USPS Collect On Delivery: A Detailed Guide

Out of many services, we will be talking about USPS Collect on Delivery service here and how to use it. Read the article till the end to get the maximum benefit. So without any delay, let us begin!


What is USPS Collect on Delivery?

The USPS Collect on Delivery service, also known as COD, is a special service offered by the USPS which helps the mailer collect the payment. As soon as the shipment is delivered, the addressee will have to make the required amount eventually transferred to the mailer.

This will help in eliminating the waiting period after the delivery of the package. Moreover, by using this facility, the sender can receive the payment for the postage, goodies or any other item picked up by the recipient.

Now there is a catch in the mode of payment. If the payment is made via cheque, then USPS will directly forward it to you. However, if the payment is made in cash, then USPS will send a money order that will be equal to the amount paid by the receiver. 

If you are concerned about safety, then we have good news for you. A specific identification number is assigned to each COD item to ensure the correct delivery of the package.

However, if this identification number is not specified, it becomes the mailer’s duty to pay for the return of the parcel. Another very important thing about COD items is that they should be dropped at the nearest post office or handed over to the local carrier.

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Check: USPS Awaiting Delivery Scan: The Complete Guide

How to use USPS Collect On Delivery?

Okay, so after knowing a little bit about USPS Collect on Delivery service, we will now talk about the procedure to use this service.

So first of all, you have to get the USPS form 3816 from the nearest post office and fill it up in the correct format. Then you need to attach it to the parcel to be delivered.

But there are certain things which you have to keep in mind while using this service.

Most importantly, you have to ensure that you do not drop the mail in any random mailbox. Either you have to carry it personally to the post office or send it through a local carrier. The entire transaction will be initiated only if the recipient orders the shipment.

Besides this, there is another limitation on the shipment value, which should be equally taken care of. This value should not exceed $1000, which is a prime criterion of using this service, and it does not change even for registered mail.

Mails Acceptable For COD Service

There are certain categories of mails that extend the COD service. We will mention them one by one. Take a look!

📩 Priority Mail

📩 First Class Mail

📩 Priority Mail Express

📩 Media Mail

📩 Registered Mail

📩 Restricted Delivery

📩 Return Receipt

📩 Delivery Confirmation

📩 Signature Confirmation

Restrictions on USPS Collect on Delivery service

There are certain restrictions on the COD service provided by USPS. What are they? Let’s find out!

  • This service is not available on international mail.
  • COD service may not be used to return a parcel that is under dispute.
  • Next, it cannot be used for moving-picture films, which the exhibitors mail to the moving-picture manufacturers.
  • It may not be used for collection agency purposes.
  • This service may not be used for articles sent to or from an APO, FPO or DPO address, including the shipments to Armed Forces Agencies.
  • Lastly, COD cannot be used for articles sent to or from the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.

FAQs on USPS Collect On Delivery

1. What happens to a COD mail when it does not reach the recipient?

Okay, so this is a genuine concern of a lot of people. It happens rarely, but in such cases, the COD mailpiece is kept at the local post office for 10-15 days, after which they are returned to the sender. During this waiting period, USPS tries to trace the recipient to hand over the mail to the right hands.

2.  What do the fees for COD include?

The fees for COD includes insurance against any loss or damage to the mailpiece or failure to receive the postal money order or the cheque sent by the recipient after the pick up of the package. If the payment made by the recipient is in terms of cash, then the money order fee is included in the collected amount.

3. Can a customer refuse to accept a COD order?

Yes, a customer can refuse to receive and pay for a certain COD order. But there should be a v reason behind the refusal. The reason can be the delivery of a wrong product or a damaged product, allowing the customer to refuse to accept the order.


So here we will end the article with some final words about this service. No doubt it is one of the best services provided by the USPS, and after reading this article, you can understand how to use it. However, there are certain limitations on the service, but that doesn’t affect its overall usage. 

The USPS does not provide any additional insurance on this service, but the tracking facility is provided to help you trace your shipment at every step of the way.

That’s it! If you have any queries related to other aspects of the USPS delivery system, you can refer to other articles on our website or contact us at any time. We hope this article helped. Thank you for reading!

Avatar of Robert Johnson

Shipping guy at USPS, previously at Fedex.

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