Amazon is already taking photos of your packages, and now the United States Postal Service (USPS) is photgraphing your mail. Through a program called Informed Delivery, you can now opt to have the USPS email you pictures of the physical mail that is coming your way. So if you’re perennially troubled by the notion that you might miss an important piece of correspondence, this just might be the anxiety-reducing program for you.
Folks who sign up for Informed Delivery will receive photos of the mail they can expect to receive every morning. As it stands, USPS is only sending images of letter-sized envelopes (so if you’re waiting on a magazine or a bigger package, you won’t see those in your inbox for the time being). But this is still useful if you’d like to preview any incoming checks, bills, or junk that you might be receiving. While email seems like the least disruptive option for delivery, you can also elect to receive these images via text, or check them out on your USPS Mobile App, which is available on both Android and Apple devices.
If you choose to participate in Informed Delivery, you’ll also be able to check out tracking information on your packages, add delivery instructions for the mail carrier, and request redeliveries if, for some reason, your mailman (or woman) only leaves mail for you when you’re there to receive it. Of course, the most useful aspect of this new feature is that you’ll now know if you’re actually missing a piece of mail — should Informed Delivery send you a photo of an expected letter and you never receive it, you’ll be able to let USPS know so it can be found.
To help ensure that there are as few security concerns as possible, USPS will verify your identity and confirm your previous addresses. You’ll also receive a letter in the mail confirming that you’ve opted into the service. And if you did not mean to turn on Informed Delivery, this letter will also provide instructions on how to turn it off.
To sign up, you’ll want to head over to the Informed Delivery website and select “Sign Up For Free.” You’ll then create an account and enter your address to ensure that it’s actually eligible for the service, and follow the directions to enroll in the program.