How to Mail a Certified Letter Using a Postal Machine

In an effort to provide better service to postal patrons, the U.S. Postal Service has replaced the standard postage vending machine with Automated Postage Centers. Similar to ATM's the APC allows customers to do most anything from purchasing postage to sending a package. A task such as sending certified mail can now be done quickly instead of waiting in long lines for assistance from a postal clerk.

Place letter on scale and touch screen to begin. When prompted, select "Mail a letter or package."

The Automated Postal Center (APC) will guide you step-by-step by asking you questions and offering selections to assist in sending your certified letter.

After accepting the weight of the letter, you will be asked to enter the five-digit ZIP code on the touch screen. If you are unsure, the APC will help you look it up.

Once the ZIP code has been confirmed, choose First Class Mail. Other additional services will then be offered; choose Certified Mail.

After selecting Certified Mail, additional services such as Restricted Delivery and Return Receipt are offered at an additional cost. These services are not required to send certified mail and can be refused by choosing the "Just Send It First Class Mail with Certified Mail" option.

The APC will give you the total cost and confirm if a pre-printed certified mail form is attached. Choosing "no" will allow the APC to print the form to attach to your letter.

When the final total is then presented, payment must be made with debit or credit card before going further. (APCs cannot accept cash.) Touch the "Make Payment" button and swipe your card when prompted.

The APC will dispense your postage stamp just below the screen and a certified mail form to the right of the postage dispenser. Take both and your receipt.

Place the postage sticker on the upper right corner of the letter. Follow the printed instructions and attach the adhesive certified mail certificate to the right of the return address at the top of your letter. Once this is completed, the letter can be dropped into any U.S. Postal Service mail slot or box.

Tips

  • If your letter already has first-class postage attached, the APC will allow you to pay for only the certified mail fee when confirming the weight and total. Simply choose "Already stamped, buy less postage" when prompted.