certified / registered mail


Senior Member
I found these two entrys matching my query in a german-english dictionary and I wonder if they mean perfectly the same or if there's a difference in usage. I looked them up in Webster's, which defines:

registered mail
Function:noun Date:1886 : mail recorded in the post office of mailing and at each successive point of transmission and guaranteed special care in delivery
certified mail
Function:noun Date:1955 : first class mail for which proof of delivery is secured but no indemnity value is claimed

What do you think, are they used synonymously nowadays? Would you send something by registered mail or by certified mail? Thanks a lot, G.
  • envie de voyager

    Senior Member
    In Canada, we refer to "registered mail," but if I heard certified mail, I would understand it to be the same thing. The difference might just be how each country refers to the service provided by their own postal system.


    Senior Member
    Indeed, wikipedia has entries on both, and it seems that in the US you'd send important letters as certified mails whereas in the UK I'd ask to send my documents by registered mail. (Are these phrases correct? "send as / by"?) Thanks again, G.


    Senior Member
    Certified and Registered are not at all the same in the way they are handled by the U.S. Postal Service. You can get all the details at the USPS web site.

    Here are their links to the product descriptions.

    Certified Mail™ Service

    Registered Mail™

    Registered mail, because it is signed for at every move within the system, may be slower. It is more secure.

    It also carries insurance. It is a more expensive service. It can be used in combination with other services for letters and packages.

    Certified Mail essentially provides a receipt at the time of mailing, and delivery information. It costs about a fourth of the fee for registered mail.

    Mailers and postal employees often refer to these services as "Certs" and "Reggies".
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    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    So it seems that "Certified Mail" (a term not used in the UK, as far as I know) is the same as, or similar to the Royal Mail's "Recorded Delivery". "Registered Mail" appears to be more or less the same thing in both countries.