Skip to content

How long does the USPS take to deliver Certified Mail®?

Delivery time depends on whether you chose to send the Certified Mail® letter via First-Class Mail or Priority Mail®. When sending via First-Class, it usually takes two to five business days. Sending via Priority Mail shortens the mailing time to two to three days. But delivery is only half the process. Key to Certified Mail is how long it takes to receive back the all-important signature confirmation after the Certified Mail letter has been delivered, because without the signature important legal and business processes can’t move forward.

For users of the traditional Green Card (USPS PS 3811) the wait is normally three to five days. But as frequent Certified Mail users can attest, there’s a considerable risk that the Green Card gets lost on the way back, by accidentally getting co-mingled with other mail or getting damaged. That can result in a second piece of Certified Mail having to be sent which creates a substantial delay.

To save time, more and more mailers are using the Postal Service’s digital replacement for the Green Card, called the Return Receipt (Electronic). When used with web-based Certified Mail software from, mailers actually receive the signed Return Receipt (Electronic) within 24 hours of the mail carrier delivering the Certified letter. No more waiting for the Green Card. saves time throughout the Certified Mail process.

With, virtually every step of the Certified Mail process moves faster. Handwritten forms are replaced by a web-based form that reduces prep time by 80%. When sending dozens, hundreds or thousands of pieces, a mailing list can be imported from Microsoft® Excel files, resulting in time savings of 90%. Electronic postage is automatically added, eliminating the need to use a postage meter and making it easy to send Certified Mail from your home office. Proof of Acceptance (Electronic) is received within hours of your Certified Mail being picked up, eliminating trips to the Post Office to receive a stamped receipt. The terrific USPS Return Receipt (Electronic) is posted to your account within 24 hours of the Mail Carrier receiving a signature, thus eliminating the Green Card altogether. You even get automatic refunds for pieces of Certified Mail that you create but for one reason or another, do not mail. 

There are no up-front costs, contracts or maintenance fees when using You only pay a small transaction fee for each Certified Mail piece mailed with the assistance of the software, and your costs will be less than sending Certified Mail with Green Cards today, even before all the time saving and efficiency improvements explained above. 

Scroll To Top