Registered VS Certified Mail

Ready to send your next mail or package? Here is everything you need to know about Certified & Registered mail; so which option is the best?

We recently discussed extensively about the Registered & Certified services that offered by the USPS. There is a clear distinction between the 2 options and a pricing difference that comes with it. But at the end of the day, you probably are wondering which option of the 2 is better for your mail needs. 


Therefore, in this blog we will be discussing exactly that; the differences between the 2 mail services and what we consider to be a better option depending on your needs. 


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What Is Certified Mail?


Certified mail pre-existed and is the predecessor of Registered Mail. It was originally created in 1955, giving Americans the opportunity to send mail through first-class delivery while getting proof of receipt. 


Small business owners can purchase certified mail service for first class mail, first class package or priority mail. This service includes a mailing receipt as proof of delivery on file, for two years from the date of mailing. Certified mail allows someone to receive a copy of the signature or equivalent signature stamp by purchasing return receipt service when the mail is sent. What that practically means, is that once a package or parcel is delivered by the USPS (via first class mail,) there is signing required on behalf of the recipient. This ensure that the package arrives at its final destination securely and upon confirmation of its delivery. Once the recipient gets the mail item or package, you will get a notification. 


However if the return receipt service is not purchased, request delivery proof by purchasing return receipt after mailing (also known as duplicate return receipt service,) can be purchased for up to 2 years. In the case where mail is not delivered to the recipient, follow up attempts will take place for delivery. If the recipient ultimately denies the receipt of the mail item, you will get a notification of that as well. 


From a tracking and delivery standpoint, electronic delivery confirmation is available on the USPS track and confirm website. Certified mail utilizes a 20 digit ID number provided on the mail receipt. The certified mail service travels at the same rate as normal first-class mail and can take up to five business days to reach its destination. If it does not reach its destination, additional information can be requested if you call 1-800-222-1811.


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What Is Registered Mail?


Registered mail is a type of mail delivered that resembles Certified Mail, but with added security measures to ensure a safe & secure delivery. Delivery options under Registered Mail include locked cages, locked safes, sealed containers and a verifiable tract chain of custody. All this comes along with complete electronic and physical signatures, in order to track every step of your Registered Mail. 


Registered mail can also be purchased for first class mail, first class package service or priority mail and the mail receipt is provided at the time of sending. Additionally, the recipient must sign to receive the mail and if proof of delivery is required, return receipt service or return receipt after mailing is available for purchase.


Unlike certified mail, registered mail offers another level of security protection and care. This includes locked cages, safes or sealed containers and a chain of custody with electronic insurance coverage of up to $25,000, based on the value of the item mailed.


Tracking and delivery for registered mail is more intricate than with certified mail. The receipt number for registered mail is alpha numeric and 13 characters long. Mail sent via registered mail can take up to 15 days to reach its destination, 21 days with insurance.


Registered mail also has an option to collect on delivery which can take upward of 35 days. If registered mail does not reach its destination, a request for investigation or claim can be sent in using form 1000 domestic or international claim to the USPS.



What Are The Differences Between Registered & Certified Mail?


The primary differences have to do with mail handling and the level of security used to protect mail from loss damage or theft. Both Registered & Certified Mail will give you the option for delivery notifications, but only Registered Mail will have additional security features such as caged delivery.


Another difference is regarding the insurance that comes with Registered mail, which you would not typically find with Certified Mail. So Registered, a more expensive option, is created to give you a more secure & closely tracked delivery while Certified Mail exists as a cheaper alternative to Registered Mail (typically for documents such as tax returns and legal notices.)


Receiving Registered & Certified Mail Digitally


If you have been following this blog, at this point you should be aware of the virtual mailbox alternative to receiving mail at your business location or mailbox. But if not, we can give you a quick rundown on what the entails and how you can receive mail & packages (of all forms of USPS delivery,) at a remote location that is accessible online. 


A virtual mailbox is essentially an online platform, in which all mail and packages you ever receive, are scanned and uploaded. So any envelopes that come in, would have an image of the exterior of the envelope added into your virtual mailbox account. This helps you see in real time, what mail you have and whether you need something shipped to you, or simply opened and scanned so you can view online. 


In the case of Registered Mail, as mentioned already, you can send packages and mail in more secure ways such as sealed containers and cages. So if you have mail of such significance and value, it would make sense that you want to have it stored at some secure warehouse location with onsite security personnel and surveillance systems. 


When you get a virtual mailbox, you also get a real street address. At that location, there is a warehouse with full onsite staff and security measures, that process mail for US Global Mail’s customers. So not only is a virtual mailbox an easier and cheaper way to handle mail, but it is also a lot more secure due to the dedicated facility to manage your mail. 


To learn more about virtual mailboxes, visit


Checkout pricing and even get your first month off. 

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