How to Send a Certified Letter

Use the Postal Service's Certified Mail delivery option to be sure that your letters and packages reaches its final destination.


Up next in How to Mail Letters & Packages (9 videos)

You've got mail...that you need to pick up, send out, package, and so much more. These tips will help you get it done more easily.

You Will Need

  • Letter or package
  • Money for postage and fees
  • USPS Form 3800


  1. Step 1

    Prepare the package for mailing

    Prepare the letter or package for mailing. Include the full mailing address of the recipient, as well as your return address.

  2. Know that certified mail can only be sent within the United States and its territories or through the United National Post Office in New York City.

  3. Step 2

    Complete certified mail form 3800 at the post office

    Complete Form 3800, the certified mail form, at your local post office. Fill out the name and mailing address of the recipient of the package.

  4. Step 3

    Attach the form to your letter or package

    Peel the sticky backing off of the form, and attach the form to your letter or package. Place the sticker along the top of the envelope, between the return address and the stamp.

  5. Step 4

    Affix postage to cover mailing cost and certified mail fee

    Affix enough postage to cover the mailing cost as well as the certified mail fee. At the post office, simply have the mail person calculate your fee, and pay with cash, debit, or credit card.

  6. Step 5

    Keep your receipt

    Keep your receipt and bar code in a secure place.

  7. Choose the return receipt option if you wish to be sent a signed confirmation that the package was received. You will get a postcard or email showing the signature of the person who signed for the package at its destination.

  8. Step 6

    Track the delivery

    Track the delivery of your package over the phone or online at Now you will know for sure that your mail reached the person it should.

  9. As of 2010, the United States Postal Service was the largest postal carrier in the world. In 2009, they processed over 117 billion pieces of mail.