Letter Service - Frequently Asked Questions - Letters & Waivers

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Can my letter writer submit a letter electronically?

Letter writers can email their letters as a PDF attachment to letter@berkeley.edu.

All letters must be printed on professional letterhead and have your writer’s full name, contact information and signature. A signed, waiver form must be received for this letter before you can request to have it sent out.

How can my writer update a letter filed in the Letter Service?

If your writer only needs to change the date of a letter already on file, they can just email letter@berkeley.edu. They need to state your full name and request that we update the date of their letter to a current date.

If your writer needs to update the text within a letter already on file, they need to forward a signed copy of their updated letter using proper business letterhead. Since we already have their original signature on file, we will accept a PDF copy of the updated letter by email to letter@berkeley.edu. If your writer needs to use the Letter Service letter forms, direct them to our Letter Guidelines page.  You will also need to sign and forward a new waiver statement for this updated letter.

How can I send my writer a copy of his/her original letter for update?

To request that we return a copy of an existing letter to your writer free of charge, select one of the 3 options below:

  1. By Email – Either you or your writer can submit this request via email to letter@berkeley.edu. We will need the writer’s full name and business email address. We will email a PDF copy of their most recent letter on file.
  2. By Mail – Either you or your writer can submit this request via email to letter@berkeley.edu. We will mail a hard copy by campus mail or USPS first class mail. Please include your full name, the writer’s name and campus/mailing address.
  3. In Person - Any writer can come by in person to request a copy of their letter. She/he will need to provide a photo ID.

How do I delete a letter or matching form from my file?

Only a letter writer can request to delete a letter from a file. If you no longer want to use a letter/matching form posted to your account, you can request that we disable it by emailing letter@berkeley.edu. Please be clear by stating the letter #, letter writer name/form name and the date it was received.

When letters/forms are disabled, they will still appear when you view your "Letters" page but will not appear as a option when you make a request.

How will I know if the Letter Service has received my letter of recommendation?

Once a letter has been received and posted to your account, an automatic email will be sent to both you and the letter writer as confirmation. Emails are sent as a courtesy, and since email reliability can be erratic, the best way to check the status of your letter is to login to your account and review your file.

How do I include matching forms when sending letters to an organization (e.g., AMCAS, LSAC, etc.)?

There are several pre-approved matching forms that we include when you submit a request to mail your letters of recommendation. The matching forms we currently accept include: AADSAS, AMCAS, CASPA, Interfolio Credential Transfer Request, LSAC (LSDAS), OMSAS, OPTOMCAS, PHARMCAS, PTCAS, TMDSAS, UC Berkeley Optometry School and VMCAS.

Please do not confuse these matching forms with other, individual institutions’ recommendation forms or waiver forms. The Letter Service does not have access to any of these matching forms; you must obtain these forms from the individual institution’s websites. The Letter Service will not alter or complete these forms for you so please make sure your forms are filled out before you submit them.

Completed matching forms can be mailed, emailed, faxed or dropped off in person to the Letter Service office. When you submit your request, it is your responsibility to select all your letters and their matching forms. The Letter Service will not hold your requests pending the arrival of any matching forms.

More information about AMCAS matching forms

Which recommendation form do I use?

See "Which recommendation forms do I use?" regarding using school specific recommendation forms and waiver statements.

Where's my letter?

The fastest way to determine whether a letter has arrived is to login to your Letter Service account and select “Letters”. Letters are posted in the order received and will appear in your online account immediately. Posting incoming letters is a high priority, especially during the busy times of the year.

During the busy times of the year, answering phone calls about the arrival of letters only serves to impede the critical process of posting letters. Letter writers may misjudge how long it takes for a letter to arrive. If you are waiting for a letter, please check your online account periodically throughout the day. If you don't see it listed, send an email to letter@berkeley.edu



How do I obtain a copy of a non-confidential letter?

The Letter Service will provide you an "unofficial" copy of a non-confidential letter upon request.  Instructions here.

How do I add my professor’s signature to a letter on file written by my GSI?

  1. Print and sign a new waiver statement and provide it to your GSI.
  2. Your GSI can then forward a copy of their signed letter and waiver to your professor for their signature.
  3. This co-signed letter and new waiver can be emailed as a PDF attachment to Letter@berkeley.edu
  4. This letter will be posted to your account as a new letter with both letter writer names.

What does "pending waiver" mean?

All letters submitted to the Letter Service must be accompanied by a waiver statement form signed by you indicating that your letter writer is aware of whether or not you have chosen to make the letter confidential, and therefore "waived" your right to see it.

If we receive a recommendation from your letter writer that is not accompanied by a waiver form, it will be posted as “Pending Wavier” until a signed waiver is submitted. For confidential letters, you can download a waiver form (It is available as a PDF after you login to your online file - see the box titled "Letter Service Forms" on the right hand side of the screen), complete and sign it, and either email (letter@berkeley.edu), fax (510-642-4958), mail or bring the waiver to the Career Center. Once we receive your waiver, your letter will be complete and you will be able to select it when you make a request.

If a recommendation arrives without a waiver form but you would like it posted as an "open/non-confidential" letter, you must then provide your letter writer with a signed, non-confidential waiver form and have her/him resubmit their letter and your waiver as a PDF attachment to Letter@berkeley.edu.

How can my writer add a completed grid form to a letter that has already been posted?

Login to your account, and download a copy of the grid form. Your letter writer will need to complete both the grid and writer section of this form and sign it.

Since we already have this writer’s original signature on the original letter, your writer can simply email a PDF copy of the completed grid form to letter@berkeley.edu, or mail/hand deliver it to the Career Center. Please ask your writer to include a note to add this completed gridform to their existing letter.

We will update this letter to enter "Gridform Added" in the comments field.

What does my dissertation committee chair need to do in order to review the letters in my file?

Your dissertation chair needs to email their request to letter@berkeley.edu at least 2 business days before they stop by our office. We need to know the names of the file(s) to be reviewed and approximately what day they will be coming. They will need to bring their photo ID with them.

The reason we need this 2-day lead time is because we have to pull the file(s) to make sure all letters received are in order and complete.