Skip to content

Certified Mail Forms

Certified Mail Forms

Since it was introduced in 1955, Certified Mail® has become one of the most popular services offered by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for sending important documents. Each year, the USPS delivers more than 165 million Certified Mail letters to addresses nationwide. But what exactly is Certified Mail and what type of Certified Mail forms are needed to use the service?

What Is Certified Mail?

Put simply, Certified Mail provides proof of delivery to the sender. When a Certified Mail label is purchased, a barcode and tracking number are assigned to the letter. This tracking allows the sender to see the USPS has taken receipt of the letter, and provides notification when the mailing was delivered or when a delivery attempt was made. The sender simply goes to the USPS website and enters the tracking number to see the delivery status.

For an additional cost, the sender can add the option of receiving a Return Receipt, which is delivered either as an actual postcard via snail mail or electronically (known as Return Receipt Electronic) from a website. In either case, the sender has the recipient’s signature as proof that the mailing was received.

Why Send Letters Via Certified Mail?

Since Certified Mail provides official USPS acceptance and proof of delivery, it’s a great option when sending important documents such as IRS tax returns, legal notices, debt collections, health care records, and insurance claims. Most federal, state, and local court systems require specific correspondence to be sent to the courts via Certified Mail. The courts have deemed the USPS Proof of Acceptance and Proof of Delivery to be considered “prima facie evidence” of delivery – this term states that documents were mailed and/or received by dates specified in legal statutes.

Types of Certified Mail Forms

When sending Certified Mail from the Post Office, the USPS requires that you complete at least one form (two if you want a Return Receipt). These two mail forms are described below:

  • PS Form 3800 (Address Form): This is the address portion of the USPS Certified Mail form. You manually write the delivery address on PS Form 3800. It includes a barcode that is peeled off and placed at the top of the envelope, along with this form. Important Note: You do not need to complete this form if you use SimpleCertifiedMail.com and print your Certified Mail label online.

  • PS Form 3811 (Return Receipt): This is the hard copy of the Return Receipt. When sending the correspondence, you must manually write both your delivery address and the recipient’s delivery address on PS Form 3811. When the mail carrier delivers the Certified Mail letter, the recipient must sign this form, and then it is mailed back to you as proof that the correspondence was received. Important Note: You do not need to complete this form if you use SimpleCertifiedMail.com and include Return Receipt Electronic.

If you wish to receive Return Receipt (either the physical form or the electronic version), you must purchase this option at the time you purchase postage at the Post Office, or through an approved online postage vendor (such as SimpleCertifiedMail.com).

How Simple Certified Mail Can Help

If you need to send important letters via Certified Mail, it couldn’t be any easier than with SimpleCertifiedMail.com. Here’s how it works:

  • No Post Office trips required: Prepare, print and send Certified Mail and Return Receipt from your computer using plain paper and our free Certified Mail envelopes.
  • No more manual forms or green cards to complete by hand: Certified Mail is too important to rely on manual processes. We automate everything by allowing you to print a cover sheet that includes postage, tracking and Return Receipt using a regular printer while placing the documents in a window envelope. Customers report time savings of up to 80%!
  • Print one at a time or hundreds using our Batch Process: Quickly generate multiple Certified Mail with or without Return Receipt using our simple batch processing feature or integrate with our REST API.
  • Simple and easy pricing: No subscription fees, no equipment leases and no hidden transaction fees. Our costs are included in the price. Plus, we provide free Certified Mail envelopes forever!

Ready to sign up?

There is no charge to set up an account. Sign up today! If you have questions, contact us toll-free at 888-462-1750.

Scroll To Top