When will I get my stimulus check in the mail? 2 ways to track it through the USPS
Where's your second stimulus check? Great question. If you haven't already received it, there are two ways to keep tabs on its whereabouts. The first, the IRS' stimulus check tracker tool, will give you a general idea of your payment schedule, let you know your second stimulus check total and tell you if there's been a holdup or other error processing your check.
The second is a free USPS service that works alongside the tracker, to give you a more precise delivery window -- from the time it's been scanned at the post office down to the minute of delivery, in fact. This is especially useful if you're eligible for a second stimulus payment, didn't already set up direct deposit with the IRS, and are therefore due for a physical check or an EIP card.
Although the second stimulus checks are coming more quickly this time around, there's also a catch: a Jan. 15 cutoff date to receive your check. If you don't get your payment in the mail shortly after that date, you'll have to file a claim during tax season to get your money, and it could slow down your timeline to get your next check. We'll walk you through how you can use the USPS service to monitor your stimulus check in the mail. This story recently was updated.
What is Informed Delivery and why would I want it?
Informed Delivery is a free mail-tracking service from the USPS that automatically scans your letters and can alert you with an image each time a letter with your name on it is about to be delivered -- including your second stimulus payment.
It can take three business days to activate your account after you set it up. Once it's live, you will receive an email each morning, Monday through Saturday, if mail is scheduled to arrive, notifying you of mail that will be delivered, along with a grayscale image of the front of the letter. You can also use the free Android and iPhone Informed Delivery app to be notified.
Just be aware that it will show you all your documents scanned by the post office, not just your stimulus payment. You can cancel the service at any time.
How do I know I'm getting my new stimulus check in the mail?
If you didn't already set up direct deposit with the IRS, this is the most likely outcome, as long as you're eligible to receive a second stimulus check. The IRS has opened up its online tool to track your second check's payment schedule, but will not activate the feature that will accept new direct deposit registrations.
Informed Delivery: Quickly make sure you can register
When the USPS runs mail through its automated mail sorting equipment, it creates a digital image of the front of all letter-size mail, and that includes your stimulus check. The Informed Delivery program uses this digitally captured information to notify you when each piece of mail is on the way.
The service is available to many residential and personal P.O. box addresses but not businesses. It also won't work for some multiunit buildings where the Postal Service hasn't yet identified each unit.
To check whether it's available in your area, head to the Postal Service's Informed Delivery page and tap the Sign Up for Free button. Then enter your mailing address, and tap Continue. If the service is available, you can then set up an account.
How to set up Informed Delivery to track your mail
Setting up your account is straightforward.
1. On the Postal Service's Informed Delivery page, tap Sign Up for Free.
2. After you enter your mailing address and confirm it'll work with the service, you'll need to accept the terms and conditions and tap Continue.
3. On the next page, choose your username, password and security questions. Then, enter your contact information and tap Continue.
4. On the next page, you'll need to verify your identity. Tap Verify identity online if you want to receive a verification code on your phone or tap Request invitation code by mail if you want the Postal Service to mail you a code. If neither method works, you may also have the option to visit a post office to verify your identity in person.
For more stimulus check details, here's how to calculate an estimate of your total, what we know about a third stimulus check and how some of your rights have changed for the better with a second stimulus check.