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Changes to Signed For and Special Delivery for franking customers

For customers wanting to send items that can be tracked or want to guarantee delivery by a specific time, Royal Mail’s Signed For and Special Delivery services have been essential. 

This year (2022) Royal Mail is changing how franking machine customers use these popular services by removing the requirement to use pre-ordered stationery to apply tracking information. 

Learn more about these changes effective on 01/11/2022

Signed For and Special Delivery
The Royal Mail is responsible for the delivery of 9.5 billion addressed letters and 1.7 billion parcels in the UK annually. In a recent survey, 67% of SME participants had used Signed For in the last year and more than half had used Special Delivery Next Day services (53% (letters), 56% (parcels))*. 

Signed For and Special Delivery services are available for letters and parcels sent within the UK. These services are very easy and cost-effective to use. 

What is 'Royal Mail Signed For'?
Royal Mail Signed For provides you with confirmation of delivery, but this is not a fully tracked service. If you require a fully tracked service, then you need Special Delivery Guaranteed. Signed For is a registered service which requires a signature on delivery for First Class or Second Class mail sent in the UK. This service includes standard compensation for loss and damage.

Special Delivery Next Day Guaranteed by 1pm is a registered, tracked service which guarantees delivery of your mail by 1pm the next working day. This service also includes insurance and will require a signature on delivery. If required you can also buy additional levels of insurance cover; pay extra for delivery on a Saturday or have it delivered by 9am.

Using these services (now)
Please be aware that these services are changing on 01/11/2022. Please read on to learn how to process your Signed For or Special Delivery letters and parcels after 31st October 2022.

Businesses who want to use Signed For or Special Delivery and are not using a franking machine have to visit a Post Office. The Post Office will apply the postage to your item and provide a receipt showing your tracking number. 

For franking machine customers, it is much simpler and can be done from the comfort of your office if you have a Royal Mail collection. To use these services using your franking machine, weigh the item (using integrated scales), select the service and level of compensation (if required) and frank your letter or parcel.

Once the item is franked (and the indicia will confirm the service) you would then need to apply an orange (Signed For) or silver (Special Delivery) label with tracking barcode. The labels have detachable sections and one of these sections needs to be added to the Signed For or Special Delivery recording book.

This stationery can be purchased directly from Royal Mail, see our instructions here.

Signed For and Special Delivery items cannot be posted into a franking or standard post box as the barcode needs to be recorded by Royal Mail when entering the postal system. The tracking barcode can be scanned at a Post Office or by the Royal Mail when they collect your post.

Postage savings when sending Signed For and Special Delivery letters and parcels
Having a Mailmark franking machine not only gives you access to these services in your office, it also means that you receive a discount too.

The cost of sending an item using Special Delivery starts at £6.35, and you can send a Signed For item from as little as £1.91 using your franking machine. This equates to an average saving of 8% and 10% respectively, and this discount is applied as you frank your mail. See the latest postage prices.


Changes to Royal Mail’s Signed For and Special Delivery in 2022

Effective from 1st November 2022, the current system for sending your letters and parcels using Royal Mail’s Signed For and Special Delivery services using your franking machine is changing. The current use of the orange (P2223) and silver (P4723) adhesive labels will no longer be accepted by Royal Mail after this date.

This mandated change is part of Royal Mail’s modernisation plan, with your franking machine now having to print an S10 (13 character item identifier) 1D barcode. This new barcode will now be used to track your Signed For and Special Delivery items, replacing the need to apply a label.

Your franking machine will also print the reference number shown below, which can be used to track the item via Royal Mail’s website ( 

Is your franking machine ready?
Until 31st October, you can continue to use the coloured adhesive labels when sending Signed For and Special Delivery. Before this date however, you will need to ensure that your franking machine is capable of printing this new barcode and transferring data, containing the barcodes generated and your die number, with the Royal Mail.

After 31/10/2022, non-compliant mail items will be subject to a surcharge issued by Royal Mail. 

Some franking machine customers may be able to start using this sooner than 1st November, but your franking machine supplier will contact you directly if applicable.

If you are unsure if your franking machine is ready for these new requirements, or if you are unsure how you and your mail will be affected then please contact our franking team on 01322 288890.




* Survey done by Royal Mail in 2019


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