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Ever get tired of going out to the mailbox in the inclement weather or walking down the block to pick up the United States Postal Service (USPS) delivery? The post office has good news. Sign up for Informed Delivery® and know ahead of time what to expect. Or for that matter, if there is any mail that day.
The free and optional service advises customers of their pending deliveries in their daily email. The post office scans letter-sized mail and sends photos of the items. While there is notification of packages, no images are provided. Furthermore, catalogs, magazines, and circulars are not noted. The postal service website explains:
Digitally preview your mail and manage your packages scheduled to arrive soon! Informed Delivery allows you to view greyscale images of the exterior, address side of letter-sized mailpieces and track packages in one convenient location.
Images are only provided for letter-sized mailpieces that are processed through USPS’ automated equipment.
Necessary Steps to Establish Informed Delivery® Service
Private residences, cluster mailboxes, and personal P.O. Boxes are most likely eligible for Informed Delivery®. To determine an address’ eligibility, go to https://www.usps.com/ and click on the dropdown menu entitled “Track and Manage” then choose Informed Delivery®. There will be a prompt to insert the Zip Code™. Once confirmed, the next step is to create an account.
Next, the USPS will verify the applicant’s address by sending out a welcome letter. They do this to protect privacy and personal information. If the letter contains the correct information, there is nothing further needed on the consumer’s part. However, if the account was not created by the consumer, the letter offers the option to deactivate the service. All one has to do is follow the directions provided.
Once set up, the notifications will typically begin within 2-3 days. Emails are delivered before 9 a.m. local time, Monday through Saturday. No emails are sent on days there is no mail for the consumer, on Sundays, and federal holidays.
Not only is there a Monday-Saturday email but users can view the information on their private USPS dashboard. There, the viewers will find shows the images of the mail, as does the email. It also indicates the number of letters delivered on any day of the month, and how many mailpieces scanned for the month, as well as packages.
Beneath each scanned letter-sized mail is a way to notify the USPS of non-delivery. It reads, “I didn’t receive this mailpiece.” Once the box is checked, the information provided “may be disclosed with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service or USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG) for law enforcement and investigative purposes.”
Additional Considerations for USPS’ Informed Delivery® Service
Notifications are sent for all mail coming to an address, that includes housemate’s/roommate’s incoming mail and packages. The post office handling is electronic and there is no way to separate the mail coming to one box if it is shared.
Emails will be sent to each eligible customer after the set up of services. There is a limit of one email address per addressee. If a customer receives mail at their home and at a P.O. Box, two separate accounts must be established. Additional documents are needed to successfully set up notifications for P.O. Boxes.
If an identity verification online is not possible, there is an Identity Proofing service at “specific participating USPS locations.” Instructions for handling this are included on the FAQ page. Once logged in, select Informed Delivery at the top of the page to the left of the greeting, “Hello [your name].” Next, select “enroll.” Locate Informed Delivery in the Account Management section and follow the directions.
At this time, businesses are not eligible to partake in the service. However, the USPS hopes to offer Informed Delivery to small businesses in the future.
Other Services Available on the USPS® Website
It is definitely worth one’s time to investigate the services the postal service offers on their website. Among these are:
- Locating a post office,
- Purchasing stamps,
- Schedule a pick-up,
- Calculating the cost to ship a package and an oversized or overweight mailpiece,
- Look up a Zip Code,
- Request free USPS shipping boxes,
- Rent or renew a P.O. Box.
Packages and certified/registered letters can be tracked by the customer using the number provided by the shipper. Also available is the ability to leave delivery instructions if the item qualifies.
The internet and the USPS make it easy to decide if there is a need to go to the mailbox by providing Informed Delivery®. Moreover, their website is user-friendly and offers a myriad of services for their customers’ use.
For easy access to USPS Informed Delivery sign up, FAQ, and package tracking highlight the sources below, right click on the mouse and choose search Google.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
United States Post Office: Informed Delivery® by USPS®
United States Post Office: Informed Delivery® – The Basics (FAQ)
United States Post Office: USPS Tracking®
Featured Image Courtesy of Rusty Clark’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Top and Inset Screenshots by Cathy Milne-Ware