In today’s digital age, if you wish to send a sweet message through a postcard to your loved one living abroad, here, you will get complete information about the process on How to mail a Letter internationally.
Let’s get started!
All post office branches in the USA accept bookings for international letter posts. All the world’s major destinations are covered by these services, which are offered for numerous locations. There is a registration advantage for letters and parcels as well.
There are certain rules on sending international mail; however, you can send a letter or postcard, and the procedure for international mail is a bit different from regular mail. The address may alter slightly whether you’re sending a letter from the US to the UK or any other country, but using a USPS® Global Forever® Stamp will still make the transaction simple and affordable.
Buying a Global Forever® Stamp is one option to send a letter or postcard abroad from the US. However, international Postage is always included. Global Forever® Stamps are fantastic since they never expire, making them ideal for carrying around or having a couple on hand. For 1 oz or 1-ounce letter or postcard, it costs roughly $1.40.
How to Send a Letter Or Postcard Internationally?
Here, I have provided the five detailed processes for sending international mail. These steps will guide you in sending your envelopes (including letters, forms, cards, and papers) and postcards from the USA to any foreign country using Global Forever® stamps.
Check out the steps carefully!
Step 1: Inquire, “Is It Allowed to Send International Mail?”
The laws governing what is allowed and what is not varied amongst countries. In order to determine whether it is legal to send an international letter or postcard, you must first check the laws of the country you wish to send it. To ensure you abide by their regulations, check the countries and territories index to see where your destination is.
You don’t require a customs form if you are merely sending correspondence or non-negotiable papers to another nation. In the second scenario, a customs form would be necessary.
You may only send mail via the First Class Mail International® services, such as a personal or business letter or another non-negotiable document in a letter weighing up to 3.5 ounces or a large envelope weighing less than 15.9 ounces.
When you are sending your letter using First-Class International Mail, you do not need to fill out a Customs Form. However,
- For selected countries/destinations, A PS Form 6182 and GXG International Air Waybill Form must be filled out if you intend to use the Global Express Guaranteed service in the United States. Visit for details on requirements for individual countries https://usps.com/.
- If you want to use the Mail Express International Service in the United States, you must fill out PS Form 2976-B.
- When using any other foreign mailing services, including mail going to a fleet, army, or diplomatic post office, use PS Form 2976 or PS Form 2976-A.
Step 2: Select Your Postcard or Envelope
First, let’s clarify the difference between a postcard and an envelope. So, postcards are designed for short messages. And the postcard is not required to be kept in the envelope, and it is posted without the envelope.
In contrast, envelopes are designed for sending paper documents such as letters, cards, and forms. Well, when it comes to sending international mail, you’ll need to choose your postcard or envelope.
Envelopes: International envelopes must be rectangular and made of paper, just like US envelopes, to qualify for letter rates. International letter envelopes might be 11-1/2″ in length and 6-1/8″ high. Whatever you put in your envelope can be folded, but it must lie flat – 1/4 “long, not more than four thick. “
Postcards: The typical material for standard postcards is thick cardstock paper. They are no thicker than 0.016″, 5-1/2 to 6″ long, and 3-1/2 to 4-1/4″ high. Shipping from the United States to another nation Regular-sized, rectangular postcards are around the same price as letters to be sent.
How much does it cost to send an international envelope?
Your envelope will be considered “non-machinable,” and you will be charged an extra $0.39 to ship it overseas if it doesn’t fit through USPS® postal processing machinery. Items that can be non-machinable include lumpy or hard envelopes and envelopes with clasps and string.
You will pay more if your envelopes are square or vertical. Use a larger envelope to mail letter-sized correspondence without folding it. Flat international mail rates begin at $2.75. You must pay for the package if your large envelope is not rectangular and firm.
Step 3: Address Your Mail Correctly
Different countries use several international address forms. The mailing address must only be written in English. However, if you need to use a different language, be careful to follow each sentence with its English translation.
Envelopes: There is a prescribed format for addressing envelopes. So, put your address in the top left corner of the envelope, the delivery address for the letter envelope in the middle, and the country’s name on the final line.
Postcards: Since there are many different forms for postcards, write the delivery address in the space the postcard allows.
Tips for writing International Addresses:
- Write the mail addresses clearly, and in capital letters only
- You can use a pen or permanent marker to write the address.
- Don’t use commas or periods in sentences.
Tips for writing a Sender’s Address:
- Write your full name or company name as a requirement
- Write the apartment or suite number neatly.
- Write your full street address.
- Write the name of your City, State, and ZIP+4 Code®,
- United States of America (USA)
Tips for writing a Delivery Address:
- First, find specific information about postal addresses for other countries. And for this, visit the Universal Postal Union and click on Postal Addressing Systems.
- Make sure to enter the delivery address in the center of the bottom of your envelope.
- The delivery address should be written in the English language.
- You must write the full name of the recipient. If you are sending a letter to a specific company, write the name of the company.
- Enter the correct address of the recipient’s locality
- Finally, the recipient’s city, province, country, and postal code must be entered.
