How to Send a Fax

Posted on January 10, 2022

fax machine meme

As the old adage states – don’t hate the player, hate the game. We learned at the Saturday, January 8, 2022 webinar on “Taking the Guesswork Out of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program,” using a fax machine is the best way to ensure that your paperwork certifying years of public service is received by the federal government, and then correctly counted toward education loan debt forgiveness.

In addition to the helpful PSLF information provided by guest speaker Karen Bauer, some specific information about using a fax machine was also shared during the webinar. This article is a summary of how to send a fax in the year 2022.

What is a Fax?

Fax (short for facsimile), sometimes called telecopying or telefax (the latter short for telefacsimile), is the telephonic transmission of scanned printed material (both text and images), normally to a telephone number connected to a printer or other output device.

The original document is scanned with a fax machine (or a telecopier), which processes the contents (text or images) as a single fixed graphic image, converting it into a bitmap, and then transmitting it through the telephone system in the form of audio-frequency tones. The receiving fax machine interprets the tones and reconstructs the image, printing a paper copy.

Are People Still Faxing? Why?

  • Here’s an interesting article from the Atlantic about the history of fax machines and industries that are still fax-reliant (government, manufacturing, health care and finance top the list). Most explainers say it comes down to security, signature verification, and record keeping.

Head to Your Local Library:

  • As a local government organization, we’d be remiss if we didn’t start this explainer with a pitch for your local library as a go-to place to send faxes. Libraries still offer fax machines as a service to the community, so start by checking your local branch to see if you can send a fax from your library.

Check With Your Local Copy Shop:

Check Out Online Tools:

  • A quick Google search will share several online fax tools – including this one and this one and this one. We would recommend that if you go this route, pick one service and stick to it for your own record keeping.

Any additional tips you’d add about using a fax machine? Send us a note (via email, not fax) and we’ll update this article!

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