Believe it or not, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has been offering registered mail services since before the Civil War.
The first registered mail option was offered to USPS customers back in 1855, and today (more than 150 years later) millions of people take advantage of this service every year.
A fantastic option for individuals and businesses that want to confirm that their mail has been delivered and received, registered mail provides a lot of benefits that traditional first class mail options may not.
At the same time, you want to understand exactly how much USPS registered mail cost before you jump right in. That’s why we have put together this quick guide.
By the time you’re done with the inside information below you’ll not only have a better idea of what registered mail is, why it’s so beneficial, and how to best use it moving forward but you also have a better idea of USPS registered mail insurance cost structures, too.
Let’s jump right in!
What is Registered Mail, Anyway?
To start things off, it’s important to break down what registered mail is and what isn’t.
A lot of people (understandably) confused Certified Mail with Registered Mail, in large part because they have a lot in common with one another.
Certified Mail is a program available through the USPS designed to be taken advantage of with first-class mail, first-class package delivery, or priority mail options.
The sender designates that they would like a mailing receipt attached to whatever it is they are sending through the USPS, and that package or parcel has to be signed for when it arrives at its ultimate destination or it isn’t technically “delivered”.
The USPS then keeps the receipt and copy of that signature on file for at least two years from the date that it has been mailed, providing you with a paper trail of that document being received and accepted.
Registered Mail works much in the same way – but with a major change that makes it a little more secure and a little more reliable than traditional Certified Mail.
You’ll still send your package or parcel via first-class mail, first-class package delivery, or priority mail. There will still be a signature receipt that needs to be filled out upon delivery, and those records will be kept by the USPS for two years just the same as Certified Mail.
The major difference with Registered Mail, however, is that you get to take advantage of security features not available with standard Certified Mail.
We are talking about delivery options that include locked cages, locked safes, sealed containers, and a verifiable and “step-by-step” tract chain of custody – complete with electronic and physical signatures – to show every move your Registered Mail makes.
On top of that, you’ll also have an opportunity to purchase insurance protection good for up to $50,000 (based on the value of the item you are mailing) to further secure your delivery through the USPS, too.
Benefits of Registered Mail
The fact that you get a physical confirmation that your mail has been delivered as part of the cost of Registered Mail in the first place isn’t something that you should gloss over.
With traditional mail, you sort of cross your fingers and hope that it is going to arrive at its ultimate destination without ever knowing when it is delivered or who it is received by. The USPS has a (generally) pretty good track record of getting the mail where it is supposed to go, but it’s still nice to have actual confirmation of important packages and parcels arriving as expected.
The security benefits that you get (a big part of the cost to send Registered Mail in the first place) shouldn’t be overlooked, either.
The fact that your mail is going to be delivered through secured containers – locked containers, safes, etc. – guarantees that the important things you are sending through the mail are never tampered with, never “lost in transit”, and aren’t ever stolen, either.
This is particularly important for individuals that are sending valuable things through the mail as well as businesses that want to make sure important and sensitive documents or parcels get to their final destination, too.
Mix in the tracking and delivery options, the chain of custody features built right into Registered Mail, and the peace of mind you and your recipient get and it’s a no-brainer why so many people are comfortable paying the USPS registered mail cost – even when it goes up (like it did in 2020).
How Much Does Registered Mail Cost?
The USPS always looks for ways to cut down on costs for their customers, and you might be surprised at just how inexpensive the cost of Registered Mail is going to be when you move forward.
As of 2020, the prices for Registered Mail sit at $12.60.
Sure, that’s quite a bit more expensive than the cost of a stamp when you are sending something through first-class mail or package delivery – but again, think of all the benefits you get when you take advantage of this USPS service.
The cost to send Registered Mail has been climbing year after year, though.
In 2017 the services cost $11.70, 2018 by jumped to $11.90, and 2019 saw the biggest jump in recent history – a $0.50 bump all the way up to $12.40.
It’s not unreasonable to believe that USPS Registered Mail cost structures will jump again in 2021 (and beyond), but hopefully it’s a relatively small increase like the one between 2019 and 2020!
Those looking to take advantage of extra insurance protection are going to want to talk to their local USPS postmaster or someone working in the local office to figure that out. Different pricing structures are available for different levels of insurance, with a maximum insurance of $50,000 available depending on what you are having shipped through the mail in the first place.
All in all, Registered Mail is a hugely beneficial service that you want to consider if you need to take advantage of a secure, safe, and carefully tracked mail delivery solution.