DMM TOC > 200 Discount Letters and Cards > 230 First-Class Mail|
First-Class Mail letter rates are charged per ounce or fraction thereof; any fraction of an ounce is considered a whole ounce. For example, if a piece weighs 1.2 ounces, the weight (postage) increment is 2 ounces. The minimum postage per addressed piece is that for a piece weighing 1 ounce.
Surcharge per Presorted rate piece (see 201.2.1, Criteria for Nonmachinable Letters, and 4.3, Nonmachinable Surcharge for Letter-Size Pieces): $0.17.
Determine single-piece weight and weight (postage) increment for each addressed piece as prescribed in 1.7 and 1.2, Rate Computation for First-Class Mail Letters. For First-Class Mail, affix postage to each piece under 234.2.2, Affixed Postage for Presorted First-Class Mail, or, for permit imprint mailings, multiply the number of addressed pieces at each rate increment (and in each rate category, if applicable) by the corresponding postage rate, add the unrounded products, and round off the total postage to the nearest whole cent.
To determine single-piece weight in any mailing of nonidentical-weight pieces, weigh each piece individually. To determine single-piece weight in a mailing of identical-weight pieces, weigh a sample group of at least 10 randomly selected pieces and divide the total sample weight by the number of pieces in the sample. Express all single-piece weights in decimal pounds rounded off to four decimal places.
With the exception of restricted material as described in 601.8.0, any mailable item may be mailed as First-Class Mail.
a. Bills and statements of account assert a debt in a definite amount owed by the addressee to the sender or a third party. In addition, bills include a demand for payment; statements of account do not include a demand for payment. The debt does not have to be due immediately but may become due at a later time or on demand. The debt asserted need not be legally collectible or owed.
All First-Class Mail is subject to limitations for air transportation. Generally, all mailable matter may be transported by aircraft, unless restricted in 601.10.0, Hazardous Materials.
Additional extra services available with First-Class Mail are certificate of mailing service, COD service, Delivery Confirmation service (parcels only), insured mail service (merchandise only), return receipt service, restricted delivery service, Signature Confirmation service (parcels only), and special handling. See information regarding extra services in 503.
a. Meet the basic content standards for First-Class Mail in 2.0.
1. The Move Update standard in 3.5.
2. The ZIP Code accuracy standard in 3.6.
3. If an alternative addressing format is used, the additional standards in 602.3.0.
A First-Class Mail presort mailing fee must be paid once each 12-month period at each office of mailing by any person or organization entering mailings at automation or Presorted First-Class Mail rates. Payment of one fee allows a mailer to enter mail at all those rates. Persons or organizations paying this fee may enter mail of their clients as well as their own mail. The fee may be paid in advance only for the next 12 months and only during the last 60 days of the current service period. The fee charged is that which is in effect on the date of payment.
The Move Update standard is a means of reducing the number of mailpieces in a mailing that require forwarding or return by the periodic matching of a mailer's address records with customer-filed change-of-address orders received and maintained by the USPS. For the purposes of this standard, address means a specific address associated with a specific occupant name. Addresses subject to the Move Update standard must meet these requirements:
a. Each address and associated occupant name used on the mailpieces in a mailing must be updated within 185 days before the mailing date, with one of the USPS-approved methods in 3.5.2.
c. If an address used on a mailpiece in a mailing at one class of mail and rate is updated with an approved method (e.g., Address Change Service), the same address may be used during the following 185 days and meets the Move Update standard.
c. FASTforward MLOCR processes if used each time before mail entry. If a mailpiece that initially uses FASTforward MLOCR processing is rejected and then entered into a Direct View Encoding Desk (DVED) operation (or similar system), the piece does not meet the Move Update standard. The name and address information on the piece must then be processed through a FASTforward RVE system to meet the Move Update standard. FASTforward RVE processes also meet the Move Update standard if used each time before mail entry.
d. Mailer Move Update Process Certification and USPS-approved alternative methods for mailers with legitimate restrictions on incorporating USPS-supplied change-of-address information into their mailing lists. The National Customer Support Center (see 608.8.1 for address) administers and approves both Mailer Move Update Process Certification and alternative methods.
e. Ancillary service endorsements under 507.1.5.1, First-Class Mail and Priority Mail, except "Forwarding Service Requested."
The ZIP Code accuracy standard is a means of ensuring that the 5-digit ZIP Code in the delivery address correctly matches the delivery address information. For the purposes of this standard, address means a specific address associated with a specific 5-digit ZIP Code. Addresses used on pieces claiming certain rates under 3.6.1d that are subject to the ZIP Code accuracy standard must meet these requirements:
a. Each address and associated 5-digit ZIP Code used on the mailpieces in a mailing must be verified and corrected within 12 months before the mailing date with one of the USPS-approved methods in 3.6.2.
c. If an address used on a mailpiece in a mailing at one class of mail and rate is verified and corrected with an approved method, the same address may be used during the following 12 months to meet the ZIP Code accuracy standard required for mailing at any other class of mail and rate.
a. For computerized lists, Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS)-certified address matching software and current USPS City State Product, within a mailer's computer systems or through an authorized service provider.
