Stimulus Checks: How to Track Your Paper Check in the Mail

With the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) deadline for direct deposit has passed, millions of Americans will be receiving their coronavirus stimulus payouts via paper checks sent in the mail. These checks, some of which have already been shipped, will be mailed in waves beginning with those Americans who have the lowest adjusted gross income, with the IRS expected to mail approximately 5 million checks per week. But how can you track your paper check in the mail?

While the IRS has created a "Get My Payment" tool that allows people to check the status of their payout, CNET reports that those hoping to track their paper check as it makes its way through the U.S. Postal Service can do so by using the USPS app called Informed Delivery. The free service will show you a digital image of your envelope and send an alert once it is on the way.

"Digitally preview your mail and manage your packages scheduled to arrive soon!" the USPS describes the app. "Informed Delivery allows you to view greyscale images of the exterior, address side of letter-sized mailpieces and track packages in one convenient location."

To use the app, you must first see if you are eligible. To do so, start by clicking the link here and then click the "Sign Up for Free" button. Once clicked, you will be asked to enter your mailing address. You should then click "Continue." If the service is available, you will then be able to create an account.

To create an account, you will be brought to a new page after clicking "Continue" where you will be asked to choose a username, password, and security question and enter your contact information. After again clicking "Continue," you will need to verify your identity by either receiving a verification code on your phone or by mail, in which case a code will be mailed to you. You can also visit the post office to verify your identity in person.


Once your account is created and activated, which can take up to three days, you will begin receiving daily emails, which will include a grayscale image of the front of the letter, Monday through Saturday of what is being delivered that day.

CNET reports that there are some limitations to the service, however. While the app will be useful for most, it is only available for residential and personal PO box addresses but not businesses. It also does not work for some multiunit buildings.