Starting in 2001, the USPS began to provide certified mail postage users the option to use an ERR (Electronic Return Receipt) instead of the standardized Green Card Return Receipt method. The ERR not only records the date, delivery and sender information, but it also records the signature of the acceptor.
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All of this information is collected and stored electronically, instead of using the written Green Card Return Receipt. When a certified mail postage user elects to use the ERR, they are provided with the proof that it was delivered to the intended recipient.
The Green Card Return Receipt has been in use by the United States Postal Service for over 200 years. The Green Card Return Receipt is used to provide proof to the sender that the certified mail postage package has been delivered. The Green Card has always had a track record as being a difficult way to manage Return Receipts for certified mail postage items. The Green Card Return receipt is not a large document and is prone to misplacement as well as outright loss due to its size. They are also a tedious type of document to file and organize while trying to manage them.
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When the United States Postal Service delivers a Certified Mail Postage letter, the letter carrier electronically records all of the delivery data for each certified mail postage letter. The data is electronically stored, which also includes the signature of the recipient that accepts the certified mail postage letter. The certified mail postage letter data is safely stored electronically in the United States Postal Service centralized data tracking center which is located in California.
Certified mail postage letter envelopes also have both Electronic Return Receipts and tracking capabilities which allow the sender to check the status of the certified mail postage letter while it is in route to the recipient. The collected data pertaining to the certified mail postage letter is stored in the USPS archive for a maximum of seven years. While the data is stored, it is made available to the sender via computer access, which allows the sender to access and print the information at any time.
As you could have guessed, the Electronic Return Receipt is being used more and more by certified mail postage letter users. It is fast replacing the older, outdated Green Card Return Receipt as the most popular choice in receipt verification for certified mail postage letters.