Direct Mail

How Long Does Regular Mail Take from State to State?

By 4 May 2024May 29th, 2024No Comments

How Long Does It Take to Mail a Letter to Another State?

USPS takes one to five business days to deliver regular mail to another state. However, you can use many other options to help your items arrive faster, like Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express.

You already know that the United States Postal Service is one of the fastest and most efficient postal organizations globally. It has been delivering envelopes and parcels across the US for decades now.

USPS First Class Mail Delivery Time From One State to Another

Image Source: – USPS First Class Mail Delivery Time From One State to Another

Since its establishment, the USPS introduced several types of mailing services to fit the needs of mailers. There is a vast range of options available for them, ranging from First-Class Mail to Library Mail.

Key Takeaways

  • Regular Mail, also known as First-Class Mail takes one to five business days to arrive. You can upgrade to other USPS mailing services for an added fee to speed up deliveries and get additional features.
  • USPS offers many shipping solutions, including Media Mail, USPS Retail Ground, Marketing Mail, etc. You can choose one based on your needs. However, these solutions are quite slow and might take nearly a month to get your items to their destinations.
  • It is best to anticipate high-demand seasons and weather conditions beforehand because they can affect the delivery times.
  • Using automated direct mail services, like PostGrid, can allow businesses to accelerate deliveries and reduce delays and returned mail.

But, you need to be aware of aspects  like:

  • What are the different USPS mailing classes for commercial mailers?
  • How can I qualify for sending bulk mail?
  • What is the regular mail delivery time from state to state?

Knowing the answers to such questions helps you make a better choice regarding mailing your items.

Today, we will address the third question- delivery windows for different mailing options. 

Often, we send something via mail but don’t know when it will arrive. Such situations lead to confusion and miscommunication among senders and recipients.

Hence, in this article, we will discuss how long does regular mail takes. Apart from that, we will also talk about the various factors that affect the USPS delivery timeframes.

USPS Standard Class Mail Delivery Time From One State to Another

USPS Standard Class Delivery Time

Let’s get right to it! 

How Long Does It Take for Regular Mail to Arrive?

Several factors affect your mail delivery timing. Some of these factors include:

  • Type of mail items you send
  • Origin city, state, and ZIP code
  • Destination city, state, and ZIP code
  • Mailing date and time
  • Mailing option, etc.

If you want to know the exact arrival time, list the above aspects in advance. Some mailers buy USPS tracking to see the delivery status of their items which gives them a rough idea of when their mail is likely to arrive.

You can use options that offer free tracking to save costs. Or understand how the USPS delivery standards work to estimate your mail delivery time yourself.

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USPS Mailing Options and Their Delivery Windows

The USPS offers many services to suit the needs of all individual and commercial mailers. Some of them are cost-effective but take a long time to arrive. On the contrary, some of these options are costly but are ideal for faster deliveries.

Below are the most commonly used USPS services:

First-Class Mail

First-Class Mail is the most basic USPS mailing option. Generally, when you affix a stamp to an envelope and drop it in a mailbox, it is First-Class Mail. It is why most people also refer to it as regular mail.

If you want to send something affordably, First-Class Mail is the best option for you. For mailing a 1-ounce letter, you need to affix one First-Class Mail Forever stamp—which costs $0.58.

But, you can only send letters and packages weighing up to 13 ounces through this service. Also, you may have to pay more if your items don’t fit the USPS specifications for First-Class Mail.

Many mailers think that First-Class Mail deliveries take only one day. However, this is not the case, even though the USPS completes some local deliveries overnight.

It takes USPS up to three business days to deliver small packages and up to five business days to deliver envelopes. So, it is advisable to be patient while sending and receiving First-Class Mail items.

Also, please remember that these are only delivery estimates—the USPS does not guarantee the exact arrival date in the case of regular mail.

People living in urban cities receive mail way earlier than those living in rural areas. Hence, the First-Class Mail delivery time depends on where you are sending mail.

But, how long does regular mail take from state to state? The USPS website does not have a solid timetable for mail delivery to specific cities or states. But you can find the estimates through their Service Standards map.

The map demonstrates that most intrastate deliveries take only two business days to complete. Plus, USPS can deliver your mail to nearby states in up to three business days. But, you may need to wait a little longer to send something across the country.

For example, let us consider how long does it take regular mail to go from NY to Washington State. According to the USPS standards, it takes at least five days to send something between these two states via First-Class Mail.

