Does First Class Mail Have Tracking

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 5 minute read

Last year, the USPS handled 129.2 billion pieces of mail, of which 52.6 billion were First Class. As a result of that enormous number, it’s a miracle that the company functions as effectively as it does every day.

Still, many individuals prefer the security of being able to trace their mail. Does USPS First Class provide tracking, you wonder? Here’s all you need to know.

Will First Class mail have USPS tracking in 2022?

If you send a box by USPS First Class Package Retail or Commercial, you will be provided with free tracking on your shipment, as these packages are eligible for USPS tracking.

However, free USPS tracking is not available for First Class postal postcards, letters, large envelope mail, or flats. Another option is to offer extra services that provide customers with a limited amount of real-time tracking information.

Follow the links below to find out more about the types of First Class mail that are automatically monitored, the fees of adding tracking, and the add-on services available.

Is USPS First Class Mail tracked automatically?

If the shipment is a First Class Package, USPS First Class mail is automatically traced. There are three categories of First Class mail, which we commonly refer to as “normal” mail: letters, flats (big envelopes), and packages (or parcels).

Unfortunately, only First Class shipments come with free tracking by default. It is possible to monitor letters and flats to some extent, but not to the same extent as package tracking, and it costs extra to do so (see more below).

If you want to learn more about the United States Postal Service, you can read our previous articles, such as the difference between Priority Mail and First Class mail, or our article on how many stamps you will need to send envelopes with Priority Mail.

How much does it cost to upgrade to the First Class to include tracking?

You don’t even have to pay to track a First Class package! Shipping costs already include this tax, to be accurate. Take your item to the post office and inform them that you wish to use First Class mail.

When they weigh it, you’ll be charged by the ounce. Starting at $4 for the first four to eight ounces of weight, prices normally rise to a maximum of 13 ounces.

The cost of shipping may be shown in an easy-to-understand graph right here. Below it, you’ll find First-Class Package Service – Retail, Retail Parcels.)

A shipment will be dispatched if your envelope exceeds the weight limit, according to the USPS website. Monitor your package free of charge despite the higher cost.

You can use the USPS’ calculator in order to determine how much it’s going to cost in total to send your package or letter.

How are tracking numbers added to First Class Mail?

To monitor a First Class box, you can either bring it to the post office or print a mailing label at home. When it comes to printing the label at home, there are just a few sites that have collaborated with the USPS and allow you to do so.

In The Post Office

Go to the main counter of the post office and request that the box be sent First Class. (If not, they’ll likely provide you with a list of shipping choices and their associated costs.)

Postal workers will weigh your package once it has been delivered to the post office. Be aware that products between one and four grams cost $4, with the price increasing progressively from there.

It’s not possible to transport a First Class item that weighs more than 13 ounces; you’ll have to use a different USPS service like Priority or Priority Express.

Tracking and delivery are both included in the more costly choices.) When you’re done playing, you’ll be given a receipt and the postal worker will print a label for you.

Tracking information for the package will be included on the shipping receipt. You may provide the receiver with the tracking number so they can keep tabs on the package as well.


An online mailing provider like SendPro or eBay is required to print First Class package labels at home if you wish to use this service.

As a user of eBay or PayPal, you may print First Class shipping labels directly from the site provided you’ve been granted access to do so.

No matter which website you choose, once you’ve paid and finished the transaction, you’ll be provided with an electronic receipt.

With your online receipt for First Class shipments, you will likely receive a tracking number in the confirmation email for your transaction.

If you want to keep tabs on your package, you may use this tracking number, which you can also provide to the person you’re sending it to. You may have purchased something online and tracked them with First Class tracking without even realizing it.

What is the best way to track a First Class letter?

First-Class letters cannot be tracked the same way packages can, but USPS offers add-on services that provide the sender certainty that an item has been received.

When an item is delivered to its destination, you’ll never know exactly where it is since you’re relying on the recipient’s word that they received it.

Certified Mail

Certified mail is the preferred choice. A distinctive green form is added to the envelope when it is shipped as Certified Mail. It is currently priced at $3.75. With certified mail, a signed form is returned to the sender as proof that the mailpiece was indeed delivered.

It also shows the date the item was submitted and the date it was received, which is useful in legal problems.

Signature Confirmation

Signature Confirmation is a tracking-adjacent service for First Class mail and flat envelopes. Online or in a post office, this service provides an additional degree of protection by verifying that the receiver actually got the package.

A valid photo ID is required to verify their identity and that of the intended receiver. It is possible to receive a delivery confirmation from the USPS through email, fax, or regular mail. This costs $3.45 in a post office, but only $2.90 online.

Informed Delivery

In the end, these add-ons are more for the advantage of the sender than the recipient. But if you like, you may tell your receiver to join up for the Informed Delivery service. 

Incoming mail may be viewed in real-time by signing up for an account with USPS. A daily email or a regular check-in can be done online or over the Internet. Getting a heads-up on what’s approaching is more useful than tracking.

To learn more about USPS delivery and tracking services, you may also want to check out whether or not USPS sends SMS messages, whether or not USPS uses Apple Pay, and whether or not USPS delivers to the door.

Bottom Line

Tracking is available for First Class mail from the USPS, but only for goods weighing less than 13oz. There is no way to monitor letters and flat envelopes, as they do not come with tracking (unless the shipping is upgraded, for a fee, to Priority or Priority Express).

To ensure that the package has reached its destination, the USPS offers a variety of add-on services.

Frequently asked questions

Are there any additional services that the United States Postal Service offers for First Class mail?

You can obtain Proof of Mailing, Protection in Transit (insurance), and Confirmation at Delivery (such as requiring the recipient's signature at time of delivery) for your First Class package that has been mailed with USPS First Class.

How much does it cost to add tracking to your package?

According to the USPS' website, it costs an additional $1.05 fee to add tracking to your parcel.

How many business days does First Class mail take to get to the intended recipient?

It takes three to five business days for First Class mail to arrive. The average delivery speed is four days after USPS receives the package.

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