chapter  16
4 Pages

Mail Cover

A mail cover is an investigative technique that involves law enforcement review of infor-

mation that can be observed on the outside of correspondence conveyed in the U.S.

mail. Mail covers are conducted through the authority of the local postmaster. A mail

cover does not involve opening mail, nor does it permit the review of materials inside

an envelope. (It should be noted that certain chemicals will allow a person to read a let-

ter without opening the envelope in which it is contained. Authority for a mail cover

does not permit the use of these chemicals or any other means that might exist that

would permit the reading of a communication contained inside a sealed envelope.) Mail

cover authority does not permit an investigator to open a person’s mailbox in order to

study the envelopes containing his mail. Mail covers are usually conducted by postal

employees, with results given to the requesting law enforcement agency.