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What do the Witnesses do at the Post Office?

Watch the last 10 minutes of InPower: Episode 2 for a step-by-step walk through of the signing & mailing process.

Your Witnesses are both listed on your Bill of Lading (BoL) as the senders of your envelope and documents. With their signature, they are guaranteeing that

a)the document contents inside match what’s listed on the BoL (Bill of Lading), and

b)the envelope was given to a postal service agent.

At the Post Office, your two BoL Witnesses will:

  1. Verify that the envelope contents match what’s listed in the “Cargo Manifest” section of each BoL. There will be a minimum of 4 BoLs – one for each Respondent.
  2. If this has not yet been done:
  3. Make sure that each BoL matches its envelope address label— and matches one of the names on the front of your Notice.
  4. With copies of all documents enclosed, seal the envelopes. It doesn’t matter who does the actual sealing – both of your witnesses just need to observe it.
  5. One Witness (either one, doesn’t matter which) will write their return addresson the upper left of each envelope. Be sure it’s styled correctly – again see: Why are square brackets and a “c/o” used in my and my Witnesses addresses?
  6. Go to the Post Office counter and order your mail services. (USA: Certified Mail, with hard-copy Return Receipt cards. Canada: Registered Mail, with electronic receipt included.)
  7. Give the envelopes to the Post Office clerk. They will stamp the tear-off portion of each Certified/Registered label, which become receipts which you keep.
  8. When you get home, file all of your receipts into your Liability Action folder, together with your original documents. And when you receive the Return Receipt cards in the mail, keep them safe in your folder as well.

NOTE: If there is an error on the document, cross out the error and write in correction, and since it’s the BoL (which they sign), have the witnesses write their initials next to any errors – not you.

See also: Do I need to use Zip/Postal Codes on the envelopes?
Updated on November 3, 2018

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