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How Long Does Regular Mail Take From State To State?

How Long Does Regular Mail Take From State To State?

Many individuals and businesses use the United States Postal Service (USPS) for the safe delivery of their letters and packages all across the United States. How long for mail to arrive USPS? Well that depends on a number of different factors.

Regular mail delivery time from state to state can take anywhere from a day to a week. You need to take into account the shipment method you are using and also factor in the distance between the states involved and other things such as holiday periods and extreme weather issues when calculating how long does regular mail take from state to state.

The USPS has a handy online map that will help you to estimate the mail delivery time from zip code to zip code. You can access the map here: Click To Tweet

Click here to access the map:

In order to ensure that your letter or package arrives in the fastest possible time you need to ensure that you purchase the correct postage rate and that the destination mailing address is clearly written or printed on the shipment. If there are issues in these areas then this will lead to delays in getting your letter or package to its destination.

It is wise to add a return address as well to your shipment. If for some reason it is not possible for the USPS to deliver then they will return your letter or package to you. These days there are tracking methods available to you so that you can see how well your shipment is progressing. You can receive delivery conformation to your computer or smartphone.

Mail Delivery Time from Zip Code to Zip Code

The USPS is a real giant and it handles around 700 million mail items every day. It uses a streamlined process which starts with the collection of mail at either a mail box or a post office. There is a lot of automation involved in mail delivery and machines postmark mail and will scan it and add barcodes.

The USPS uses a barcode to cover stamps so that it is not possible to reuse them. It separates mail by zip code and then transported to the right plant for processing that handles deliveries to the destination area. After going through the processing phase the mail ends up at the local post office where a postal carrier delivers to the final destination.

The United States has 42,000 zip codes so the USPS uses several different methods of transportation. This includes road vehicles such as cars, trucks, and bikes, and they will also use ferries, boats, and aircraft. If you send a package to the Grand Canyon area then the USPS may use a mule to carry your shipment to its destination.

The USPS has several ways of measuring how long does regular mail take from state to state. It takes all of its targets very seriously and is always looking to improve and streamline the processes involved. People tend to take the mail service for granted but there is an awful lot going on behind the scenes to deliver mail in the fastest possible time.

The USPS has a handy online map that will help you to estimate the mail delivery time from zip code to zip code. You can access the map here. Service standards exist for the USPS and these are the goals of the organization for delivery of shipments from am originating zip code to a destination zip code.

You will see on the map that you can change the class of mail from standard mail to first-class mail. The map will show you the approximate route that your shipment will take to reach its destination. This can differ from one type of mailing to another. Remember when using the map that you will just get an estimate of the delivery time rather than a guarantee.

There are four main types of zip code in operation in the United States. These are:

  1. A unique zip code – assigned to a single address that has a high volume of mail
  2. A post office box zip code – this is for designated post office or PO boxes
  3. A standard zip code – used to identify a region where there are a number of residences or business addresses
  4. A military zip code – special zip codes only for the use of the United States military


A unique zip code applies to universities, government agencies and other buildings which receive a large amount of mail on a regular basis. The standard five digit zip code identifies states and the 2nd and 3rd digits of the code identify specific regions while the 4th and 5th digits identify specific locations within the region.

The Different Mail Classes

If you want your letter or package to arrive quicker then there are different mail classes you can choose from. Let’s take a look at the different types and classes of mail offered by the USPS:

Standard Post

You can send letters or parcels up to 70 pounds in weight using standard post. The price that you pay for standard post is dependent on the weight of your shipment and not the distance that it will travel.

There are no surcharges with standard post such as home delivery of fuel. You cannot use standard posts for every type of shipment and there are other classes such as media mail if you want to send out a lot of items. In terms of how long does regular mail take from state to state the standard post-class is the slowest.

First Class Mail Service

A lot of people use the first class mail service for sending letters as the costs are pretty low and the delivery time is faster than with standard post. You don’t need to pay more depending on the distance your letter has to travel.

There are no surcharges for fuel or home delivery and the maximum weight of your letter cannot exceed 3.5 ounces. It will take around 1 to 3 days for your letter to arrive dependent on the destination. There is no tracking feature for first-class mail.

So how much is first class mail? Well stamps for first class mail start from 55 cents at the time of writing and this will increase due to weight and any shape restrictions.

Priority Mail Service

If you want your package to arrive in 1 to 3 days regardless of the destination then the priority mail service is a good choice. There are a number of flat rate options available to you to make shipping simple. With this service the USPS will provide packaging at no cost.

You can track your shipments for free with the priority mail service. If you need to send a package up to 70 pounds in weight then this is a good choice. The prices are reasonable and there are no surcharges to worry about. If your item weighs less than 13 ounces then first class mail could be just as fast and cheaper.

Priority Mail Express Service

In the past this was the express mail service. So what is express mail? With the USPS Priority Mail Express you are guaranteed overnight delivery of your item every day of the year. You receive free packaging with this service and it is the only guaranteed mail service available.

You can send an item up to 70 pounds in weight with the Priority Mail Express service. There are never any surcharges and you can track the progress of your shipment. This is the most expensive way to send mail in the United States.

Media Mail Service

If you need to send books, computer readable storage mediums such as DVD’s and CD’s, recorded video tapes or other similar media items then the media mail service is the best option if you are not concerned about the delivery times.

The item you are shipping needs to weigh more than 13 ounces to use the Media Mail service. The maximum weight permissible is 70 pounds. You pay by weight and not the distance to the destination. There are never any surcharges but this is one of the slowest mail delivery classes.

How Long Does Regular Mail Take From State To State

How long does it take to Mail a Check?

The sending of a check through the mail is no different to sending a letter when it comes to delivery times and prices. So the answer to the question “how long does it take to mail a check?” is that it depends on which mail class you choose.

If you use standard post then it could take two weeks for your check to arrive depending on how far it has to travel. First class mail will be faster and a bit more expensive. If your check needs to arrive quickly then use the Priority Mail or Express services.

USPS Facts you should know

As we said before, people tend to take the USPS for granted. So here are some USPS facts you should know:

  • The USPS is entirely self funded. It relies on the revenue generated from postage sales and other products and services to finance its operations. It never uses tax dollars.
  • There are over 200 federal laws to protect US mail.
  • The USPS is a very dependable organization and has all of the resources, systems and infrastructure in place to deliver to all addresses in the United States.
  • The USPS is the most affordable way to send items across the country. It only costs 55 cents to send a letter anywhere in the United States.
  • There are over 230,000 vehicles used by the USPS making it one of the biggest civilian fleets on the planet.
  • The USPS has the biggest retail network in the country.
  • There are around 7.5 million people employed by the USPS.
  • The USPS employs over 100,000 veterans.



We sincerely hope that this article answered the question “how long does regular mail take from state to state?” Using the map provided by the USPS will give you a very good idea of when your item will arrive at its destination. Use higher class mail services if you want your shipment to arrive more quickly.

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