Registered Mail might seem like a service from yesteryear in this day and age of Intelligent Mail barcodes and Informed Delivery, which give customers a sneak peek into their mail via email alerts.

But with proof of mailing and delivery along with strict rules and controls, Registered Mail still appeals to customers who want to send valuable or irreplaceable items through the mail.

Registered Mail is a premium service that provides tracking as soon as the sender presents the mail to the U.S. Postal Service and ends at delivery. Along the way, each time the Registered Mail changes hands or moves to another office, an employee must log the action. Registered Mail pieces also require specific packaging and sealing methods for security and protection. When not in transit, Registered Mail pieces must be stored in a locked safe, room, or cage separated from other mail.

Registered Mail also includes postal insurance that covers loss, damage, or rifling up to $50,000.

Customers pay more for Registered Mail for insurance and assurance, which comes with added security. Thus, it’s important the Postal Service maintain those controls. To that end, we found the Postal Service needs to tighten some operational controls over Registered Mail.

Our recent audit report found some of the 15 post offices we reviewed had multiple control issues, including:

  • Safes storing Registered Mail and other accountable items were left open and unattended during business hours.
  • Registered Mail pieces were left unattended in an open area.
  • Four post offices did not maintain logs recording personnel who had access to the registry room or cage.

In addition, we noted USPS had not taken corrective action based on previous OIG recommendations related to Registered Mail, including step-by-step procedural training of employees.

We recommended again management make sure employees complete the required training and monitor Registered Mail operations so that employees are complying with all policies and procedures. We also recommended USPS monitor technology for improvements, such as automated documentation, which would eliminate duplication and improve efficiencies. Other technologies might reduce risks associated with holding Registered Mail in cages or safes.

How has your experience been with Registered Mail? Do you have a high-level of confidence in the service? Are there improvements you would like to see?

Comments (25)

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  • anon

    I THOUGHT I HAD OVER NIGHT DELIVERY, BUT MY LETTER WAS 4 DAYS GETTING DELIVERED. I WISH I HAD BETTER INFORMATION FROM THE POST OFFICE AND THE USPS PROGRESS MESSAGES.

    Sep 21, 2017
  • anon

    I am a federal contractor and i am behalf of oig inspector gen. I would like to be part of general intelligence investigator but i cant be hire because i know all vulnerable of usps. Thank if you need to solve the problem im here. Look for me im tired of applying for job. Hire me direct. To issuing passport that is big bull of usps.

    Aug 21, 2017
  • anon

    according to this law.... At 12 Stat. 705 § 23, Congress wrote: And be it further enacted, That the rate of postage on all letters not transmitted through the mails of the United States, but delivered through the post-office or its carriers, commonly described as local or drop letters, and not exceeding one half ounce in weight, shall be uniform at two cents, and an additional rate for each half ounce or fraction thereof of additional weight, to be in all cases prepaid by postage stamps affixed to the envelope of such letter, but no extra postage or carrier's fee shall hereafter be charged or collected upon letters delivered by carriers, nor upon letters collected by them for mailing or for delivery which means that if mail specifically states on the letter non-domestic without the united states and has no zip code that this law applies for 2 cents per half ounce to be mail out... and NO extra fees can be charged like to send certified and return receipt requests..... this law is still in full force and cannot be rescinded or changed... so why is it not in the updated DMM...??? when usps bought out the post "office" in 1971 they also bought their liabilities which includes to honor this law when mail is sent out from a post "office" building and not a postal "service" building...

    Aug 14, 2017
  • anon

    Repeated problems with wrong deliveries throughout my town. After repeated complaints to the person in charge we have had no better service. Have not been allowed to make an appointment with the post master. We are completely frustrated. The Post Office in Redmond,WA. needs an audit. What can I do to get help!!!

    Aug 14, 2017
  • anon

    Delivered to the wrong address

    Aug 13, 2017
  • anon

    Yeah, complete BS - esp. if it comes to Registered mail from/to Poland. When will you finally start treating all EU member states the same? There's absolutely no reason to show tracking for Registered mail from/to Germany, but not from/to Poland. Also USPS is like only place where you have to pay premium for Registered mail. In EU, the "premium" costs max. $3, while in USPS $14.

    Aug 11, 2017
  • anon

    I am not able to speak to your comment in general, regarding International registered packages, except to say that this post is specifically referencing domestic Registered Mail. International registered mail is a different product. As a US sender, Registered International mail provides only proof of delivery and limited financial liability (just shy of $42) in the case of a lost or damaged package.

    Aug 14, 2017
  • anon

    Is this position still open and where?

