Certified Mail: Physical Return Receipt versus Digital Return Receipt Electronic

In 2004, the United States Postal Service® introduced a digital proof of delivery service known as “Return Receipt Electronic” (RRE). Customers who choose the RRE service option will receive a digital copy of the recipient signature as proof of delivery instead of a “wet signature” provided with the physical Return Receipt and returned to the original sender after delivery.

But even in a digital age, the physical Return Receipt remains as relevant. Its use is required by many civil codes across the country and is used today by many of our clients. In cases when actual wet signatures are not required, many WALZ Certified Mail Automation clients have used RRE successfully to demonstrate proof of mailing to meet their legal requirement.

USPS considers both RR and RRE to be equivalent services for obtaining proof of delivery via Certified Mail®. Acceptance of each service type varies by individual courts and localities. We advise our clients to confirm the legal requirements for satisfying proof of delivery before deciding which service option is best.


There are many advantages offered to clients who use the RRE service. In addition to saving $1.25 per mailing, you save valuable time by eliminating the physical return receipt – no paper cards to file, scan and/or store! The mail carrier will collect a digital signature at delivery that is returned to the original sender as a PDF document, similar to the RRE signature file showing below:

Proof of Delivery - WALZ Postal


Return Receipt Electronic and traditional Return Receipt service both come with advantages and disadvantages, which vary in significance depending on the situation. In deciding which service to employ, users of Certified Mail should evaluate the nature of their communications, the regulatory and legal environment, and weigh the necessity of hard-copy verification (RR) versus the cost and efficiency savings offered with a digital signature as proof of delivery (RRE).

Save Time and Money with Certified Pro – FREE 14-Day Trial

At WALZ Certified Mail Automation, we are one of the largest private provider of Certified Mail services, and are in a unique position to appreciate and evaluate the effects of both Return Receipt and Return Receipt Electronic. Whichever option best meet your needs, our services help to simplify the way you prepare and manage your Certified Mail.

Our Certified Pro service is a powerful mail management system with a wealth of features that can improve your workflow and increase mailing efficiency. This includes unparalleled tracking and reporting features that allow our clients to check the status of their mailings and access comprehensive reports that help to identify possible deliverability issues – all without minimum volume requirements or monthly fees.

If you haven’t tried Certified Pro, contact us today to request a commitment-free 14-day trial and sample pack of forms and envelopes to send your first five mailings on us!


*Based on USPS Postage Pricing – 2021

*USPS postage savings effective as of July 10, 2022

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