What is the Difference Between USPS Registered Mail and Certified Mail?

People who frequently send and receive confidential or critical mail must be aware of the Registered mail and Certified mail offered by USPS. These two are excellent services and are used by the people across the country. Most of the people are unclear about the services offered by USPS and wonder what the difference between registered and certified mail is. Here, in this article, you will get to know more about the Registered Mail and Certified Mail. It’s all about Registered Mail versus Certified Mail.

What is Certified Mail and Registered Mail?

Before jumping to the difference between certified and registered mail, let us first discuss what these two services are one-by-one. Let’s start with the Certified Mail.

Certified Mail:

USPS Certified MailCertified Mail is dedicated to the customers who send critical and confidential documents that include legal papers, important documents, and files. The average time taken for delivering the mail package is 3 to 10 business days with this service (if the package is sent through First-Class Mail). If you choose Priority Delivery service or mail class, then it will take only 2-3 business days. In fact, Priority Mail class is one of the fastest mail service offered by USPS. When you prefer safety and confidentiality, then Certified Mail service is one of the best choices. Certified Mail is one of the reliable service offered by USPS. People love to send critical papers through USPS Certified Mail because this service assures you a safe delivery and confirmation of delivery. Even the letter carrier takes at most care in delivering your mail package safely and securely. Due to the reliability of this USPS service, customers have trust that their critical documents will be handled very safely, and it will reach the destination carefully within time. Also, once your essential documents reach its destination, you will receive a confirmation for the same electronically. This is called an electronic verification.

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Certified Mail Service provides a mailing receipt for the sender that includes the following details:

  • Signature of the recipient. This signature proof can be asked at the time of mailing through Return Receipt Service. Customers can get this receipt electronically or by mail.
  • It includes a tracking number and provides an electronic verification on request that the mail/package was delivered.
  • A Delivery Record which contains the recipient’s signature. The Postal Service will archive this up to two years from the date of mailing.
  • A Certified Mail can also be eligible for refunds.

USPS provides three additional offerings under Certified Mail service, combining it with three existing mail services:

  • Certified Mail Restricted Delivery
  • Certified Mail Adult Signature Required
  • Certified Mail Adult Signature Restricted Delivery (Available online and limited to commercial mailers only)

Certified Mail Service does not provide the following information:

  • Expedited delivery
  • Guaranteed delivery time
  • Address information

Registered Mail:

USPS Registered MailAs mentioned earlier, Registered Mail is another service that is offered by USPS. By opting for Registered mail service, you will not only get safe and confidential delivery but also add-on protection to all your mail packages. People who like to send their mail with utmost protection or those who require additional protection can opt for this USPS Registered Mail service. The average delivery time taken to deliver the mail package is around 10 – 14 business days. This long duration for delivery is due to the need of additional protections that USPS provides to protect the confidentiality of your mail piece. Your package receives high security from the time of registering and till the time of delivery. Any package that is sent through this service will receive additional protection such as:

  • End-to-end safety of their package
  • Packages enclosed in the locked containers
  • Assurance of non-disclosure of custody records without filing a claim
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How Does It Work?

When you send a mail piece through USPS Registered Mail, the local post office will initiate a secure chain of custody to protect your package. Later, this chain will be used to track and offer security to your package at all points of time during the transit. As you hand-over your package to the USPS employee, the delivery package passes through a long process of transit that starts from the time you leave your mail at the local Post office till the time it gets delivered. USPS Registered Mail service ensures that your mail is protected at all the points of time during the transit.

Registered Mail vs. Certified Mail:

In the above passage, you have received insights about the services of Registered Mail and Certified Mail. The US postal service first launched the Registered Mail service in the year 1855. Certified mail service wasn’t launched until 100 years later, in 1955. Although Registered Mail and Certified Mail are similar mail services, they have different uses and purposes. Now, to know more about the certified vs. registered mail, read the below-mentioned points:

  1. The Certified Mail service assures the safe delivery of your package and offers facilities like delivery confirmation and Proof of delivery. Whereas, the Registered Mail service offers additional protection such as unbroken chain of custody, sealed containers, safes, lock, cages, and the key to protect your shipments.
  2. certified vs registered mailCertified Mail service offers mailing receipt, proof of receipt, and a tracking number. When it comes to Registered Mail, you will receive all the benefits mentioned above. Additionally, you will also receive additional protection for your shipment.
  3. A Certified Mail doesn’t need to be sent from a post office. You can send it from your office as well. But a Registered Mail can be sent only from the post office.
  4. The Maximum time taken to deliver a package sent via Registered Mail is 14 days whereas, the maximum time taken for delivering a Certified mail is 10 days.
  5. You will receive a proof of delivery which is a copy of the recipient’s signature and a receipt for the sender for Certified Mail Service, whereas, for a Registered Mail, you will receive the sender a receipt and the record of his mail’s location in detail.
  6. The shipping charge for the certified mail is pretty less when compared to the Registered mail.
  7. USPS ships the certified mail packages along with the regular mail package, but registered mail packages are shipped separately.
  8. Insurance for your packages come along with registered mail service, but you have to pay additionally for insurance for Certified Mail service.
  9. Certified mail service provides safety and security to your packages, whereas Registered Mail service offers additional protection to your mail packages.
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You read about both the services. Both have some similar offerings, but Registered Mail gives you additional safety when it comes to your important documents and other things. So, it’s upto you which service you choose. Find out every detail of both the services and see which fulfills your needs. If you have any queries, then leave a comment below. We’ll get back to you asap.

2 Comments on “What is the Difference Between USPS Registered Mail and Certified Mail?”

  1. Why does your explanation about cetified mail not include a mention of the post card we get to prove delivery?

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