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Does USPS Have First Class Tracking? (2023 Updated)

does usps first class tracking

USPS covers over 163 million addresses in every single state, town, and city throughout the United States of America.

 The postal service delivers over 200 billion pieces of mail each year; that’s a number hard to get your head around right! With such huge numbers of mail, you wonder how a business can run effectively and offer an excellent service to its customers.

So with that being said… Does USPS Have First Class Tracking?

Let’s find out…

The USPS And Tracking System

It’s no wonder if you are sending something valuable or you wish to get a package to someone quickly that it would be nice to track the process and know precisely when and where the recipient received it. That’s why it’s excellent news that USPS offers completely free tracking on first-class postage

However, this is only for first-class retail packages and commercial packages. Unfortunately, postcards, letters, and flats are not available for tracking. Don’t be too bummed out, though. You can choose some alternative tracking options if you are sending any of those items. 

Is USPS First Class Mail Tracked Automatically? 

If you ship an item first class at USPS, it is automatically assigned a tracking number. What is first class mail? It’s regular mail such as letters, flats (large envelopes), and packages/parcels. However, only the packages or parcels have automated free tracking. It’s a little more complicated when it comes to letters and flats. 

There are tracking options, but it comes with an extra cost; let’s take a look…

Does USPS Have First Class Tracking – How much does it cost to add tracking to a USPS first class mail?

Does USPS Have First Class Tracking

If you are mailing a package first class, it’s free. Or, it’s actually included in the price already but marketed as free. All you have to do is bring your package to the post office, and put it on the scales. A small package can cost anywhere between $4-$10, but everything is dependent on the weight. Boxes can weigh up to 13 ounces, and the heavier they are, the more expensive they are. 

If you have a large envelope that exceeds the letter shipping, the cost of your mail will change to parcel shipping. Although it costs more, it does come with tracking, which could be beneficial for you.

How To Add First-Class Tracking To A Parcel

There are two options. You can bring your mail directly to the post office, or you can print a label off in the comfort of your own home. If you do decide to print the label yourself, there are a few different websites that have partnered with USPS to help you along the way. 

1 In the Post Office

If you take your parcel to the post office, bring it to the appropriate clerk and make it clear you want to send it first class. They will likely give you other options and go with the one that suits your needs best. 

Remember your item can only weigh between 4 and 13 ounces. If your parcel exceeds the weight, it will change from first-class mail to another mailing service. This could be Priority or Priority Express. Plus, the heavier your item is, the more it will cost to ship.

No receipt… No parcel!

Once you print the label and add it to your parcel, you will receive a receipt. The receipt will show the date of shipping, the weight, your name, and the tracking number. You mustn’t lose the receipt. For safety, please take a picture and send it to the person waiting to receive the parcel. 

2 Online


If you decide to print the label yourself and skip a visit to the post office, you can do this too. You must be approved to do this and have a PayPal, eBay, or SendPro account.

 If you are using websites like eBay, PayPal, or Etsy, they give you the option to print First Class shipping labels. This is handy if you are an avid seller and have many orders coming in. Whatever site you use to print the label, you will receive a receipt once you have printed the label that has a tracking number on it. 

Send the number to the receiver…

For First Class parcels, you will receive the tracking number, order confirmation by email, and likely an online transaction receipt. You can use this to track the item on the journey to the receiver, and you can also send the number to the person waiting for the package. 

How To Track A First Class Letter

As mentioned above, first-class tracking is only free with packages. When it comes to letters, postcards, and flat envelopes, it’s a little different. USPS offers add-ons to the service to ensure you know when your letter has arrived and received. 

Certified Mail

Certified mail is sent with a green form attached to the envelope. Once it arrives with the receiver, they sign a form, and it’s sent back to the sender. This lets them know the date, time, and who signed for the mail. This is especially useful when it comes to legal matters.

Informed Delivery

This only benefits the sender and not the recipient. But that’s ok if it suits you. Informed delivery allows you to see what mail you will be receiving. You must sign up for informed delivery through the official website. You can also download an app. It’s useful if you miss the delivery of your package and need to rearrange for it to arrive when you or someone else is at home.

 Remember, though; this is only available for letter-sized mail.

Signature Confirmation

Signature Confirmation

Signature confirmation is another great option for those sending flat envelopes or first-class letters. It gives you an extra sense of security knowing that the person receiving the mail needs to sign for it. Another added security is that they have to provide their ID while signing for the mail. This is excellent when it comes to important mail like passports, credit cards, or legal documents.

It’s convenient as you can also buy this service online or at the post office. The service is inexpensive and a smart way to send official documents. In-store it will cost $3.45 and $2.90 if you purchase online.

The Starting Price Of Shipping With USPS

1 Letters

  • Standard rectangular envelope stamps start from $0.58.
  • Square, or unusually shaped envelope stamps start from $0.88.

2 Postcards

  • Standard rectangular postcard stamps start from $0.40.
  • Oversized postcards will need letter stamps, which start at $0.58.

3 Large Envelopes/Small Packages:

  • Large envelopes (flats) start at $1.16.
  • Small packages start at $4.50.

Read more: King Soopers Holiday Hours

Opportunities To Work At USPS!

Firstly, you might also be wondering Can You Track A USPS Package Without A Tracking Number, as well as What Does Delivered To An Agent Mean USPS?

Next, if you’re job hunting at the moment, check out our USPS Application, our USPS Mail Processing Clerk Job Description, or how about our UPS Mission And Vision Statement Analysis, and UPS Application Online Jobs Career Info, as well as Does UPS Drug Test Package Handlers, before moving forward.

Passing your exams should be a breeze with the Post Office Jobs: The Ultimate 473 Postal Exam Study Guide, the Postal Exam Book: for Test 473 and 473-C, the Postal Exam Secrets Study Guide: Review and Practice Tests for the USPS Virtual Entry Assessment 474, 475, 476, and 477, and the McGraw-Hill’s Postal Exams 473/473C, all available online in 2023.

Lastly, please don’t forget to read Does UPS Do Background Checks, and Does USPS Hire Felons, if you have a criminal record.

Does USPS Have First Class Tracking – Final Thoughts

As we now know, yes, it does. Although first-class tracking is only free on packages, it doesn’t mean to say there aren’t any tracking options for regular letters and flat envelopes. 

There are other alternatives available such as informed delivery, certified mail, and signature confirmation. Everyone loves free delivery, and it’s a great incentive for USPS to offer their customers.

Happy Posting with USPS First Class!

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