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DMM Advisory 12/20/2004

January 18, 2005

The Postal Service has issued the third in a series of new and revised Customer Support Rulings (CSRs), PS-318, that will assist in understanding the revised Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) standards that go into effect June 1, 2005, concerning the use of “personal information” in Standard Mail matter.  This CSR will provide a clear example as to whether the mailing meets the test for including personal information in Standard Mail Because this CSR is written on the basis of the revised DMM language with an effective date of June 1, 2005, it contains links to the Federal Register of October 27, 2004 (69 FR 62578-62583), which announced the revised regulations. When a reader clicks on the links to the DMM language in the CSR, he or she will access the Federal Register notice. After June 1, the CSR will be revised to link to then current postal standards. 

In addition to the release of PS-318, four CSRs, PS-30, PS-38, PS-113, and PS-224 are rescinded due to outdated material or having been superseded by existing or new CSRs.

This is a graphic of the process for determining Standard Mail Eligibility as described below.

Process for Determining Standard Mail Eligibility

The following seven-step process is a guide to help you determine whether a mailpiece meets the content requirements for Standard Mail. If the requirements are not met, the piece must be entered as First-Class Mail (or Express Mail). Additional requirements may be applicable, e.g., weight, volume, preparation and other non-content requirements. Steps 4 through 7 outline the steps, under standards effective June 1, 2005, for determining whether the presence of “personal” information in a mailpiece disqualifies it from entry at Standard Mail rates. The flow chart (above) provides a summary of these steps:

Step 1: Examine the entire mailpiece (E600, C600, C800, M010).

Step 2: Does the mailpiece contain typewritten or handwritten material (E110.3.3)? If yes, it is First-Class Mail. If no, proceed to Step 3.

Step 3: Does the mailpiece contain a bill or statement of account (E110.3.1)? If yes, it is First-Class Mail. If no, proceed to Step 4.

Step 4: Does the mailpiece contain “personal” information (E110.3.2)? If no, the mailpiece may be considered Standard Mail if all additional requirements are met. If yes, proceed to Step 5.

Step 5: Does the mailpiece contain an explicit advertisement for a product or service for sale or lease, or an explicit solicitation for a donation (E610.3.1a)? If no, it is First-Class Mail. If yes, proceed to Step 6.

Step 6: Is all of the “personal” information in the mailpiece directly related to the advertisement(s) or solicitation(s) (E610.3.1b)? If no, it is First-Class Mail. If yes, proceed to Step 7.

Step 7: Is the exclusive purpose of all “personal” information to support the advertisement(s) or solicitation(s) (E610.3.1c)? If no, it is First-Class Mail. If yes, the mailpiece may be considered Standard Mail if all additional requirements are met.