver your mails faster.
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Hope you found all the information on Certified Vs Registered Mail!!..
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ’s)
Certified mail is faster when compared to registered mail. You can use certified mail with first class and priority mail classes which will have them shipped in no less than 1-5 days.
No, certified mail can only be used for domestic mails. However, you can use registered mail for mailing items internationally.