U.S. Postal Service (USPS)

Monday--Friday pickup at 3 p.m.

USPS Services and Descriptions

First class mail (letter rate)

  • Rates apply to mail weighing 13 ounces or less.
  • Mail over 13 ounces, up to a maximum of 70 pounds, travels at priority rates.
  • Maximum weight: 70 pounds; maximum size 108”, length/girth combined.
  • Minimum size: 3 ½” high x 5” long.
  • Maximum size: 6 1/8” high by 11 ½” long.
  • Maximum thickness: ¼”.
  • Letters weighing 1 ounce or less that exceed any of the size limits are subject to surcharge.

First class mail (flat rate)

  • Maximum size for large envelopes: 15” long x 12” high x ¾” thick
  • Maximum weight for a letter is 3.5 ounces. A letter that exceeds 3.5 ounces is classified as a large envelope.
  • Maximum weight for a large envelope (“flat”) is 13 ounces. A large envelope that exceeds any maximum dimension is classified as a package (“parcel”)
  • Maximum weight for a package: 13 ounces. A package that exceeds 13 ounces is classified Priority Mail.

First class mail (postcard rate)

  • Minimum size is 3 ½” x 5”
  • Maximum size is 4 ¼” x 6”
  • Must be rectangular and uniform thickness
  • Postcards over maximum size are sent at first class letter rate
  • Postcards under minimum size or not rectangular are subject to surcharge

Delivery Confirmation

  • Gives information about date and time item was delivered upon inquiry.
  • Not trackable.
  • Available for Priority Mail and First Class parcels only.

Certified Mail

  • Provides proof of mailing.
  • Provides proof of delivery.
  • Not available for foreign mail.
  • Return receipt available.
  • Available for First Class and Priority mail.
  • Not trackable.

Priority Mail

  • Maximum weight 70 pounds.
  • Maximum size 108 inches, length/girth combined.
  • Additional services can be applied, such as Delivery Confirmation, Certified Mail, Return Receipt, and Insured Mail.
  • 1-3 day delivery, not guaranteed.
  • Domestic mail only.

Express Mail

  • Fastest service available for USPS, but also most expensive.
  • Guaranteed delivery 365 days a year, including weekends and holidays.
  • Automatically insured for $100 at no extra charge.
  • Merchandise insurance liability up to $5,000.
  • Money-back guarantee if not delivered on time.
  • Trackable. Go to USPS.com, click “package tracking.”
  • Next Day or 2nd Day delivery (does not apply to some post offices).
  • Maximum weight 70 lbs.
  • Maximum size 108 inches, length/girth combined.

Insured Mail

  • Covers loss, damage, or rifling.
  • $5,000 insurance limit for domestic mail.
  • Must have complete name and address of sender and addressee.
  • Used on First Class mail and package service only.
  • Cannot insure “articles not adequately packaged to withstand normal handling in the mail.”

Return Receipt

  • Extra cost.
  • Used with Certified, Registered, Express Mail, and mail insured for more than $50.
  • Shows to whom the mail was delivered, date delivered, and signature of addressee.

Media Mail

  • No minimum weight.
  • 70 pounds maximum weight.
  • Used for books, printed music, sound recordings, video readable media (e.g., discs, tapes).
  • Takes longer than First Class.
  • Costs less than First Class.
  • Cannot be used for International Mail.
  • Can have Delivery Confirmation, Certified Mail, and Return Receipt Services.