post office should repair the mailing containers or
rewrap the articles, place the endorsement,
DAMAGED IN HANDLING IN THE POSTAL
SERVICE, on the mail, and annotate on the delivery
bill that the article(s) were damaged. If damaged
articles are received in closed bags, they should be
repaired and endorsed, RECEIVED IN DAMAGED
CONDITION, along with the date of receipt and the
identity of the unit repairing the article.
Before official accountable mail is signed for by
department or division mail orderlies from a unit mail
clerk, the accountable mail must be listed on a PS Form
3883 by identifying numbers and office of origin.
Whenever a mail clerk releases control of official
accountable mail to a department or division mail
orderly, proper receipting procedures must always be
followed to ensure accountability. Accountable
official mail must be covered by a chain of receipts
from the time the mail is accepted by unit mail clerks
until delivery has been made to the appropriate mail
orderly. If the mail clerk or mail orderly has the
commanding officers authority to open official mail, it
is considered to be delivered once receipted for at the
serving post office or UMR and no further transfer
receipts are required. Unit mail clerks must return all
undeliverable-as-addressed accountable mail to the
serving post office on PS Form 3877 prepared in
duplicate. The accepting postal clerk will sign for the
accountable mail and keep the original PS Form 3877
for records purposes. The unit mail clerk must keep the
signed copy of PS Form 3877 for mailroom records.
The PS Form 3877 is annotated to show the disposition
of the returned article (see figure 9-3).
DELIVERY OF PERSONAL
Personal accountable mail should be delivered by
the serving post office to the addressee or an authorized
agent. The serving post office should provide the unit
mail clerk or mail orderly with a PS Form 3849, which
will be given to the addressee when the mail is
Delivery of Personal Accountable
Mail from a Mailroom
If a unit is geographically isolated from the serving
post office, commanding officers may authorize mail
clerks to receipt for and deliver personal accountable
mail. This authority must be in writing and kept on file
at the UMR, with a copy provided to the serving post
office. Once this authority is granted the responsibility
to prepare and maintain PS Form 3849 will also be
transferred to the unit. Personal accountable mail will
then be delivered to unit mail clerks by the serving post
office using a PS Form 3883 as a delivery receipt.
When personal accountable mail is received from
the serving post office, the unit mail clerk must:
· Use PS Form 3849 to notify customers of their
accountable mail. The form is prepared the day
the article is received and delivered with the
· Annotate the article with the date the notice was
prepared, and store the article separately from
· Require positive identification of the addressee
or authorized agent before delivering the
accountable mail. An ID card or U.S. passport
that identifies the bearer by photograph and
signature is acceptable.
· Obtain the addressees or authorized agents
signature on PS Form 3849 before delivering the
article. If a return receipt, PS Form 38ll or PS
Form 2865, is attached to accountable mail, it
must also be signed and dated by the addressee.
The return receipt should be returned promptly
to the sender.
· Date and sign PS Form 3849 and file the form.
PS Form 3849s are filed numerically by the last
two digits of the identifying article number and
retained for 2 years. The forms are filed in a
single file. However, a separate file may be used
for forms used to deliver registered articles if
there are a large number of forms to retain.
Retention Period for Accountable Mail
When accountable mail has not been called for
after 5 days (3 days for Express Mail) from initiating
PS Form 3849, prepare a second PS Form 3849, and
send the second notice to the addressee. On the article
next to the first endorsement, annotate the date the
second notice was prepared. If the article has not been
called for after 10 days from the second notice (2 days
for Express Mail), you should verify the addressees
status through the respective department or division.
Based on the information received:
· Endorse the article with the correct forwarding
address if available, or endorse it with the
RETURN TO SENDER stamp. If there is a
return receipt attached to the article, ensure it
remains attached to the article.