What can I do if my Certified Mail is not Delivered?

What can I do if my Certified Mail is not Delivered?  Can I get a Refund?


Certified Mail requires a signature upon Delivery.  Typically, the first attempt to deliver the letter will occur within three to five business days. At the first delivery attempt, if there is no authorized recipient available to sign for the letter, USPS will leave a Notice (PS Form 3849) informing the recipient that a piece of Certified Mail is waiting to be received/signed for at their local Post Office.  USPS will hold the letter at the local Post Office for five business days before attempting a second delivery or leaving a second Notice.  After an additional five business days, USPS will leave a third and final notice.  If the recipient has not gone to the Post Office to sign for the letter within five business days of the third Notice being issued, USPS will mark the letter “Unclaimed” and return the letter to the sender.  This process can take up to four weeks.  It is not uncommon for a piece of Certified Mail to go several weeks without a Delivery Scan. 
If your letter has not been delivered after four to five weeks, it is possible that the letter is “missing.” 

If you wish to look into where your letter may be, your best bet would be to call the Post Office located in the zip code of the last recorded scan or the Post Office in the zip code of the delivery point address and ask to speak to the Post Master.  Provide them with the Certified Mail article number and explain that your letter is still pending Delivery.  
IF USPS cannot locate or Deliver your letter, you can request a refund from USPS for services not rendered.  You will need to fill out a PS Form 3533 and submit it to your local Post Office.  You can apply for a Refund of the Certified Fee ($3.30) and the Return Receipt Electronic fee ($1.35 if you purchased it at the time you created your label). 

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