How to contact the Dead Letter Office / Mail Recovery Center

The Dead Letter Office is where undeliverable mail ends up. In the US, there are two such offices, now called Mail Recovery Centers. There is no direct phone number for the dead letter office, and their e-mail address is not public.

Here is how to get a hold of this interesting office(mirror):

  1. Call 1-800-ASK-USPS
  2. Say to the interactive voice recognition service that you have a problem with "Delivery"
  3. When asked about a tracking number or change of address, say "No"
  4. When you finally get an operator, explain that you sent something without a return address and the recipient didn't get it. They will say it probably ended up at the dead letter office (or mail recover center).
  5. Say the item has sentimental value to you and ask if you can get a hold of it (have it sent to you, or to the correct recipient address).
  6. The operator will say you have to write them a letter, or they'll send an e-mail to the dead letter office on your behalf.
  7. If you choose the e-mail option, they'll ask you for your name, phone number (they have caller ID) and address. Give as much information as you can about the item: what name was on it, what incorrect address.
  8. After entering the information into an e-mail to the office, the operator will say they'll give you a phone call. If you prefer to get an e-mail, give your e-mail address. It's either a phone call or an e-mail.
  9. Get a confirmation number. Its format will be CA-nnn-nnn-nnn, where 'n' is a digit.
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