What Happens To The Non-Returned Mails?

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The US Postal System has laid out many organized ways in which they ensure people’s confidentiality and they work hard for retaining their credibility. But they do face multiple issues in the whole process and have laid down some rules to keep the process easy and smooth.

The complete process will answer your question- what happens to the mails that remain undelivered and do not have any return address. The postal services have their way to solve this issue. Read the complete article to know everything about the ‘Dead Mails’.

Process Of Mail :

When the mails and the packages are sent from the sender and it reaches the receiver’s land via airlines, the US postal system safely unloads the mails and packages from the airlines. They keep their proper record so that in case of any discrepancies, the records can be seen. The records contain details of the sender, the expected receiver, the time of dispatch, and the time of arrival to the receiver’s land.

All these mails are checked for security and only then they are sent ahead for mailing to the receiver’s address. These mails cannot be opened, so they X-ray them and check for any technical care needed or if the package contains something that is risky to handle. This is to ensure the safety of the employees who are going to handle them.

After all, this is done, the packages are sent to the postal offices, from where they are sent to different locations. Now, for the detailed process, you can refer to the article below. It will also answer all your doubts regarding the missed mails.

Possible Doubts Discussed:

At first, the postal officers assign postal employees to post different mails and packages. This is after all the checking of the mails is done for security purposes. The address is at first verified for its availability and correctness. Then carefully handling the package or the mail, the postman carries them to your mailing address.

What if the mailing address is not verified?

The postal employees try to find the address keeping in reference, the unverified address, specified in the mail. This mail somehow will reach the expected recipient.

Now, what if they come to your house and you are away for a while and are unable to receive the mails? 

  • They carry the mail back. They do not hand it over to someone else, not even to your neighbor. This is because of the responsibility of handing it directly to the right receiver of the mail.
  • They keep a letter so that whenever the time allows, you take the mail from the post office. Till then, the mails and the packages are carefully kept in the post offices. This again is a very responsible task. Your mails need to be handled carefully and some of the packages are even strictly directed to handle with care.
  • If you go to the post office to collect your mail, you need to first show them the letter that they dropped at your door. Then, after verifying all the other credentials, they finally allow you to take your mail or the package back with them.

Now, what if you do not come to collect the mail from the postal office? 

  • In this case, the packages or the mails are kept in the postal offices for around 15 days. If the expected recipient comes to collect, as explained in the last point, he is given the package after a specific procedure.
  • If the expected recipient does not come to collect the package or the mail, the mail is called Dead mail. All these mails are then collected with much care and are then sent to the Dead Mail Office. There, the postal officers try to find out the return address, so that they can safely send the packages and the mails back to the person who sent it.
  • If they find the return address, they carefully send that back. This was the reason for making the report while sending the mail. Now, this is the time where the report document will help. It will help to trace the incoming of the mail and the packages and will help to retrieve the sender’s address.

While this is normal that the sender’s address is noted well before this to happen, but in some cases, due to ignorance by the employees, the sender’s address might not be available. This may even happen due to losing the data and important information.

In such a case, they cannot send the mails back. So, keeping in mind the privacy of the customers, these mails and packages are crushed. Before crushing, a number of points are considered.

  • If the mail or the package contains something valuable in it, it is not crushed. It is taken out of the envelope and then sold. This makes some money for the Dead Mail Office. Now, the postal officers are not responsible for the mails. If the expected recipient comes back to receive the mail after this, he/she cannot get that at any cost. This is because now, even the Dead Mail Officers do not have the mail and the packages.


If you somehow missed your mail and want to know where it has gone, or from where you can get it back, read this article. If you have any doubts regarding how the mails are handled in the Postal offices, read the complete article to know the detailed process of the same.

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