Many people like to track USPS letters and packages to make sure they arrive on time and at the correct location. It can be a problem if one of those letters or packages ends up being the focus of a legal dispute.
USPS Tracking Plus can be the answer to that problem because it allows you more time to access tracking information. It allows up to 10 years to access online tracking data where the maximum time has been two years before with signature deliveries.
Read further to find out what USPS Tracking Plus is, why you may need it, and how it can help you.
What Is USPS Tracking Plus?
USPS implemented its premium tracking program early in 2020. The program allows customers to pay a fee to get the time extension for pulling tracking information for letters and packages.
You can find all your premium tracking information on USPS.com, just as you do for standard tracking. The primary difference is how long you will have access to the information and being able to print it out at your convenience.
The premium program operates much the same as a regular tracking system in getting the information but allows for an extension of time in accessing the tracking details. While many customers may not need a decade to track delivery information, those who are involved in a legal issue or who deal with litigation regularly will find this service helpful.
It keeps all your tracking information safe and secure for however long your subscription runs for that package or letter.
How Is It Different From Regular Delivery Tracking?
USPS does track all packages and envelopes. Anything sent with USPS contains a shipping label with a unique tracking number. The problem is gaining access to the tracking information, particularly after time has elapsed.
USPS Tracking Plus is different from regular delivery tracking in several ways. The first way is in the cost.
Products that automatically include USPS tracking don’t require an additional cost because tracking is included in the postage. The exception is a commercial mailing service offered by the post office called USPS Marketing Mail. There is a fee for adding tracking to that service.
USPS regular tracking doesn’t cost extra when printing postage online as it’s included in a first-class package service. USPS tracking can be bought at the post office for first-class packages and media mail for around .90 per item.
USPS Tracking Plus, also called USPS Premium Tracking, has set fees for how long you want to implement it.
USPS Tracking Plus has a fee associated with it to pay for the extra online storage and programs used to track and hold information for longer times. The amount of information required to be held is massive, so there is more technology and storage involved.
Typically, USPS tracking allows customers to access delivery information for 120 days for non-signature items. It will hold information and allow access to signature items for two years.
Being able to access tracking and delivery data for up to 10 years is a significant advantage over the time allotted in the standard service.
Another difference between the two services is you can request tracking details in an email at any time with USPS Tracking Plus. This gives you a printout you can take to a court proceeding.
USPS Tracking Plus has another advantage because it will track products beyond first-class mail and packages. Standard USPS tracking may not always have access to or the ability to print out delivery information of certain products beyond first-class mail automatically.
What Is The Fee?
One thing to understand is the fee through the USPS Tracking Plus program is for each package or letter rather than an all-inclusive subscription fee. That means you must pick which parcels or letters will require extra information access.
However, USPS Tracking Plus is called a subscription because you decide the period you want it activated for regarding any of your parcels. One advantage of that is you can save money by picking a smaller time extension for some while choosing a longer extension for those parcels that could be in litigation danger longer.
You pay for the length of your subscription and decide how long that is when you mail the package or letter. Non-signature items cost $2.10 for six months and $2.59 for one year. However, remember you can access tracking information for non-signature items for up to 120 days without an additional fee.
The problem with non-signature items is there isn’t an offering in the program for longer than a year. Those who want to track a parcel or letter longer than a year must get it signature-required to have premium access to information.
The USPS premium program doesn’t allow purchasing it for signature parcels or letters for less than three years. After all, two years of access is already included in the original postal price.
USPS Tracking Plus has more value when you use it for signature items because of the two-year access limit. The rates for USPS Tracking Plus are based on the set time you want for access.
You pay $3.59 for three years of subscription access, $4.59 for five years, $5.59 for seven years, and $9.99 for 10 years of holding delivery information, as well as being able to access and print it.
You add USPS Tracking Plus when you set up your delivery online at USPS.com. A USPS Tracking Plus display pops up as USPS.Com Premium Tracking when the tracking ID is put in on the tracking page. You just complete the steps listed to purchase it.
That includes clicking on the Tracking Plus link to expand it, choosing your timeframe, logging in again, adding it to your cart, and completing your purchase. You will get a confirmation by email.
One tip is to purchase anything you have in your cart before you add Tracking Plus. Items are automatically removed when USPS Tracking Plus is added.
