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.