Did you know that you can see your mail before it’s delivered?

After I blogged about the aftermath of my high-value Menards rebate ($275.45) getting lost in the mail, I remembered reading somewhere that the United States Postal Service has a free program where you can view your mail before it’s delivered. You may not be aware of this, but the USPS already photographs every piece of mail you receive as part of a large mail surveillance and tracking program.

You can sign up for the USPS’ Informed Delivery program online, and it’s free. It’s not available in 100% of delivery areas, but I was pleasantly surprised to note that it’s available in my smaller suburban town, so it’s likely available to many of my Chicagoland readers as well. 

When you sign up for Informed Delivery, you’ll receive a daily digest showing a front-side scan of each piece of mail. (Informed Delivery does not provide you with images of bulk mail, magazines, or packages.)

While it’s fun to see what will be delivered in your mailbox before it arrives, it can also let you know whether you should run right out and grab your mail, or whether it’s a yawner of a mail delivery day and you can leave it languish out there for a while (bills!)

Here’s what my Informed Delivery mail looks like this morning. I’ve blurred the addresses, but the actual email does show them:




Hey, that last piece of mail looks familiar — I’m getting a Menards rebate today! (Woo hoo!)

When the mail arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to note something else that Informed Delivery didn’t reveal — the Menards rebate postcards now come as a longer folded-in-half card that is sealed around the edges so that the value of the rebate is concealed. This is something I’d hoped Menards would do for a long time. Nice!


It’s kind of fun to see what will be coming in the mail before it gets here, but Informed Delivery will also let you know if things may be disappearing from your mailbox after they’re delivered. 

You can sign up for USPS Informed Delivery free at this link



  1. hometown says

    I learned that all of our mail is photographed when watching the TV show “Hunted.” I thought it was just for law enforcement.
    I didn’t know that the public could have the service. The day after I signed up, the mail lady went whizzing past our mailbox.
    I knew we were supposed to get 3 pieces of mail! Luckily, a little later our neighbor came over with our mail–had been delivered
    to her.

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