Below are the delivery standards for sending First-Class Mail to other US states and territories:

  • Guam: Five working days
  • Puerto Rico: Four working days
  • Hawaii: Five working days
  • Alaska: Four to five working days

It doesn’t matter from which state you are mailing to these places; the above First-Class Mail delivery estimates stay the same.

Priority Mail

As the name goes, Priority Mail is prioritized over First-Class Mail and several other USPS mailing services. Naturally, it is more costly and offers more features than regular mail.

The prime difference between regular mail and Priority Mail is that Priority Mail rates are not dependent on the destination. Instead, they depend on the weight of your items.

You can mail packages weighing up to 70 lbs with this option. Prices start at $8.95 and go up to $21.50 for larger parcels.

Find below some more features of Priority Mail:

  • Flat-rate pricing
  • Free USPS tracking
  • Insurance covers up to $50 on most shipments
  • Free rural, resident, and Saturday deliveries
  • No fuel surcharges

Mailers can buy Priority Mail flat-rate envelopes, boxes, and other packaging materials from the USPS website.

Now, the next crucial thing to know is- how long does Priority Mail take?

Generally, Priority Mail will typically take one to three business days. Like First-Class Mail, it depends on your destination and mailing point.

If you need to send an item across the country, there are chances you would be close to the 3-day delivery window. Otherwise, the USPS might complete them in a day or two.

The USPS website has a Priority Mail delivery map to help you figure out how many days for mail delivery between states. This map shows you whether it takes one, two, or three days for your mail to arrive at specific destinations.

Priority Mail Express

Priority Mail Express helps you get your items to their destination even faster than Priority Mail.

You get free USPS tracking and insurance coverage of up to $100 for most mail items with Priority Mail Express. Furthermore, you can also avail of proof of delivery if you request it at the time of mailing.

Unlike Priority Mail, this express service assures that the USPS delivers mail overnight. But, you need to drop off your mail by 10.30 am to be delivered the next day. Or you can request pickup and keep your packages ready by this time.

Either way, USPS cannot complete overnight delivery if you miss this delivery window. Instead, it delivers your mail the following working day—which comes under their guaranteed 2-day delivery service.

The good news is that the Priority Mail Express option is available for you on all days of the year. Hence, deliveries are also completed on weekends and federal holidays (for an added fee), with a few exceptions.

So, how long does in-state mail take if you opt for Priority Mail Express? Well, typically, your packages are delivered by 3 p.m. the next day. But, if you drop them off after 10.30 a.m. – they are sent the day after tomorrow before 6 p.m.

It doesn’t matter from which state you are mailing- the USPS completes all deliveries within the same timeframe.

However, please note that Priority Mail Express is quite costly, and the rates start at $26.95. Thus, it is advisable to use this option only for most urgent mail.

Also Read: Mail Delivery Services

Media Mail

First-Class Mail and Priority Mail have a lot of restrictions regarding the items you can send. If you need to mail letters (with eight pages or more) or other things like flash drives, CDs, etc., you can use Media Mail.

It is the most affordable USPS service to send different types of media, including:

  • Sound and video recordings
  • Computer-readable media
  • Manuscripts and video script
  • 16 mm or narrower width films
  • Printed educational charts
  • Medical loose-leaf binders and pages
  • Test materials and printed music

Typically, Media Mail items are delivered in around two to eight business days. Though the USPS does not specify how long does it take mail to travel to a different state, you can expect local mail to arrive in around three days. On the contrary, sending Media Mail across the state or country can take six to eight days.

USPS Retail Ground

USPS Retail Ground is a cost-effective way to send bulky or oversized packages that aren’t urgent. The USPS offers free tracking for parcels along with USPS Retail Ground so that you can view their delivery status at any time.

You can pair up USPS Retail Ground with other services like Signature Confirmation, Collect on Delivery, and Return Receipt. These services help you guarantee accurate deliveries and get proof of mailing.

Remember that this option is only available at Post Offices, and you cannot buy it online. Also, you can only mail packages weighing up to 70 lbs and measuring up to 130 inches (length and girth combined).

USPS Retail Ground prices start at $8.50 and depend on the weight range of your packages.

Delivery takes up to two to eight business days, like Media Mail. You cannot get an accurate answer to how long does mail takes within the state as the USPS does not specify anything as such.

But, local deliveries take less time than interstate deliveries which can take as long as eight days to complete. Hence, make sure to send less-urgent packages only using this option.

