Your stimulus check could still be in the mail. 2 ways you can track it through USPS

While the IRS and US Treasury shut off sending the second stimulus checks on Friday, if the letter with your payment made the mailbag by the cutoff date, you can expect to see your your paper check or EIP debit card in the mail shortly. However, if the IRS didn't send your stimulus payment of up to $600 per person in time, you'll have to wait until tax-filing season in February to claim the stimulus money on your taxes.

But before you resign yourself to receiving your stimulus check money in February or later, we know two ways of tracking your payment. The first is through the IRS' stimulus check tracker tool, which can reveal your payment schedule, how your money will arrive, your second stimulus check total and if there's been an error processing your check. (You can also ask the IRS to trace your payment.)

Then, if you see your check is still coming in the mail, you can sign up for a free USPS service that shows you when your letters have been scanned, are in transit and have been delivered to your home -- including your second stimulus check. We'll walk you through how you can use the USPS service to monitor your payment's arrival in the mail. (P.S. Here's President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus plans, including a third stimulus check.) This story updates often.

Informed Delivery: How it works and why you'd want to use it

Informed Delivery is a free mail-tracking service from the USPS that automatically scans your letters and can alert you with an image each time a letter with your name on it is about to be delivered -- this includes, of course, your second stimulus payment.

When the USPS runs mailed letters through its automated mail sorting equipment, it automatically creates a digital image of the front of all letter-size mail. Anyone who signs up for Informed Delivery can access the information by asking the USPS to notify you when each piece of mail with your name on it is on the way. Note that it can take three days to activate your account.

As part of the program, you'll receive an email each morning, Monday through Saturday, to notify you of any mail being delivered to you. You'll also see a grayscale image of the front of the letter. Informed Delivery has free apps for Android and iPhone you can also use.

Just be aware that signing up means you'll see all your mail scanned by the post office, not just your stimulus check. You can cancel the service at any time.

Set up Informed Delivery to track your stimulus check

Informed Delivery has some limitations. For example, it will work with many residential and personal post office box addresses but not businesses. It also won't work for some residential buildings where the postal service hasn't yet identified each unit.

To check whether Informed Delivery is available in your area, head to the Postal Service's Informed Delivery page.

1. Tap Sign Up for Free.

2. Enter your mailing address and confirm it'll work with the service; then accept the terms and conditions and tap Continue.

3. On the next page, choose your username, password and security questions. Then, enter your contact information and tap Continue.

4. On the next page, you'll need to verify your identity. Tap Verify identity online if you want to receive a verification code on your phone or tap Request invitation code by mail if you want USPS to mail you a code. You may also have the option to visit a post office to verify your identity in person.

For more stimulus check details, here's how to calculate an estimate of your total, what we know about a third stimulus check, what happens if you were overpaid and how some of your rights have changed for the better with a second stimulus check.