    Aug 08, 2017
  • anon

    Very few customers, and even too few newer postal workers and managers, know what Registered Mail is all about, and how it is to be treated. The story describes the service, but I see managers who do not understand how important this service is. It is supposed to be under "lock and key" and a clerk is to be assigned the duty of collecting and protecting Registered Mail, so that no one else has access to it. It is trackable in house by having each piece signed over to the next person who handles it, even if it is stored in a vault for the night...online tracking of this service is NOT as important as the actual signatures that are kept in house, so as to make each person handling this mail accountable. But, some managers and workers do not get it, as vaults are left unlocked, and the single key, which is to be with the person responsible for the Registered mail area, is often left hanging for anyone to grab, or simply given to people without the proper signature to show who has it. EACH TIME the key is given to another person, the entire log of Registered mail is to be signed over to the next person, they don't realize the importance of this procedure. As far as the tracking of this mail, in the past, it was to be kept a secret, so that the "bad guys" would not know what mode of transportation the valuable items would be taking, be it a certain truck or plane. This mail is a bit slower than regular mail, but that is due to the multiple check points it goes through, so the customer should know they are paying for security, not speed. I am a postal window clerk trainer, and try to emphasize the importance of correct handling of Registered Mail, and all other mail. Unfortunately, management does not see the importance of following procedures...unless something bad happens.

    Aug 08, 2017
  • anon

    I live in Mckinney, Texas 75070 and our community is new and growing bringing new large apartment complexes. I have had problems since 2015 in getting registered mail and oversized packages. My mail station uses a contracted carrier and it's employees to "supposedly" deliver certified mail and/or oversized packages that were just "barely" a little too big for the parcel boxes. I say at least 100% of the time the contracted workers WILL NOT come to your door for you to sign for certified mail, or bring the package. Our building has an ELEVATOR and not understanding why I and other tenants have constant problems. The workers will scan the USPS slip as recipient not home, but they don't check at all. I have some physical restrictions and I am generally always at home almost 98% of the time. Also, the workers WILL NOT leave a notice, so, you don't know you have a box or certified mail. I then login to my USPS mail dashboard to view my certified mail that was returned to sender as mail being unclaimed, I have one from July 7, 2017 that had a scan as recipient not a home, but no notice whatsoever was left, now it's being returned to sender as unclaimed when I called the station Manager/ Postmaster, Clarence who stated that he'd turned the whole office upside down looking for that certified letter, yea right!! He contacted his contractor to correct another certified mail issue because I left a nasty note for them across my mailbox telling them I/WE want our mail over here. They then came to my door a day later after I told on them, they said they don't come to people's apartments for certified mail or over sized smaller boxes, they said the was a duty of an actual "employee" of a postal worker, an FTE. I told them they are assuming the complete role of the actual employee and to get away from door talking to me with bad grammar, improper English. Anyway, they were ignorant, used bad grammar and unprofessional and I called them hood rats, they took my certified mail and left with it and I didn't see it again for about 3 days after speaking with the owner, or supervisor of that scandalous company, I have his name and phone number, and Clarence, the Postmaster. Clarence doesn't need to be in his position though he's been there I think about 25-30 years collecting a Federal Government paycheck for doing absolutely NOTHING AT ALL, but maxing out his TSP. He blamed the WEST side apartment problems on tenants not picking up mail from the McKinney USPS when another male USPS employee told me that people on the West Side, new apartments and/or homes have been coming in all day, everyday looking for their mail not delivered by the contracted workers. I reported a complaint in July 2017 and received a response from the OIG, I guess, that's where I filed my complaint to, but the questionable OIG's Office is located in Coppell, TX USPS Administration Building telling me my complaint was forwarded to the Consumer Affairs office (no address) and left two phone numbers that you can't get through on, just like the McKinney USPS. When Clarence, the Postmaster leaves the building this Asian man either takes the phone off the hook or programs 2 recorded messages, but you can't get through. I know, I went down there and the Asian main lied in my face and said the phone isn't busy, I then used my cell phone to call and got the recording, he said I put someone on hold to talk talk to you (after a twenty minute wait). I called him a liar as I'd spoken to him before, he will partially listen and then he seems like he's putting you on hold, but hangs up the phone and you CANT GET BACK THROUGH, he told me that USPS only has 1 phone line, I called him another liar as this isn't the 70's-80's. When Clarence is back in the building, the phones work fine with employees answering it. I think this Post Office needs to be investigated to the fullest, by the highest power, and that's the OIG, not an USPS Admin Building in Coppell or some unknown Consumer Affairs Office that won't deal with the issues only to pass the issue to Consumer Affairs who does nothing and seem as inept as the others. I WILL BE FILING A POLICE REPORT FOR ALL OF MY MAIL THAT I HAVE PROOF THAT DIDNT COME TO MY ADDRESS WITH NO NOTICES LEFT. IT DIDNT COME TO MY HOUSE, IT WAS TAMPERED WITH, THATS A FEDERAL OFFENSE. Is it in a drainage system, thrown in the woods or piled in someone's garage, or in the contracted van?

