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Sending Registered Mail with La Poste: A Step-by-Step Guide


Sending valuable items or sensitive documents through the mail can be a stressful experience. You want to ensure your package arrives safely and on time, and you need proof of delivery. In France, La Poste is the trusted postal service provider, and their registered mail service is designed to provide peace of mind and security for your shipments.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the entire process of sending registered mail with La Poste, from preparing your package to tracking its journey and confirming delivery. We’ll cover everything you need to know to send your mail confidently, ensuring it reaches its destination safely and securely.

Table of Contents

Understanding Registered Mail

Registered mail is a valuable service that offers numerous benefits for senders, particularly when dealing with important documents or items.

Here’s what makes registered mail unique:

  • Tracking: You receive a tracking number that allows you to monitor your package’s progress throughout its journey.
  • Signature: The recipient must sign upon delivery, providing proof of receipt.
  • Insurance: Depending on the type of registered mail chosen, your package might be insured against loss or damage, offering financial protection.

Benefits of using registered mail:

  • Peace of Mind: Know your package is secure and trackable, reducing stress and uncertainty.
  • Proof of Delivery: A signed “Avis de Reception” (Proof of Delivery) serves as legal proof of delivery, essential for official documents or legal matters.
  • Compensation: In case of loss or damage, insurance can compensate you for the value of your package.

Types of Registered Mail:

La Poste offers different types of registered mail to meet various needs, each with its own price, delivery time, and insurance coverage. Here’s a quick overview:

Type of Registered Mail Description Price Delivery Time Insurance Coverage
Lettre Recommandée For letters and small documents Varies based on weight and destination 1-3 business days Limited coverage
Colissimo Recommandé For larger packages and items Varies based on weight, size, and destination 2-4 business days Up to €100
Colissimo Recommandé with insurance Offers higher insurance coverage Varies based on insurance amount 2-4 business days Up to €1,000

It’s crucial to choose the type of registered mail that best suits your needs based on the item being sent, the delivery timeframe, and your desired insurance coverage.

Step-by-Step Guide to Sending Registered Mail

Now that you understand the basics of registered mail, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of sending a registered package with La Poste.

Step 1: Preparation

1. Choosing the right type of registered mail:

Refer to the table above and carefully consider the features and costs of each option. Select the type that best aligns with your specific needs.

2. Packaging:

  • Secure Packaging: Ensure your package is securely packed to protect its contents. Use strong boxes, bubble wrap, and other protective materials to prevent damage during transit.
  • Fragile Items: For fragile items, consider using additional padding and reinforcement.
  • Labels: Clearly label the package with the recipient’s name, address, and your own return address. Use a permanent marker for visibility.

3. Filling out the “Avis de Reception” (Proof of Delivery):

  • Importance: The “Avis de Reception” is a crucial document that confirms delivery. The recipient will sign it upon receiving the package.
  • Filling it Out: Carefully fill out all the necessary information, including the recipient’s name and address, your name and address, and the date.
  • Attaching it: Attach the “Avis de Reception” securely to the package using a sturdy envelope or by attaching it directly to the package.

Step 2: Going to the Post Office

1. Finding a La Poste office:

  • Website: Visit the La Poste website and use the “Find a Post Office” feature to locate the nearest branch.
  • App: Download the La Poste mobile app, which includes a “Post Office Locator.”
  • Phone Number: Call the La Poste customer service line for assistance finding a branch.

2. Presenting your package:

  • Post Office Staff: Approach a La Poste staff member and inform them you wish to send a registered mail package.
  • Package and “Avis de Reception”: Hand them your package, ensuring the “Avis de Reception” is securely attached.

3. Payment:

  • Payment Methods: La Poste accepts cash, credit/debit cards, and other payment methods. Check with the post office staff for the accepted payment options.
  • Cost: The cost of sending registered mail varies depending on the chosen type, weight, size, and destination. You will receive a receipt with the tracking number for your package.

Step 3: Tracking Your Package

1. Tracking number:

  • Receipt: You will receive a receipt containing your unique tracking number.
  • Confirmation Email: In some cases, you might also receive a confirmation email with the tracking number.

2. Using La Poste’s tracking system:

  • Website: Visit the La Poste website and enter your tracking number in the dedicated tracking section.
  • Mobile App: Use the La Poste app to track your package conveniently.

3. Delivery Confirmation:

  • Signature: The recipient must sign the “Avis de Reception” upon delivery, confirming receipt.
  • Delivery Confirmation: La Poste will provide you with a delivery confirmation email or notification once the package has been delivered and signed for.

Additional Tips & Considerations

While following the step-by-step guide above will ensure a smooth registered mail experience, here are some additional tips and considerations to enhance your shipment:

  • Insurance: Remember that insurance coverage varies based on the chosen type of registered mail. For valuable items, select an option with sufficient insurance to protect you against potential loss or damage.
  • Claiming Insurance: If your registered mail package is lost or damaged, be sure to report it to La Poste immediately. You’ll need your tracking number and proof of value for the package to file a claim. La Poste will investigate the situation and, if eligible, compensate you for the loss or damage.
  • International Shipping: Sending registered mail internationally follows a similar process, but there are additional requirements and procedures. Check the La Poste website for information on sending registered mail to other countries.
  • Alternative Options: La Poste offers other delivery services besides registered mail, such as “Chronopost” for urgent deliveries and “Colissimo” for larger packages. These services offer different delivery times, costs, and features. Consider your specific needs and choose the service that best suits your shipment.


  • What happens if the recipient is not at home?

La Poste will make several attempts to deliver the package. If the recipient is unavailable, they can collect the package from the designated post office within a specific timeframe, which is typically indicated on the tracking information.
* Can I send registered mail online?

La Poste offers online booking and payment options for some registered mail services, allowing you to send packages directly from your computer or mobile device. The available options might differ based on the type of registered mail and the package’s destination. Visit the La Poste website for more information.
* How long does it take for a registered letter to arrive?

The delivery time for registered mail varies depending on the type of service chosen and the destination. Generally, a “Lettre Recommandée” takes 1-3 business days, while a “Colissimo Recommandé” takes 2-4 business days. You can find more specific delivery timeframes on the La Poste website or by contacting customer service.
* What if I need to send a large package?

For large packages, consider using La Poste’s “Colissimo” or “Chronopost” services, which are designed for larger and heavier items. These services offer different delivery times and insurance options, so choose the one that best suits your needs.
* What are the consequences of sending something prohibited through registered mail?

La Poste has strict regulations regarding prohibited items. Sending prohibited items through registered mail can result in fines, legal action, or the confiscation of your package. Familiarize yourself with La Poste’s regulations to avoid any potential issues.


Sending registered mail with La Poste provides a secure and reliable way to send valuable items and important documents. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure your package arrives safely and on time, with proof of delivery and potential insurance protection. Remember to choose the right type of registered mail for your specific needs, package your items securely, and utilize the tracking system to stay informed about your package’s journey.

With this comprehensive guide, you can confidently send registered mail with La Poste, knowing your important items are in good hands.