Step 4: Calculate Postage
The question you must have is: How many stamps do I need for International Mail? Let me give a simple method to know the answer.
First Class Mail with International Global Forever Stamp cost $1.40 to send 1-ounce mail (letter or postcard) from the United States to any other country in the world.
Generally you can send a 1 oz letter containing 4 sheets of regular printer paper, a postcard, or a business-size envelope to any country in the world for 1 First-Class Mail® Global Forever stamp. The stamp currently costs $1.40. You can also use the regular domestic stamp combination, but the total cost of the stamps must add up to $1.40. A big envelope costs $2.75 in postage for 1 oz.
Also read: How Many Stamps Do I Need per Oz
Put your forever stamp in the top right corner of the envelope. Put the stamp in the area provided next to the delivery address if it is a postcard.
You’ll have to pay more if your letter is bulky or big or if your postcard size is large or square. The country’s weight, size, and value category from where the letter is being sent determine the number of stamps you need for mailing your international letter. You can use a kitchen scale or postal scale to weigh your letter. Also, you can weigh your envelope at the post office counter.
Where can you purchase Postage?
You can purchase Postage from the postal store. Post Offices, self-service booths, or Approved Postal Providers are the best places for collecting stamps. You can also purchase all stamps as well as additional Postage for large or heavy envelopes online.
You can also read my following guide for better understanding:
- Where to Buy Stamps Near Me Besides The Post Office?
- Does Walmart Sell Stamps?
- Does Walgreens Sell Stamps?
- Does Target Sell Stamps?
- Does CVS Sells Stamps?
When should you purchase Additional Postage?
You will require additional Postage if your mail weighs more than 1 ounce. You can add Postage up to 3.5 ounces. It will be based on the mail’s weight. You can also mail a large envelope for the price of a large envelope, up to a weight of 15.994 ounces. The value group of the destination country will determine how much each additional ounce will cost.
The country is listed in the Price List page’s Country Price Group section. Get the price group number in the “First-Class Mail International” pricing group column. Then, consult the First Class Mail International Price List to check the costs for that price range. The International Price Calculator is another option for finding price ranges.
Select Extra Services if Needed
You must pay extra for optional services such as insurance, delivery confirmation, signature services, and others. Please be aware that not all extra services are offered for all policies. More information is accessible on the International Insurance & Extra Services page.
Some of the popular add-on services available when mailing First-Class Mail International letters at the post office are as follows:
- Registered Mail: In order to confirm delivery of registered mail, the recipient must sign for the package. Although registered articles are handled securely in the USA, destination country procedures may differ. The mailing office will maintain a mailing receipt, and the destination office will maintain a record of delivery.
- Return Receipt: When sending international letters through registered mail, you have the option of adding First Class Mail. A card is included when you ship something from the post office. The card is signed for and mailed to you as proof of delivery when the item is delivered, or when a delivery attempt is made.
- Certificate of Mailing: Evidence that you sent something by mail from a post office.
A Note on Tracking: For letters sent using First Class Mail International, tracking is not available. Use the USPS International Package Shipping Service, which enables tracking, or a registered mail service with a return receipt.
TIP: You are allowed to use the Click-N-Ship® service to pay for and print your own postage online if you’re mailing big envelopes by Priority Mail® International, Priority Mail Express® International, or First-Class Package International Service®.
What is the fastest way to send mail internationally?
The faster way to send a your international mail is use USPS Global Express Guaranteed® shipping service. This shipping service allow you to send up to 70 lbs to 180 countries in the world. And even Next day delivery to Canada.
Step 5: Send Your Mail to the Destination Country
In the last step, let’s tell you how to send the mail. So, all left to do is send your letter or postcard to its intended recipient once it has the proper address and Postage. Mailing can be done in a variety of ways:
- Put your letter or postcard in your mailbox and if you have flag,then raise it.
- Place your cluster mailbox in the outgoing mail slot if you have one.
- Drop mail in the blue collection box. This is an additional option.
- The final option is to visit the post office and place your mail in the mailbox. Your mail will be delivered to your selected country.
Most importantly, you cannot place an envelope in a mail collecting box if it contains postage stamps, weighs more than 10 ounces, or in case it is thicker than 1/2″. In that case, you will have to visit the post office and submit your mail to a post office employee.
The cost of US postage stamps is among the lowest rates available worldwide. From the USA, sending postcards or letters to any other nation, including China, Brazil, Australia, Canada, and the UK, is simple. But, you must do thorough research before sending letters abroad. A single error on your side could result in a failed delivery. If there is an important business mail, it can cause a loss of your business. Hence, caution must be taken while shipping mail internationally.
You can visit the usps.com official website to collect Global Forever® Stamps! This contains a collection of amazing stamp designs that will add a personal touch to your international letters or postcards!
Hello, I’m Kevin, a passionate philatelist with years of experience in collecting and studying stamps. Through my blog, I aim to share my knowledge and insights on all things related to stamps, including where to buy them and their current market value. As a trained researcher, I pride myself on providing accurate and trustworthy information to my readers. Feel free to reach out to me through the contact form with any questions or suggestions. Happy stamping!