Inland Advice/Proof of Delivery Fees 1891-date

Early form used in Ireland – office of posting entered in manuscript as some small offices still lacked datestamps

Advice of delivery (confirmation that a letter had been delivered) as a paid service was introduced for international mail in 1879 as a UPU requirement, but an inland version was not made available until 1891. The service was originally only available with registered mail, but was extended to recorded delivery when that service was introduced in 1961, and applied to all priority services from 1993.

Originally, letters were marked AR (UPU avis de réception), with the stamps for the fee placed on a separate form, returned to the sender as proof that the letter had or had not been delivered. The format of the forms varied over the years (in lettercard format from c.1970). It appears that the fee was instead paid on the letter from (?)1990, and from 1995 the form was placed in a plastic envelope attached to the letter and yellow on red AD labels were used.

The service was normally requested at the time of posting, but from 1900 it was possible to fill out a form at a later date. From 1966 this method was more expensive, and the option was withdrawn in 1990.

After the introduction of barcoded labels for tracking, the classical system became somewhat superfluous and was withdrawn on 27th April 2000. Customers could instead check progress by putting the barcode into the Royal Mail Track & Trace website. An alternative service called "Proof of Delivery", introduced in 1996, allowed the sender to request the Post Office to provide them with a copy of the signature obtained on delivery. This was free for Special Delivery packets but a fee was charged for Recorded Delivery.

Advice of Delivery 1891-2000

Date When
Date When
Date When
(1 Jul)
2d not available 1900
(30 Jan)
2d 2d 1921
(13 Jun)
3d 3d
(1 Feb)
6d 6d 1966
(3 Oct)
9d 1s 1971
(15 Feb)
7½p 10p
(24 Jun)
10p 20p 1977
(13 Jun)
12½p 25p 1981
(26 Jan)
20p 40p
(1 Feb)
22½p 45p 1983
(5 Apr)
20p 50p 1986
(20 Oct)
21p 50p
(5 Sep)
25p 65p 1989
(2 Oct)
26p 65p 1990
(17 Sep)
29p not available
(16 Sep)
31p not available 1996
(8 Jul)
33p not available 2000
(26 Apr)
Last day

Proof of Delivery 1996-date

Originally this option could be used up to 12 months after delivery of the letter, which became 3 months from 9th January 2012, although the website still allowed for the full 12 months. From 30th April 2012 the fee, which had not been changed since 2000, was specified to be for a "hard copy" (i.e. official printout).

The Royal Mail United Kingdom Postal Scheme of 1st January 2013 (the first not to specify any postal charges) merely said that "we may charge you an administration fee the value of which can be found on our website". A search on the site in April 2016 gave no indication of such a fee or indeed that this option was still available.

Date Rate Date Rate Date Rate
(8 Jul)
£2.10 2000
(27 Apr)
£2.20 2013
(1 Jan)
No longer available?