USPS Marketing Mail

Formerly known as Standard Mail, commercial mailers popularly use this service. It is also known as bulk mail because you need to send at least 200 items or 50 pounds at once to qualify.

The weight limit to send USPS Marketing Mail is between one and 16 ounces. Plus, you need a mailing permit to become eligible for sending Standard Mail.

Mailers can send letters, postcards, flats, and parcels via this USPS mail service. Though there are no separate postcard prices like First-Class Mail, you can mail them as letters.

Fortunately, there are discounted prices on sending USPS Marketing Mail—making it the best choice for businesses. If you are a qualified nonprofit, you can get even more discounted prices from USPS.

But, there’s a catch! USPS Marketing Mail takes anywhere from 14 to 21 business days to arrive. Hence, you can only send marketing items that are not time-bound.

Some mailers decide to switch to other mailing classes after knowing how long it takes for Standard Mail.

For example, if you want to send items with an offer that says “Buy before 14th January to get a 20% discount,” you should not send them via Marketing Mail.

However, the highly discounted rates incentivize mailers to send non-urgent advertising through this service.

You might also ask- how long does Standard Mail take from state to state?

If the distance between your mail origin and destination is less, deliveries might take even less than 14 days. But, if you want to mail from one part of the country to another, it may take more than 21 days as USPS does guarantee the delivery time.

What About Mail Delivery from State to State?

Unexpected circumstances may lead to days in some situations. However, the First-Class Mail service usually takes around 1-5 business days to make a delivery. It will be much faster if you are mailing a letter from a large city to another. Post offices in those areas will make the job swifter.

At the same time, letters take much longer to reach the processing centers in rural or remote areas of the country.

Average Delivery Times Around the Nation

Users have the option to pay additional fees for two-day or overnight shipping. The standard services take around 1 to 8 business days (if you consider options like USPS Media Mail).

USPS Mail Alternatives to Consider to Send a Letter to Another State


It is a multinational delivery services company that uses innovative technologies and processes. FedEx is popular for its overnight shipping services Their tracking system is precise and provides real-time updates on your package location.

UPS (United Parcel Services)

This American company is also one of the largest postal carriers worldwide. Users get multiple services, such as freight forwarding, express parcel delivery, and logistics services. They also feature adequate infrastructure and delivery fleets to make successful deliveries in the US and internationally.


It is a popular German mailing company that delivers over 1.5 billion mailers worldwide. Users can prefer to work with this global market leader in sea and air mail.

Pitney Bowes

The international technology company is a reliable option if you are looking for streamlined shipping, mailing, e-commerce, and financial services. They have close ties with USPS, UPS, and FedEx to expedite your mailers.

Tips to Get the USPS to Deliver Your Mail Faster

Sometimes, your mail arrival time is in the hands of the mailers. If you prepare and send your mail before the cut-off times, you may be able to get your mail delivered faster.

Similarly, there are many more things you can do to expedite deliveries, like:

Mail Earlier

It is always better to direct marketing mail during the earlier days of the week, like on Mondays and Tuesdays. Of course, it is not possible all the time, and you may send your items on Wednesdays and Thursdays as well.

If you mail on any day beyond that, there are chances the USPS will deliver your mail next week. However, it all depends on which mailing class you select.

Suppose you want to mail a package via Priority Mail Express. If you send it on a Friday afternoon, the USPS completes the delivery on Monday (you can push up the delivery to Sunday for an extra fee).

This way, it takes about three days to deliver your mail even after selecting the most expensive USPS mailing option.

However, suppose you time your package correctly and mail it on Thursday morning before 10.30 a.m. In that case, it will be delivered by Friday.

Hence, plan your mailing date and time in advance to mail faster.

Anticipate Busy Seasons

The USPS faces demand surges during holiday seasons like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thus, it may not complete deliveries in the said time.

Also, the USPS does not deliver on federal holidays (except for Priority Mail Express).

Another thing to know is that many more occasions are busy seasons for the USPS, like Mother’s Day.

Mailers should anticipate such holidays and busy seasons so that their mail is not stuck among hundreds and thousands of greeting cards. They can mail earlier or use an expedited mail service to deliver their items faster.

Mail to PO Boxes

The USPS does not deliver to some rural areas as they are non-serviceable. Also, deliveries to some destinations take longer than usual due to severe weather conditions and other reasons.

