Direct Mail

How to Return Mail to Sender Canada Post

By 7 April 2024May 26th, 2024No Comments
how to return mail to sender canada post

How to Return Mail to Sender Canada Post

Canada Post offers one of the best postal mail services in the world. However, even Canada Post requires return mail service when they fail to make a postal delivery. Here in this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about return mail.

how to return mail to sender canada post

Also, we discuss the finer details of Canada Post return mail such as the process involved in sending a return mail and its liability coverage. So, if yours is a business that frequently uses direct mail for its communication, then this article is for you.

Keep reading!

How To Return A Letter via Canada Post?

Sending back a letter through Canada Post is an easy process. All you have to do is follow a few simple instructions to return a letter via Canada Post. Usually, a letter gets returned by its recipient when the addressee does not live at that address.

The recipients can take a couple of steps to return a mailer via Canada Post after knowing that the letter is not meant for them.

Step 1: Contact The Sender

If Canada Post or any other postal service provider delivers a letter that is not meant for you, then the chances are that the mail provider has the incorrect address data. It means that it is likely that you will keep receiving other similar letters unless the sender updates their information. Hence, you must contact the sender and inform them about the mistake.

Step 2: Cross Out The Address

After informing the sender about the wrong postal delivery address, you cross out the mailer’s postal address. Crossing out an address is a way to tell Canada Post that the sender used the wrong address on the mailer.

Step 3: Write “Moved” or “Unknown” On The Mailer

It is not enough that you cross out the address on the wrongly delivered postal mail. After crossing out the address, you need to write “Moved” or “Unknown” on the letter you received. These wordings on the letter confirm why you are returning the letter to the sender.

Writing “Moved” on the letter implies that the addressee on the letter used to live at your address before. However, if you don’t know the mailer’s previous addressee, you can write “Unknown” on the letter.

Step 4: Deposit The Letter In The Street Letter Box

The last step you need to take to return a letter via Canada Post is to deposit it in the Street Letter Box. Canada Post will then collect the letter and send it back to the sender. Suppose you know the new address of the person to whom the letter was originally sent. In that case, you may write it in the mailer. However, forwarding the letter would require additional postage.

Note: Canada Post is legally required to send all the mailers they receive. So, there is a chance that you will keep receiving the wrong mail until you let the sender know about the address change.

Read More: How To Write An Address International

What Are The Conditions For Returning A Mail Via Canada Post?

Canada Post has specific conditions for returning mail that they deliver. In other words, Canada Post doesn’t have to return all the mailers that do not get delivered. For instance, Canada Post will not accept return mail if you open the mailer.

If the mailer meets any of the following conditions, Canada Post will consider a parcel a “Return to Sender” item.

  • The recipient refuses to accept the mailer
  • The recipient endorses the mailer as “Moved” or “Unknown”
  • The address provided on the mailer is incomplete or inexistent
  • If the mailer does not bear a label for a parcel return service
  • The mailer uses a manual COD or Cash in Deliver shipping label

Apart from the conditions mentioned above, if Canada Post cannot make the delivery for any reason, they will automatically return the mailer to the sender.

Read More: How To Send An Envelope In The Mail

When Is An Address Considered Undeliverable?

More often than not, a mailer gets returned when something is wrong with the address. And as long as a letter or parcel has an address on it, Canada Post must deliver it to the address. Furthermore, the sender can not make any changes or corrections to the postal address once they mail it.

But, when does Canada Post classify an address as undeliverable?

An address is considered undeliverable by the Canada Post under the following circumstances:

  • The address is non-existent
  • The address provided on the package is incomplete
  • The addressee has moved from the address provided on the mailer
  • The addressee refuses to accept the mailer
  • The addressee does not pay postage on demand

Read More: How to Mail Something Without a Return Address

Return to Sender Fee For Canada Post Parcels

As long as the recipient does not open or alter the parcel Canada Post does not include any additional features/options. However, the sender will have to pay the Return to Sender shipping fee. The recipient has no obligation to pay for the return mail or any costs associated.

In other words, the sender or shipper is responsible for the Return to Sender fee and any other charges associated with it. Canada Post bases the Return to Sender fee on the weight or the volumetric equivalent of the parcel’s weight.

Read More: What is a Mailer in Advertising

Delivery Guarantee For Return Mail

When Canada Post receives a return mail, it loses all its on-time delivery guarantees. As far as Canada Post is concerned, every return mail is a refused one, and they automatically categorize them as undeliverable. It is worth noting that the expense of disposing of and recycling the return mail is the sender’s responsibility.

Liability Coverage For Return Mail

Canada Post does not provide any liability coverage for regular letters or parcels. So, if you send a regular mail or postcard and expect Canada Post to provide liability coverage for it, you might get disappointed.

However, Canada Post does provide liability coverage for some of its premium postal services. You can get liability coverage of $100 for any loss or damage to the mailer.  It is worth noting that Canada Post does not provide any Additional Liability Coverage.

Read More: Where to Write a Return Address on a Letter


Canada Post has a reliable return mail policy. Return mail enables businesses to track the deliverability of their direct mail campaigns. However, the best approach businesses can take when implementing direct mail communication is to optimize it using an automated software solution.

PostGrid is a direct mail automation tool that enables you to minimize the return rate of mail. With a tool like PostGrid, businesses can print standardized and verified postal mail addresses. Furthermore, there is practically zero manual error as PostGrid automates the entire direct mail process.

PostGrid even offers an address verification API to ensure Canada Post can deliver to an address. As a result, you can minimize the return rate of your direct mail campaigns and optimize their reach.