How to Mail a Package COD

by Aminah Paden; Updated September 26, 2017

The U.S. Postal Service offers its customers a number of services other than swift mail delivery. One such service: Collect on Delivery (COD), which lets recipients pay for items and postage at the time of receipt (COD may be an option a business offers purchasers of its goods).

Step 1

Accurately address your mail. Place the shipping and return addresses on the same side of the letter or card. Type or print clearly so that the address is legible.

Step 2

Select an option for shipping or mailing your package, letter or document. Express Mail, Priority Mail and First-Class Mail are a few options.

Step 3

Calculate the cost of postage. Add insurance or use additional services to protect and confirm delivery of your mail.

Step 4

Complete Form 3816 and attach it above the delivery address and to the right of the return address; on parcels, attach it to the left of the delivery address. The recipient must pay with cash or a personal check when the item is delivered. Use Collect on Delivery with Express Mail, First-Class Mail and package services. Pay the COD fee, in addition to postage and other fees, at the time of mailing.


  • Postal insurance can provide coverage up to $5,000 for lost or damaged items.


  • The maximum collectible amount for Collect on Delivery payments is $1,000.

About the Author

Aminah Paden began writing professionally in 1992. She has been published in "Mahogany" magazine and "Outreach," a youth newsletter. Paden also blogs for Gold Rush Illinois and Remembering Your Spirit. She has a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Photo Credits

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