How to Get Your Mail Delivered Faster

While it sure beats the days of the Pony Express, the U.S. Postal Service often leaves us feeling impatient. Get the greatest possible speed out of your mail service by following these steps to minimize delivery time.

Whenever possible, use printed address labels instead of writing by hand. If you must write by hand, make sure your recipient's address is written clearly and neatly in large letters. In either case, use all capital letters. It may not look nice, but it will help the post office scanning machines.

On the last line of the recipient's address, include only the city, state and zip code. Put all of this information on one line, and do not add any more lines below it.

Always use a 10-digit zip code in your recipient's address, adding a hyphen between the first six numbers and the last four. You can find a complete directory of ten digit zip codes on the U.S. Postal Service website.

Always use the proper abbreviations for states, street names and other abbreviated elements of your address. Proper abbreviations can also be researched on the U.S. Postal Service website.

Make sure you're using proper postage. Refer to the U.S. Postal Service website if you're unsure of the current rate for first-class mail. If you think your item may be too heavy for the standard first class postage, take it to your local post office and have them weigh it for you.


  • Buy Forever Stamps from the U.S. Postal Service. These stamps always cost the current rate for first-class stamps, but can be used at any time, even after the rate has gone up. If you're unsure about an address, contact the recipient via other means to confirm. Consider using Priority Mail instead of first class mail. It's almost always faster but doesn't cost much more than first-class mail.