Another tip is to be certain of the desired time frame before you pay for it. It can’t be changed once it’s purchased.
It’s easy to get confused about which items could be tracked with USPS Tracking Plus because so many mail services are offered today.
Some of those that can be enrolled in this service include Priority Mail Express Service, Priority Mail Service, First-class Package Service, Parcel Select Service, Parcel Select Lightweight Service, and adult signature services.
There are other services that can also be eligible. The premium tracking button will show up on the website for any eligible package after the tracking code is entered. That means the package is eligible.
Why Would Anyone Want This?
People who may be involved in a legal proceeding and want paperwork that shows exact delivery dates find USPS Tracking Plus helpful. It is an official document that can be entered into court records.
Since court cases may take years to come to fruition, buying extended time to produce a needed document will save people in litigation a lot of headaches.
It can save a lot of time too in trying to find receipts, calling USPS, or submitting a subpoena for the information.
How Can It Be Used In Legal Proceedings?
USPS Tracking plus can be used as evidence in a variety of claim resolutions and civil disputes. This could be for bought packages, evictions, and other types of disputes in both magistrate and Superior Courts.
Courts require hard evidence from official entities that parties are notified by mail in issues like collections, rezoning, condemnation proceedings, evictions, code enforcement, and easement disputes. At the very least, the plaintiff must prove that delivery was attempted to proceed with their case.
Otherwise, a case can be dismissed.
Courts accept USPS documents as official since it is a government entity. An email document showing delivery, or attempted delivery, is accepted by financial and legal entities.
Who Benefits from Using USPS Tracking Plus?
This isn’t a service all people would use regularly, although some people may need it at times if they anticipate a legal situation.
Those who benefit the most from USPS Tracking Plus are those who consistently deal with legal, business, or financial issues.
Law firms, banks, small businesses, accountants, and eCommerce marketplaces are some who both use the mail often and need to keep information protected for an extended time.
It may be helpful in particular individual situations, such as an executor of an estate mailing information to heirs or a neighbor contesting a homeowners association policy.
While these aren’t normal occurrences for most people, having a premium tracking system in place during times when you know you may need proof in court can give you an advantage.
It can certainly give you peace of mind. Since the cost of USPS Tracking Plus is affordable, it may be worth the extra money in certain situations just to have that protection.
Is It Worth The Money?
Those involved in an ongoing business, financial, or litigation services will find USPS Tracking Plus worth the money. However, there are some things you need to know about the service.
USPS Tracking Plus is available for domestic packages and international packages, although the time extensions are different.
You can buy 10-year extensions for domestic parcels and packages but international extensions end after seven years.
USPS Tracking Plus can only be bought online. It is also only available on the official USPS tracking website page. You must have an account to purchase it.
You can’t get more time to access information once your retention time passes. For instance, you won’t be able to access information in five years if you bought three years for a package.
You also can’t purchase an extension to be tacked onto your original purchase. Whatever time you buy as an extension is your period for access. That means you will have to guess your litigation risk upfront when you send the package or letter.
There are no bulk rate plans for those needing this service on a daily or weekly basis. You will still pay per package for the extension period of access you select no matter how many you send.
That can be costly for certain small businesses on tight budgets. It can be extremely costly for eCommerce businesses that send out a lot of products and feel the need to track everything for longer times.
Another disadvantage for many people who might need this service on occasion is they may not realize they need it until it’s too late. You can’t buy it later.
You must buy it when you first sign up for tracking the package or letter.
It’s a hard question to answer. You don’t always know if what you’re sending will end up in litigation where you will need to track it for several years rather than use the standard USPS tracking times.
Since you can’t buy it later, you must decide how litigious your letter or package is before you send it.
It can be cumbersome to track all the mail and packages going out of a busy office. Working remotely adds to the strain for many companies. USPS Tracking Plus can help but there is still all the daily mail to account for.
It may be wise to get a Virtual Mailbox from US Global Mail. A Virtual Mailbox allows USPS to deliver packages and letters to a secure, convenient location while giving you the freedom to pick them up when you have time.
You won’t miss any important mail or packages either because you can look at what you’ve received online. You will know exactly what was sent to you so you can see when an urgent package or letter arrives.
This is a convenient way for those who have mail delivery issues, need secured mail delivery, live outside cities and suburbs, or who have pets running on the property to get all of their mail delivered safely and securely.