2. Any mailing list service in 507.6.0.
5. USPS Web site www.usps.com.
In addition to the standards in 3.0, Basic Standards for First-Class Mail Letters, all pieces in a First-Class Mail Presorted rate mailing must be marked, sorted, and documented as specified in 235.5.0, Preparing Nonautomation Letters.
Any POSTNET barcode on a mailpiece in a nonautomation First-Class mailing must be correct for the delivery address and meet the standards in 202.5.0, Barcode Placement, and 708.3.0, Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) and 708.4.0, Standards for POSTNET and Intelligent Mail Barcodes.
a. Meet the basic standards for First-Class Mail in 3.0.
c. Meet the physical standards in 201.3.0, Physical Standards for Automation Letters and Cards.
d. Bear a delivery address that includes the correct ZIP Code, ZIP+4 code, or numeric equivalent to the delivery point barcode (DPBC) and that meets the address matching and coding standards in 5.4, Address Standards for Barcoded Pieces, and 708.3.0, Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS).
e. Bear an accurate DPBC or Intelligent Mail barcode (see 708.4.3) matching the delivery address and meeting the standards in 202.5.0, Barcode Placement, and 708.4.0, Standards for POSTNET and Intelligent Mail Barcodes. Mailers must apply the barcode either on the piece or on an insert showing through a window.
f. Be marked, sorted, and documented as specified in 235.6.0, Preparing Automation Rate Letters, for letters and cards.
Maximum weight for First-Class Mail automation letters is 3.5 ounces (0.2188 pound) (see 18.104.22.168, Heavy Letter Mail, for pieces heavier than 3 ounces).
Automation rates apply to each piece that is sorted under 235.6.0 into the corresponding qualifying groups:
a. Groups of 150 or more pieces in 5-digit/scheme trays qualify for the 5-digit rate. Preparation to qualify for the 5-digit rate is optional. Pieces placed in full 3-digit/scheme trays in lieu of 5-digit/scheme overflow trays under 235.6.6 are eligible for the 5-digit rates.
b. Groups of 150 or more pieces in 3-digit/scheme trays qualify for the 3-digit rate. Pieces placed in full AADC trays in lieu of 3-digit/scheme overflow trays under 235.6.6 are eligible for the 3-digit rates.
c. Groups of fewer than 150 pieces in origin 3-digit/scheme trays and pieces in AADC trays qualify for the AADC rate. Pieces placed in mixed AADC trays in lieu of AADC overflow trays under 235.6.6 are eligible for the AADC rates.
d. Pieces in mixed AADC trays qualify for the mixed AADC rate, except for pieces prepared under 5.3c..
To qualify for automation rates, addresses must be sufficiently complete to enable matching to the current USPS ZIP+4 Product when used with current CASS-certified address matching software. Standardized address elements are not required. Any barcode that appears on a mailpiece claimed at an automation rate must be the correct barcode for the corresponding delivery address on the piece.
A numeric equivalent of the delivery point barcode (DPBC) consists of five digits followed by a hyphen and seven digits as specified in 202.5.5. The numeric equivalent is formed by adding three digits directly after the ZIP+4 code.
An address must include a firm name when necessary to obtain a match with the finest level of ZIP+4 code in the USPS ZIP+4 Product. If an address contains a firm name assigned a unique ZIP+4 code in the USPS ZIP+4 Product, the unique ZIP+4 code must be used. If the firm name is not one assigned a unique ZIP+4 code in the USPS ZIP+4 Product and the apartment/suite number is included in the address, the ZIP+4 code for the range in which the apartment/suite number appears must be used in that address. If the firm name does not correspond to a firm name that has a unique ZIP+4 code assigned in the USPS ZIP+4 Product and the apartment/suite number is not included in the address, the ZIP+4 code for the building must be used.
If a secondary address designator (e.g., an apartment number) is shown in the address, the mailpiece must show the appropriate ZIP+4 code representing the range for that secondary address as contained in the current USPS ZIP+4 Product. If a secondary address designator is required to obtain an exact match with the finest level of ZIP+4 code in the USPS ZIP+4 Product but the information is not available, the alternative ZIP+4 code or ZIP+4 or delivery point barcode for the building must be used.
All letter-size reply cards and envelopes provided as enclosures in automation First-Class Mail and addressed for return to a domestic delivery address must meet the standards in 201.3.0, Physical Standards for Automation Letters and Cards, for enclosed reply cards and envelopes. The mailer must certify that this standard has been met when the corresponding mail is presented to the USPS.
A card may be a single or double (reply) stamped card or a single or double postcard. Stamped cards are available from USPS with postage imprinted on them. Postcards are commercially available or privately printed mailing cards. To be eligible for a card rate, a card and each half of a double card must meet the physical standards in 201.1.2 and the applicable eligibility and preparation standards for the rate claimed. Ineligible cards are subject to letter-size rates. Cards may be prepared and mailed at the First-Class Mail single-piece card rate, Presorted card rate, or automation card rates.