Skip to content

Examples of Certified Mail

The role of USPS Certified Mail for important document delivery

What is Certified Mail®, who uses it and why? This article will familiarize you with Certified Mail and provides examples of how business owners use the mail service for important document delivery. Let’s start with the basics.

What is Certified Mail Used For?

Certified Mail is an Extra Service, provided by the U.S. Postal Service, which provides customers with an official receipt proving your letter was mailed. The service also provides online tracking of your mail piece via a 22-digit item number applied to your envelope and a signature from the recipient proving the letter was delivered.

Certified Mail usually takes 1-5 days for delivery when the service is added to First Class Mail. When added to envelopes or packages sent via Priority Mail, delivery normally occurs within 2-3 days.

Certified Mail Proof of Acceptance (Mailing) and signature Return Receipt (Proof of Delivery) both serve an important role in business and legal affairs as they are considered prima facie evidence in legal proceedings by local, state, and federal courts.

Examples of Common Items That Are Delivered Via Certified Mail

Thousands of federal, state and local court systems highly recommend the use of Certified Mail (some specifically require it). Listed below are examples of common documents sent with USPS Certified Mail:

Certified Public Accountants – Tax returns and tax related matters
The IRS Tax Rule Section 7502c states that the IRS will officially accept your tax forms or payments on the date you SEND the mailpiece using Certified Mail, not the date when the IRS receives the item. This is very important because the date of mailing can be proven very easily – via a stamped receipt if you’ve brought your Certified Mail to the Post Office counter, or via Electronic Proof of Acceptance if you’re prepared your Certified Mail using Certified Mail specific software. And this proof is key to avoiding penalties and interest for returns that the IRS might accidentally claim were filed late. All state and local tax authorities across the 50 states abide by the same Section 7502c rule.

Property Managers – Eviction notices/deposits
While Property Managers communicate with residents via email and text for day-to-day matters such as package delivery and rent payment reminders, Certified Mail is regularly used in matters that could lead to eviction, such as overdue rent notifications, or for other matters such as the refund of security deposits. As just one example, in 2019 the New York State Legislature passed the Housing and Stability Act requiring rental management companies use Certified Mail when sending notice of overdue rent that could lead to eviction.

Debt Collection Agencies – Collection notices
Depending on laws enacted on a state-by-state basis, after numerous monthly payments have been missed, consumer debt is often sold to debt collection specialists. In all these cases, Certified Mail is essential as it provides collection agencies with proof of their communications to debtors. For example, Nevada SB248. March 2021 Sec. 7. 1. States that “Not less than 60 days before taking any action to collect a medical debt, a collection agency shall send by registered or certified mail to the medical debtor written notification that sets forth…” Certified Mail is also a very efficient way for debtors to prove they have responded to debt collection efforts, in a traceable way that is recognized by courts nationwide.

Mineral Right Management – Lease agreements, extensions and royalty payments
In the US, land ownership can be split between surface rights (the right to the surface of the land) and mineral rights (the right to the minerals beneath the surface). A landowner might own both, or they might sell or lease the mineral rights while retaining the surface rights. A company interested in extracting minerals will often enter into a lease agreement with the mineral rights owner. This lease stipulates the terms under which the company can extract minerals and how the royalties will be calculated and paid. Each state has its own laws and regulations governing mineral rights and royalty payments. For example, states have specific regulations about how soon after the sale of minerals the royalty payment must be made. States provide a means for mineral rights holders to question the accounting of their royalties. Much of this communication is done by Certified Mail in order to prove time mailing and Proof of Delivery.

County/Local Courts – Official court documents
Local municipalities will often use Certified Mail to send court summons, court judgments and subpoenas to parties involved in legal matters.

Law Offices – Serving legal documents
Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Procedure (also adopted by most states) specifies the use of Certified Mail as a means of properly serving legal documents. The Certified Mail Proof of Acceptance (manually stamped PS-3800 form, or Electronic) and the signed Return Receipt (Green Card or Electronic) proves the legal document was mailed and received. This eliminates disputes that can hold up court proceedings. Some examples of court papers that law offices use Certified Mail for delivery include summons, complaints, final court decisions, and various other legal documents. If there is ever a dispute, the signed Return Receipt will be allowed as verification in court.

Mortgage Brokers – Mortgage documents
Home mortgage documents often contain sensitive personal information such as social security numbers and credit ratings. To avoid the financial institution having financial liability to the customer if this information gets into the wrong hands, the mortgage documents are often sent using Certified Mail.

Auto Financial Companies – Recall notices and notices of default
Certified Mail enables automobile manufacturers to track the USPS Acceptance and Delivery of Recall Notices they mail.  In the event a customer has not paid their monthly auto loan payment, an auto finance company may send the customer a notice of default through Certified Mail, because most states have strict guidelines covering the step-by-step process of default notification and auto repossession (asset recovery). 

Self-Storage Operators – Lien notices
Most states have strict guidelines about the timing of when a self-storage operator can seize a customer’s personal possessions for non-payment. They must always alert the customer of the default and give the customer time to remedy the non-payment. Most self-storage operators use Certified Mail to document when the customer receives the notice.

Insurance Carriers – Policy notifications
Insurance carriers often use Certified Mail to send settlement checks and alert customers of coverage cancellations, policy amendments and significant increases in premiums. Since the coverage ends on a specific date, insurance carriers use Certified Mail to document that Proof of Delivery has occurred.

Employers/HR Departments – Employee documents
Sensitive documents such as Family and Medical Leave Act forms or a final paycheck are typically sent using Certified Mail. The Proof of Delivery shows the employer that the documents have been delivered correctly.

Utility Companies – Deposit returns
When a customer closes an account, many utility companies return a customer’s security deposit using Certified Mail.

How SimpleCertifiedMail.com 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: With SimpleCertifiedMail.com, you print Certified Mail cover sheets and labels from your standard office or home printer, in seconds, complete with USPS digital postage. Tuck the cover sheers into window envelopes we provide, or attach the label to a flat or box, drop in any mailbox, or leave for your mail carrier. No more waiting in line at the Post Office.
  • No more manual forms: No more PS 3800 (manual receipts) or PS 3811 (Green Cards) to complete by hand. No more Scan Forms, Manifests or Firm Books. With SimpleCertifiedMail.com, a Proof of Acceptance (Electronic) is posted to your account for each individual mail piece as soon as your mail receives its first outbound scan. The signed Return Receipt (Electronic) is posted within 24 hours of delivery. And a Proof of Delivery (Electronic) is posted for users not requiring a signature.
  • Print one at a time or by the thousands using our Batch Process and/or API: Quickly generate multiple Certified Mail with or without Return Receipt from address lists in Excel format, by our simple batch processing feature. For seamless integration with your main enterprise software, use our REST APIs.
  • Assures a high level or legal compliance: The tracking information for every mail piece, including the Proof of Acceptance, Delivery and Return Receipts, are stored in PDF format for 10 years in your account. As is a detailed accounting of all your Certified Mail expenses, making it easy to seek reimbursement from your clients, when appropriate.
  • Simple, easy pricing: No subscription fees, no equipment leases, no hidden transaction fees. We simply charge a small transaction fee for each piece of Certified Mail prepared and tracked with our service. Many clients report time and labor savings of more than 80%.

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