If your mailing destination falls under one of these locations, it is advisable to mail elsewhere. For example, you can send mail to the recipient’s PO box or community mailbox instead of the actual delivery address. This way, the USPS can complete the delivery easily and speedily.

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Consider Using Virtual Mailboxes

If you don’t have a physical or mailing address, you can use virtual mailboxes to receive your mail items. They offer several features like package acceptance, mail scanning, forwarding, record-keeping, etc.

You can also refer to virtual mailboxes as virtual addresses. They are called ‘virtual’ because you can operate all the functions virtually. So, it doesn’t matter where you reside in the country- you can get your mail delivered via virtual addresses.

Many people doubt the delivery times to mail to a virtual address. They might ask questions like- how many days does regular mail take to arrive at a virtual mailbox?

Not surprisingly, the USPS takes the same time to deliver to virtual mailboxes as it takes for physical mailboxes. There is no difference in the delivery window to mail to any mailbox type—only the mailbox location decides the arrival time.

Which Is the Best Day of the Week to Mail Something?

Senders must drop off something at the Post Office or in the mailbox earlier during the week. The best days are Monday and Tuesday because it helps the USPS process your envelopes or packages faster than the ones coming in later.

You might only drop off mailers on a Monday or Tuesday sometimes. But please remember that the closer senders are to the start of the week, the faster USPS can deliver the items.

Mailing something around Wednesday or Thursday lets you get the item to its destination by Saturday or the following Monday. However, Friday drop-offs might delay something even more. The package might reach the addressed recipients during the middle of the week.

Hence, following the timelines is crucial. You must know the cut-off timings for every mailing class, including Regular Mail. It helps you plan everything well and ensure timely deliveries. 

For example, you might have to drop off your item before a reasonable time, say 4 PM, for overnight shipping. Otherwise, USPS processes it the following day, delaying your urgent mailing. 

Another tip to choose the best day of the week to mail something is to contact USPS and understand different mailing timelines. Also, consider the distance between the origin and the destination. 

How Long Does FedEx Take to Mail to Another State?

Among the shipping services available, FedEx is a noteworthy option for sending packages to another state. One primary factor to consider is the diverse range of shipping times they provide with the convenience of package pickup. 

Please note that its pricing structure differs from USPS—which considers weight and distance. Thus, each package is uniquely priced, adding an element of variability.

FedEx offers a handy pricing calculator to help senders estimate costs, allowing them to determine shipping prices in advance, minimizing surprises when they visit their facility.

FedEx Home Delivery is similar to the Ground service but is tailored exclusively for residential deliveries. It schedules packages to arrive between 9 AM and 8 PM from Tuesday to Saturday. Although the rates align with Ground services, an additional residential surcharge of $4.75 per package is applicable.

FedEx Ground is a top choice for speedy deliveries to businesses or parcels exceeding 70 pounds, promising next-day or even same-day delivery. 

Notably, packages weighing one pound or less have a starting cost of $9.36 within a 150-mile radius. However, the shipping cost for packages within this range weighing up to 150 pounds can exceed $100.

FedEx Priority Overnight is an expedited shipping option, ensuring delivery on the next business day. Despite a two-hour difference from First Overnight, it is a more economical choice. Please be careful if your package extends beyond the 150-mile range, as this may lead to potential delays in delivery.

FedEx First Overnight is a suitable option for those who require packages to arrive early in the morning. It guarantees delivery on the following business day. The shipping rates vary, starting at $59.04 for an 8-ounce envelope within a 150-mile radius. 

Packages weighing less than a pound begin at $65.14. And the rate for the maximum 150-pound item starts at $427.50.

Also, you can select FedEx 2Day because it is a reliable choice if timely, but non-urgent deliveries are your priority. It helps deliver items within two business days by 4:30 PM or 8:00 PM at the latest. 

This option is more affordable than overnight services but pricier than Ground or Home Delivery. As discussed earlier, if you ship an item on a Friday, it can only reach its destination by Tuesday, making mid-week shipments optimal.

FedEx Standard Overnight guarantees arrival on the next business day by 3 PM or earlier. However, shipments outside the 150-mile radius may experience delays, potentially pushing delivery times to 5 PM instead of 3 PM. Despite being slightly cheaper than Priority Overnight, it offers a dependable and timely delivery option.

Why Is It Crucial to Know About Mail Forwarding?

Mail forwarding usually takes three to 12 days. Senders must put in the request as soon as the package arrives.