    Aug 08, 2017
  • anon

    Registered mail takes 5 times longer and consequently results in a much higher risk of loss!

    Aug 08, 2017
  • anon

    While Registered Mail is not as fast as the other services, it is not supposed to be fast. You only use it if the item you are mailing is very valuable, and speed is not a concern. The "higher risk of loss" is nonsense, as while it may be slower, it is not mixed with regular mail, and is under "lock and key", traceable to each person who handled it. When not being transported, it is in a locked vault, safe or other secure container.

    Aug 08, 2017
  • anon

    Can you track regular mail

    Aug 07, 2017
  • anon

    The USPS mail services are excellent. Two years ago a buffoon complained that he did not receive a registered mail package from me but the USPS had his signature. No complaints from me about the USPS!

    Aug 07, 2017
  • anon

    What action is required of the USPS when packages and mail are delivered to the wrong address. EXAMPLE: Wife awaiting a package for an online purchase. Telephoned the company and informed package was delivered. Went to our local Post Office and informed the package was delivered. Further electronic checks revealed the package was delivered on date and time. WRONG STREET but Right Numbered Residence. Carrier error. Further more the same numbered residences are 0.04 tenths apart on named cross streets. INSURED LOSS: "WHEN INCORRECT PARTY RECEIVES A PACKAGE AND DOES NOT RETURN IT TO USPS". (1) Knowing a delivery to incorrect party; is postal carrier required to approach residence and attempt to retrieve package? Denial at residence but electronic posting said yes. What course of action now? (2) Knowing delivery was made days earlier and package disappeared, am I to attempt collection. NOT ME! (3) Sending party informed delivered by USPS. End of story. Fill a claim. Never completed the order. (4) I File a claim; item description, price and receipt. At this point I gave up. Small item, small loss and not worth the trouble of paper work. FEDX or UPS give better service. Only sitting here today awaiting a package of value to me. WHY DID I RECORD? Venting a frustration - My Jack Story. I am waiting roadside with the thought PLEASE BE THERE/HERE. [I must remember for better service, Insurance and Return Receipt]

    Aug 07, 2017
  • anon

    Have used Registered mail many times with good service... however. tracking has been a problem from time to time, but local post office assisted with that.

    Aug 07, 2017
  • anon

    If the passport ; green Card ; documents essential ;are in your possession ; would you send them back to me ... thank you

    Aug 07, 2017
  • anon

    WONDERFUL AND PERFECT, I have not had any trouble with Registered Mail, only stamps walking over the counter and station robberies. myrtle

    Aug 07, 2017
  • anon

    Our carrier does an excellent job getting our signatures for all registered mail.

    Aug 07, 2017
  • anon

    As a retired senior Postmaster, I experienced the same issues at numerous locations. Units need to monitor the security issues regularly and employees and Postmasters need some simple walk through training.

    Aug 07, 2017
  • anon

    I remain a loyal patron of the USPS postal service. It is the accountability policy of the Postal Service that have retain my patronage. i have been concerned that my recent registered mails have taken quite a long time from postage to delivery, I was equally please that along the route the mails were track within the system. I support managements efforts in this valuable assessment towards best practices as this worthy institution as the USPS continues it's services to us-the genaeral public. Thank you. Clara Newton

    Aug 07, 2017
  • anon

    I remain a loyal patron of the USPS postal service. It is the accountability policy of the Postal Service that have retain my patronage. i have been concerned that my recent registered mails have taken quite a long time from postage to delivery, I was equally please that along the route the mails were track within the system. I support managements efforts in this valuable assessment towards best practices as this worthy institution as the USPS continues it's services to us-the genaeral public. Thank you. Clara Newton

    Aug 07, 2017
  • anon

    I had a package once lost through "AMAZON", I was reading it was delivered to a resident... But not the person who it belonged to which was myself, so I never got it, I even knocked on my neighbors doors looking for my package with no avail!

    Aug 07, 2017
  • anon

    Abysmal is all I can say. I received the envelope ONE YEAR LATE. Also, your employees are leaving mail in that wheeled carrier unattended on the sidewalk. One employee even visits the local library leaving the mail unattended for as long as an HOUR. Why is the US mail treated so shabbily. OUTRAGEOUS!!!!!

    Aug 07, 2017
  • anon

    Thank you.

    Aug 07, 2017

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