USPS Certificate of Mailing: Costs & How to Use [2020] | ShipBob

There are a few different ways to prove that you’ve sent a letter or package, and one of the most prominent is the postage certificate. Read on for a detailed breakdown of what a shipping certificate is, when you might need one, and if it’s relevant to online stores.

what is a shipping certificate?

A certificate of postage is a receipt that documents the date the postal service received a piece of mail for shipment. you can purchase a shipping certificate at the post office when you ship a package. With a shipping certificate, you have an official record that you sent your mail on that date if the package is lost or stolen.

which usps services offer a certificate of shipment?

the united states postal service offers a certificate of postage when you send mail with any of the following services:

  • priority mail
  • first class mail
  • parcel services
  • international first class mail
  • priority mail international (only if you don’t have insurance)
  • package selection
  • media mail
  • special handling

how much does a shipping certificate cost?

In 2019, a mail-in certificate costs a flat fee of $1.45. in 2020, this fee will increase to $1.50.

how to get a usps mail certificate

You can only purchase a USPS Shipping Certificate at the time of shipment. When you send mail from a USPS office, request a proof of postage from a representative, and it will be provided to you once you deliver your mail.

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when should you use proof of shipment? 4 common situations

There is always the possibility that your mail may be lost, destroyed, misdirected, or some other problem. In that case, if the mail is important or timely, a shipping certificate can be a lifesaver. here are some situations that may require a shipping certificate.

1. tax forms

Your tax forms must be submitted by a certain date, and if the IRS doesn’t receive them by that date, you may be penalized. With a shipping certificate, you’ll have proof of the date you submitted your tax forms if something goes wrong so you can avoid penalties.

2. government forms/payments/etc.

You may owe the government money or have to mail a government form. If the mail is lost and the government doesn’t receive the documents, a certified mail will show that you did your part and sent them.

3. checks

Get a shipping certificate when you send a check, so there is evidence that you sent the check if you never receive it.

4. appropriate documents

A certificate of postage can also be valuable if you need to send mail by a certain date. sometimes mail is delayed, and with a postage certificate, you can prove you sent it on time.

certificate of shipment vs. certified mail

mail certificates are sometimes confused with certified mail. The main difference between a registered mail and certified mail is that with certified mail, you also receive a confirmation that the package was received.

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certified mail provides the sender with a delivery receipt that the mail was sent and notifies the sender that the mail was delivered or a delivery attempt was made.

what’s the difference?

A certificate of posting only proves that the mail was sent on a certain date, but does not prove or confirm that the mail was delivered. certified mail provides proof that the mail was sent and delivered.

do e-commerce companies ever use shipping certificates?

e-commerce businesses may use mail-in certificates for administrative purposes, such as mailing government or tax forms. Certified mail is most commonly used to fulfill customer orders, as e-commerce businesses typically require proof of delivery and proof of postage. If a package is particularly valuable (for example, worth hundreds of dollars), the e-commerce company may choose to purchase shipping insurance.


Now that you know what a shipping certificate is, you can make sure you buy one when it’s useful to you. shipping certificates are cheap and easy to get. While no one expects their mail to get lost, it happens, and with a little preparation, you can avoid the more serious consequences of losing important mail.Are you ready to get started with a 3PL? request a shipbob quote.

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