Tuesday, July 11, 2017

How to Mail a Certified Letter Using a Postal Machine

In an effort to provide better service to postal patrons, the U.S. Postal Service has replaced the standard postage vending machine with Automated Postage Centers. Similar to ATM's the APC allows customers to do most anything from purchasing postage to sending a package. A task such as sending certified mail can now be done quickly instead of waiting in long lines for assistance from a postal clerk.

Place letter on scale and touch screen to begin. When prompted, select "Mail a letter or package."

The Automated Postal Center (APC) will guide you step-by-step by asking you questions and offering selections to assist in sending your certified letter.

usps change address

After accepting the weight of the letter, you will be asked to enter the five-digit ZIP code on the touch screen. If you are unsure, the APC will help you look it up.

Once the ZIP code has been confirmed, choose First Class Mail. Other additional services will then be offered; choose Certified Mail.

After selecting Certified Mail, additional services such as Restricted Delivery and Return Receipt are offered at an additional cost. These services are not required to send certified mail and can be refused by choosing the "Just Send It First Class Mail with Certified Mail" option.

The APC will give you the total cost and confirm if a pre-printed certified mail form is attached. Choosing "no" will allow the APC to print the form to attach to your letter.

When the final total is then presented, payment must be made with debit or credit card before going further. (APCs cannot accept cash.) Touch the "Make Payment" button and swipe your card when prompted

The APC will dispense your postage stamp just below the screen and a certified mail form to the right of the postage dispenser. Take both and your receipt.

Place the postage sticker on the upper right corner of the letter. Follow the printed instructions and attach the adhesive certified mail certificate to the right of the return address at the top of your letter. Once this is completed, the letter can be dropped into any U.S. Postal Service mail slot or box.

Tips & Warnings

usps hours

If your letter already has first-class postage attached, the APC will allow you to pay for only the certified mail fee when confirming the weight and total. Simply choose "Already stamped, buy less postage" when prompted.

How to Ship a Package With the USPS

Shipping packages with the United States Postal Service (USPS) is a great way to ensure that your package will arrive safely and in a timely manner. USPS provides lots of valuable information on its website to make shipping packages super convenient for you. In fact, the tools on the website make shipping packages with the USPS so easy that you do not even need to go to the post office. The steps below will help you prepare and address your package, print and pay for postage and request a post office carrier to pick up the package.

Prepare the Package

usps hold mail

Use a sturdy box big enough to hold the contents of the package. You should be able to close the box tightly.

Use packing material, such as bubble wrap, to make sure that contents do not move around while in the mail. This is particularly important if the package contains breakable items.

Seal up the package using clear or brown packing tape. Make sure that all seams are sealed.

Address the package using a thick marker. The recipient’s address should be near the center of the package, and the return address should be in the upper left corner of the package. You may also print an address label and postage for the package using the USPS website (see Resources).

Print an Address Label & Postage

Use the “Print Address Labels & Postage” link in the References section to go the USPS website.

Select the country where the package is being sent and click “Sign In.”

Sign in to your existing USPS account. If you do not have an account, follow the prompts on the screen to set up an account.

Enter your return address on the left side of the screen.

Enter the shipping address on the right side of the screen. Make sure that the address is complete and accurate.

Enter the weight, size and shipping date in the “Package Information” section. Click “Continue.”

Choose the shipping method for your package. All possible methods and their prices are listed. Select one and click “Continue.”

Double check the addresses and shipping method on the next page and click “Continue.”

Pay and print the shipping label on the next screen.

Mail the Package

Drop off the package at a local post office. If you have printed your own postage, you may simply drop off the package. If you are unsure of the weight of the package, you may take it to the post office and let postal workers determine the postage for you.

Place the package in a blue mail box if it will fit.

usps postal service

Request a carrier pick up and a postal worker will pick up the package from your house. Use the “Request a Carrier Pick Up” link in the Resources section below. You will be asked to enter your address and information about the package.