Snail mail goes digital with new service from USPS

NOW: Informed Delivery from USPS

In just a few weeks, you won't have to wonder what "3-5 business days" means thanks to a feature from the United States Postal Service that's rolling out nationwide later this month.

Behold: Informed Delivery, starting April 14th

The optional service, called Informed Delivery, will send you an email with black and white pictures of your actual letter-sized mail pieces each day.

Yes; before you even start your day, you'll know what's coming to your mailbox. No more eagerly waiting for (or hiding from) your mail-carrier.

"It started as a test in Northern Virginia in 2014 and was expanded to parts of New York City and Connecticut in mid-November of 2015," said Steve Doherty, who works in the Corporate Communications department for USPS in Boston.

"A survey of those who signed up showed 90% were using the tool daily and loved it," he said. "So the decision was made to expand the offering nationwide."

How it works

The USPS already takes digital images of the front of all mailpieces that run through their automation equipment to "automate the sortation and delivery of mail," according to their website. Now, they'll send you those pictures for your convenience at no additional cost.

Users can sign up here.

You'll get an email each morning with up to ten images. If you don't have mail coming your way that day, you won't get a notification (this also goes for federal holidays and Sundays).

You can also visit the dashboard at to view the pictures, which will be available for seven days. If you have more than 10 pieces of mail that day, the rest of the images can be viewed in the dashboard.

Doherty said packages or oversized envelopes that require hand sorting will not be included in the feature.

The feature works on computers, tablets and other mobile devices.


With something as personal as your mail being sent across the world wide web, there are many privacy and security concerns. The answers to frequently asked questions about spam, privacy and getting notifications for delayed/undelivered mail can be found here.


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