How to Find the Origin of Certified Mail

airmail envelope with distinctive blue and red striped boarder image by Stephen Gibson from

The U.S. Postal Service provides certified mail that allow senders to request delivery verification. The service is offered for delivery of priority and first class mail and is commonly used by businesses or for the delivery of very important documents or items. A tracking number is assigned to the mail which the sender can use for following the package's delivery status; the receiver can use the number to determine the origin of the mail.

Examine the outer packaging of the mail to find the bar code affixed to the top of the envelope, box, or mailer package near the return address area. Senders are required to put a return address on all certified mail to ensure that it is returned to them if the mail is not delivered within 15 days of the first delivery attempt.

Go to the USPS website and click on the track and confirm link. Type the numbers found at the bottom of the barcode into the “Enter Label/Receipt” box and click the “Go” button. The online tracking system will use the numbers to determine information pertaining to the time of the shipment, the post office it was mailed from and the place of origin of the mail.

Use the green return receipt as another way of tracking the origin of the mail. The mailman usually requires the recipient to sign this card for certified mail deliveries. Look for the name of the sender and the return address on the card to find out the origin of the mail.


About the Author

Allison McCalman has been writing professionally since 2009. Her expertise is in business, media, intellectual property law and tourism. McCalman's work has appeared in various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast journalism.

Photo Credits

  • airmail envelope with distinctive blue and red striped boarder image by Stephen Gibson from