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What Happens Next?

So, you’ve mailed off your application for registration. Now what?

Just like filing an electronic application, you wait. Track your package using the courier’s website and, after it has been delivered, print out the page that has the date and time of delivery and keep it with your copy of the application. It’s easy to overlook this step, but having evidence of delivery can be very helpful if your application gets misplaced once it makes it to the Copyright Office (it doesn’t happen often, but it does happen).

Ideally you won’t hear anything from the Copyright Office until your certificate arrives in the mail, but don’t expect that to happen anytime soon. As of this writing the processing time for paper applications is 7 to 14 months, and perhaps even longer to get into the Copyright Office’s online database ( because the process of moving the data from the application to the database is still done by hand.

If there is a problem with your application, you’ll hear from the Copyright Office likely by mail or email. Sometimes the copyright examiner will call. The next chapter covers how to deal with the Copyright Office if and when a representative gets in touch with a problem.

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