This is scary and cool, at the same time. The U.S. Post office is taking pictures of all your mail, before it is delivered to you.

Don't freak out, this is actually a good thing. Have you ever been on vacation and wondered if something you were supposed to get in the mail arrived, while you were away, or was waiting for your to pick up at the post office upon return? You can now get a photo of your mail, before it arrives at your house or apartment.

It's a new service from the post office called Informed Delivery. The  service has been rolling out over the past couple of weeks and is available in most larger communities in the Stateline including:

  • Rockford
  • Belvidere
  • Cherry Valley
  • Freeport
  • DeKalb
  • South Beloit
  • Machesney Park
  • Loves Park
  • Rochelle
  • Beloit, WI
  • ....and more. Click HERE to see your town has Informed Delivery Service

Here's how it works. Every piece of mail that goes through the post office is photographed and scanned. The post office keeps a record of the information and will send you a digital photo of the front of the envelope to your E-mail

I signed up for it last week and checked my e-mail this morning and was sent photos of mail that appeared in my mailbox today. Here are the images of the mail I received in my E-mail today.

1. A bill from my insurance company (Yeah!)

TSM Photo

2. My gas bill (Horray!)

TSM Photo

What is cool about this is, if you live in an area that as had instances where the mail has been stolen, you now know what mail is missing. Also the service is FREE.

Did you know that the USPS has been taking photographs of the outside envelopes of mail since the anthrax attacks in 2001. Law enforcement sometimes uses the photos to build criminal cases. So, don't do anything against the law.

The USPS says that you can get up to 10 mail piece images in your morning email, which can be viewed on any computer or a smart phone. If you get a lot of mail (more than 10) you can view additional images on-line. This is very handy especially if you travel and have e-mail/internet access.


So, if you are expecting that check from Publisher's Clearinghouse or that birthday check from rich Uncle Harry, you can look to see if it is coming, before it actually arrived in your mailbox.

Sign up for the service HERE.

Catch Mark Charvat on Q98.5 from 3 p.m to 7 p.m.. Follow him on Twitter, and Facebook.