You can forward state-specific mail, such as newspapers and priority mail, without additional charges, providing financial relief for those concerned about redirecting essential communications. 

Senders have two options for forwarding mail: temporary and permanent address changes. They can visit the Post Office, fill out a form, and pay a small fee.

The temporary option allows a mail redirection for six months, suitable for those in transit. If you anticipate a more extended stay, extending the forwarding service for up to 12 months is possible with a simple request. Keeping address information updated in the system is crucial to prevent disruptions in mail forwarding.

Whether you are on a temporary relocation or making a permanent move, mail forwarding demands attention to detail. Balancing the duration of the forwarding service with the accuracy of address information is crucial for a seamless experience. 

Proactively submitting a change of address request and staying informed about available options can make receiving mailers a breeze!

Also Read: How to Track First-Class Mail

How Long Does Mail Usually Take to Arrive While Mailing Through Other Carriers?

Do mail carriers other than USPS offer faster delivery times? Well, the short answer is no!

Yes, other mail carriers like UPS and FedEx are also good options to send your mail. But, they deliver mail at about the same time as the USPS- sometimes faster.

However, you may want to consider the costs as they charge more than USPS. Also, they cannot beat the USPS when it comes to offering a wide range of services—suitable for everyone.

UPS provides several fast mailing options, like Next Day Air and Next Day Air Saver, that only take one day to arrive. In fact, Next Day Air Early assures that your mail reaches the destination the next day before 8:30 a.m.

But, it all depends on the distance between the origin and the destination. Also, the type of mailing address (residential or commercial) matters a lot.

There are other options too, like UPS 2nd Day Air, 3 Day Select, and Ground that deliver mail in two, three, and five days, respectively. Please make sure to enter the correct mailing and destination ZIP codes on the UPS website before you proceed to mail.

FedEx is another mail carrier in the US to send envelopes and parcels. It takes around five business days to deliver mail items to major cities and states.

Shipping to other states like Hawaii and Alaska can take longer than usual delivery windows.

To know how long will mail take from ZIP code to ZIP code, enter the correct origin and destination ZIP codes on the USPS website. The same applies to mailing items via other carriers.

Take care to understand the mailing options and know the delivery estimates before sending anything.

The USPS has a Service Commitments tool that lets you check the estimates by entering a few details.

If you want to save time and money while sending your items through USPS, try PostGrid. Our direct mail services help you automate the process and get everything done more efficiently.

How Can PostGrid Help Send Effective and Timely Items?

PostGrid offers many options to senders, helping them be flexible and plan campaigns based on their preferences. 

They can select one of our pre-built templates to design postcards, letters, etc. Thus, they don’t need to spend on hiring designers and making edits. 

Also, they can add customizations, like their brand logo, company name, contact information, etc. It allows businesses to create brand identity while corresponding with their target audience

PostGrid offers much more, like triggered mailings. Businesses can set up action-based triggers to send automatic mailers, like when a person signs up on their website and receives an onboarding letter. 

Triggered mail ensures organizations leverage opportunities at the correct time and convert more leads. 

The API integrations help set up and launch triggered campaigns. They also help auto-fetch and auto-fill customer details to create personalized campaigns. 

Thus, you need not do anything manually or spend days and weeks creating custom mailers!

Streamline Your Offline Mailing Activities With PostGrid to Mail Faster

PostGrid’s direct mail API can help you undertake all the tasks related to offline mailings, like:

  • Designing or creating your mail items
  • Printing
  • Mailing
  • Tracking, etc.

Our features cover everything from data security to a 2-business day SLA. Find below some of our other helpful features:

  • Address verification: Build your mailing lists from scratch or verify your existing ones
  • HTML templates: Use our pre-built templates to get your design started
  • Zapier integration: Connect with over 1600 apps to expand your database
  • Campaign insights and analytics: Get periodic reports on your campaign performance.

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We hope this blog cleared your doubts, like how long does mail take to arrive from different states. There is no one accurate answer to such questions as it varies with several factors.

But, if you plan your mailings, you can control your delivery timeframes.

PostGrid can help you start printing and mailing right from your system to assist you further. Integrate our API for direct mail into your CRM, and you are good to go!

The entire process of integrating and setting up only takes a few minutes. Plus, you don’t need to pay anything to start mailing as we don’t have any minimal fees policy.

Mail when you want, how much you want, and where you want! Stop worrying about how long does regular mail take and sign up here to automate everything!

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