USPS Testing Service That Shows Customers Photos Of Their Mail

If you’ve ever been waiting with breath that is bated on an important piece of mail, you might have wished there was some way you could take a peek at your mailbox from afar. Because many people can’t stay home and wait for the mail to arrive, the United States Postal Service is testing a “notification” service that sends customers photos of the contents of their mailbox by way of their email.

The service known as Informed Delivery — which has been live in some parts of Northern Virginia since 2014 — is spreading to the New York City metro area, the USPS says, with plans to expand elsewhere in 2016.

Informed Delivery is free, but you have to opt in online, and it won’t work for packages, only letter-sized envelopes… at least not yet: the agency says it could include scans of packages at some point as well.

The USPS is already used to taking snaps of every piece of mail sent in the country, points out Quartz, as it’s a regular part of the agency’s routine already. It helps to sort mail, or can be useful in tracking suspicious mail back to senders.