What Is Proof Of Delivery USPS? (+ Other Common FAQs)

USPS offers a variety of different features for each shipping service, such as tracking numbers and package insurance.

Also, another option USPS offers is proof of delivery- but what is proof of delivery, and why would you need it? If you’d like to find out, keep reading this article to learn more on this topic!

What Is Proof Of Delivery at USPS?

Proof of delivery is a receipt USPS offers that contains the delivery information and the tracking number for a package. Typically, proof of delivery is emailed, however, you can also request for a physical copy to be mailed to you as of [currentyear]. Generally, proof of delivery is used for extremely important and/or valuable packages.

If you want to request proof of delivery the next time you’re shipping or want to know if you should request proof of delivery, be sure to keep reading to find out more useful facts and tips!

When Is Proof Of Delivery a Good Idea?

There are a wide variety of reasons why proof of delivery is useful and important, and while anyone can request proof of delivery when shipping their package with USPS, there are some reasons that may warrant proof of delivery more than others.

For example, if the shipment you’re sending out contains something especially valuable or contains sensitive information (e.g., legal documents or contracts), obtaining a tracking number will offer additional reassurance of your package’s arrival and/or alert you to any delays.

Proof of delivery can be also critical for packages because it helps to prevent theft- by requiring a delivery signature, USPS can ensure the package is safely delivered and not left out in the open for someone to grab.

Another reason you may want to consider using the USPS proof of delivery feature is that it provides evidence that your package was received by someone at the stated address (this is especially important if you’re shipping legal or financial documents).

In fact, the post office holds onto records of proof of delivery for up to two years, which means if there’s any dispute as to whether or not the package was ever received by someone at the written address, you can access that information again.

Tracking is particularly useful for government and financial institutions, which commonly use proof of delivery when shipping paperwork, as well as eCommerce merchants, to ensure the chain of custody was completed.

How Do You Receive Proof Of Delivery From USPS?

How Do You Receive Proof Of Delivery From USPS?

When you use proof of delivery, there are three different ways that proof can be sent to you.

The first and most popular way to receive proof of delivery is by email. In this case, the post office sends you an email containing all the delivery information, as well as a copy of the recipient’s signature.

Another option you have is to request that proof of delivery be mailed to you, which means you’ll get a physical copy of all the delivery information.

However, you should note that it may take up to a week after the delivery of your package for you to receive proof of delivery.

Finally, the third way you can request proof of delivery is via a PDF, which is essentially a picture of the information a USPS worker has in front of them, including the delivery information and the signature of the recipient.

What Types Of USPS Mail Require Proof Of Delivery?

While you can request proof of delivery for most packages, the only two types of mail that actually require proof of delivery are Certified Mail and Registered Mail.

Certified Mail is mostly utilized for legal and regulatory purposes, so it provides both evidence of sending and proof of delivery, which is critical in ensuring that sensitive documents reach the right hands in a timely manner.

Additionally, Registered Mail is the only other type of mail that requires proof of delivery, as it’s typically used for luxury items and travels completely separate from other mail.

Can You Request Proof Of Delivery From USPS?

Just like most features with USPS, you can add proof of delivery to any mail service by paying extra.

The only stipulation for adding proof of delivery is that the shipping service you are using most either already includes the Signature Confirmation service or has the Signature Confirmation service added on.

Shipping services that can feature proof of delivery are as follows:

  • Priority Mail Express
  • Signature Confirmation
  • Restricted Delivery
  • Adult Signature Required

You can request proof of delivery for a piece of mail that falls into one of the above categories by visiting the USPS tracking tool page of their site. Next, select “proof of delivery” and follow the provided instructions.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that while you can get proof of delivery for any package that’s delivered domestically, you can’t always get proof of delivery internationally, and is, in fact, quite rare.

If you’d like to read more about what to expect and how to request proof of delivery with USPS, you can check out their proof of delivery FAQ page here.

How Much Does Proof Of Delivery Cost?

While requesting proof of delivery does not cost anything itself, receiving proof of delivery requires a signature service to be attached to the package, such as Signature Confirmation, Restricted Delivery, or Adult Signature Required.

The least expensive of all of these options is Signature Confirmation, which costs $2.90 online or $3.45 at the post office and allows for any person at the address to sign for the package when it’s delivered.

Restricted Delivery allows you to choose which person is able to sign for the package when it’s delivered and has a range of prices from as low as $5.85 to as high as $9.75, depending on the shipping service it’s paired with.

Finally, Adult Signature Required costs $6.90 and requires that someone 21 years or older be the one to sign for a package when it’s delivered.

However, this method does not specify who signs for the package, only that the signee must be 21 years old or older.

To read more about the signature services offered by USPS and their prices, you can check out this page of their website.

To learn more about the USPS shipping services, you can also see our posts on whether or not the USPS requires signature, whether USPS first-class has insurance, and how long does USPS holds packages.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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