If you're searching for where mail is scanned for the USPS informed delivery service, you probably know this already, but for those that don't, Informed Delivery is a free service offered by the USPS that provides digital images of incoming mail to customers. The USPS introduced this service in 2014 and has since become a pretty popular tool for people who want to keep up with the mail they are expecting to receive.
The service isn't perfect. A lot of times you get a notification about a piece of mail being delivered, but it takes days for it to reach you personally. Especially if you live in more rural area. Sometimes you do not get notified of mail at all!
How Informed Delivery Works
Informed Delivery happens during the sorting process, but only at the major facilities. If you have local mail not routed through a major facility your mail may not get scanned for Informed Delivery. If your mail is routied through a major facility each mailpiece is scanned by a high-speed scanner, which captures an image of the front and back of the mailpiece. The images are then sent to a central database, where they are processed and stored.
The images captured by the scanner are processed by software that analyzes the images to extract information about the mailpiece, such as the recipient's name, address, and postal code. The information is then used to associate the images with the recipient's Informed Delivery account. This allows the recipient to access the images of their incoming mail via the Informed Delivery website or app.
Once the images have been processed, they are then made available to the recipient. The USPS allows you to receive notifications through either email or SMS and you can view the images on their website, as well as receive notifications about the mailpieces they are expecting. This helps you stay informed about incoming mail without having to physically go to the mailbox. Its great when you're travelling.
The USPS also claims to perform quality control checks on the images. This is done to ensure that the images are clear and readable, and that the information extracted from the images is accurate. If an image is deemed to be of poor quality, it may be rescanned, or the mailpiece may be physically inspected to ensure that the information is correct.
Where is Mail Scanned
Here is the rough breakdown of how long to expect a piece of mail after you receive an informed delivery notification:
- Regional Sorting Center - Your Mail is here!
- Processing center - your mail gets sorted to the right facility to get to you
- Regional Post Office - Hopefully this is you! If you have a closer local Post Office, you need to wait
- Local Post Office - Now its ready to get delivered to you!
So the timeframe depends on how long it takes your letter to get from Point A to Point B. Hopefully there are no issues along the way.
Informed Delivery is a useful service, but its not without its hiccups. You now see all the steps involved and why you may need to wait some time after your notification to actually get your mail. The nice part is that you have pretty good assurance once you get the notification that there will be nothing lost in the mail, or you have record of this mailpiece.