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August 18

August 18, 2009


Move Update Standard


The Move Update standard requires that mailers select one of the postal-approved methods to periodically update the addresses contained within a mailing list by comparing the address records on the mailing list against customer-filed change-of-address (COA) orders and making the necessary updates before mailing. Compliance with the Move Update standard reduces the number of mailpieces that require forwarding or return-to-sender services.


On November 23, 2008 we expanded the Move Update requirement to include all commercial Standard Mail. Commercial First-Class Mail has been subject to the Move Update requirement since July 1, 1997. We also changed the minimum frequency of Move Update processing from 185 days to 95 days prior to mailing. Customers must certify on their postage statements which Move Update method they used. Customers who do not use a USPS-approved Move Update method are subject to single-piece prices.


In April 2009, we began providing feedback to mailers on the quality of their Move Update process based on a verification process using live samples from the mailing. Business Mail Acceptance personnel share the results of the verifications and work with customers to improve addressing quality. These reports are also available online via the Business Customer Gateway. Refer to the Guide to Accessing Move Update reports at to understand how to access and use these reports. These reports are available at any site that uses the Mail Evaluation Readability Lookup Instrument (MERLIN) to perform verifications. A list of Business Mail Entry Units that use MERLIN is also posted on the RIBBS Move Update page. If you are not receiving reports or if you have questions about accessing reports you can send an email to


Beginning in January, we will use this information to assess additional postage on noncompliant mailings. Effective January 2010, a Move Update postage assessment will be calculated at acceptance if more than 30 percent of the addresses that should have been updated were not updated. This assessment will apply to a portion of the mailing based on the percentage by which the measured error rate exceeds the 30 percent tolerance. Mailers have the option to pay the additional postage or withdraw the mailing. For additional information regarding this, please refer to the Move Update Advisement Policy document at:


We will conduct educational Webinars on the Move Update Standard and the January changes. The Webinars are scheduled for September 3 and 15, 2009. The links and phone numbers to connect to the sessions will be published on RIBBS and in a future DMM Advisory.