Understanding Certified Mail Tracking Updates

LetterStream guarantees our mail-out timeframe of two business days, but we cannot guarantee the success of delivery or timeliness to your mail since that is fully dependent upon the USPS.  We do, however, offer real-time tracking updates of each piece of Certified Mail, provided directly from the USPS website.

If the tracking information for your certified letter has a status update that says "Origin Acceptance" then you can rest assured knowing that the USPS has it in their hands.  If you have any questions about your tracking information, signature files, or whether or not a letter has been delivered, we recommend that you contact the USPS directly to see if they are able to provide you with any additional information.

Below is a breakdown of what the various status levels typically mean:

  • Mailed: The letter(s) have been printed, inserted, sealed, and provided to the USPS for delivery. This begins the transit stage of the Certified mail piece. Mailed jobs within your LetterStream account shouldn't be confused with delivered letters.  We send your letter(s), the USPS delivers them.
  • In Transit: The certified mailpiece is in possession of the USPS. At this point, we are at the mercy of the USPS in regard to successful delivery to the intended recipient.
  • Delivery Attempted: Successful delivery to the intended recipient has been attempted. The Post Office likely left notice of attempted delivery with the recipient with instructions on how the item can be retrieved.
  • Unclaimed By Recipient: After the attempt of delivery is unsuccessful, and the recipient does not make an attempt to retrieve the item, the status is changed to Unclaimed By Recipient.
  • Refused By Recipient: If the intended recipient refuses to accept and/or sign for the mail piece, the status is changed to Refused By Recipient and is returned to the sender.
  • Returned To Sender: In the event the mailpiece is undeliverable due to a bad address, the recipient is no longer at the address, etc., the status is changed to Returned To Sender.
  • Delivered: The certified mailpiece was successfully delivered to the recipient. Once this status is achieved, and if you opted to retrieve a signature, the signature can be viewed by clicking the blue "view" link to the right of the status indicators for each recipient.
  • Forwarded: If the tracking information indicates that a letter has been forwarded, the USPS likely won't provide information as to what address it was forwarded to.  Often times this happens when a letter is going to a company or organization who has their mail forwarded to a different address so that all of their mail goes to the same location.  You might consider looking on their website to see if they provide any information regarding their mail acceptance and forwarding procedures.

Additionally, there are three 3 status boxes next to each recipient within your LetterStream account. These are color-coded by status. 

Below is a breakdown of each color and its corresponding status:

  • Light Green - Recent status update successful
  • Yellow - Unclaimed/Business Closed
  • Orange - Out for Delivery/Attempted
  • Violet - Forwarded
  • Pink - Returned to Sender
  • Dark Green - Returned (2nd box will be pink)
  • Red - Refused (2nd box will be pink)
  • White - No new action has occurred by the USPS

These rules are applied to the tracking status bar at the top of the page as well.

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