Registered mail allows for the sender of an item to be notified of its arrival and receive a copy of the signature that authorized delivery. When this type of mail travels internationally, it either moves via parcel post, which is relatively slow, or, for a greater fee, by plane. The latter method is called Registered Airmail. Most postal systems provide a tracking number that is affixed to the item when it is sent. With that number it is easy for the sender to follow the progress of an item; it is normally scanned and recorded at each shipping depot.
Tracking Mail That You’ve Sent
Package your item in a box or envelope and write the destination address on it using a non-erasable pen.
Bring the item to a post office and request that it be sent by First Class Mail International. You can also send it by flat-rate International Priority Mail if the item is small enough to fit into the small size flat-rate box or envelope. These are the two types of international mail that can be registered.
Pay the registration fee. As of December 2010, this was $11.50. This can be paid with a credit card, debit card or cash. Once this is paid, you will be provided with a receipt with a tracking number on it.
Enter your tracking number in the appropriate box on the U.S. Postal Service tracking and confirmation web page (usps.com/shipping/trackandconfirm.htm) and click “Go.” A list will display, showing all the places where your shipment has been tracked, in chronological order.
Tracking an Item Sent to You
Contact the sender of the item and ask them to provide you with the tracking number. You should also confirm what country the item was shipped from, as you will need to track the item with that country’s postal service. Not all postal services offer tracking, but many do.
Visit the tracking section of the website maintained by the postal service of the country from which the item was sent. You can find a list of these sites in the Resources section of this article.
Enter your tracking number and click the button next to the entry field. You will receive a report of all the tracking information that the sending postal system has for your item.