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152 Payment Methods

152.1 Prepayment

Each item must be fully prepaid to ensure prompt dispatch and to avoid assessment of charges against the addressee. For the treatment of shortpaid and unpaid mail, see 420.

152.2 Computing Postage

152.21 Determining Single-Piece Weight

To determine single-piece weight in any mailing at single-piece prices, or in a bulk price mailing of nonidentical-weight pieces, weigh each piece individually. To determine single-piece weight in any other bulk or presort price mailing of identical-weight pieces (e.g., IPA or ISAL), 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.

152.22 Rounding Numerical Values

For these standards:

  1. Round off requires increasing by 1 the last digit to be kept if the digit to its right, which is not to be kept, is 5 or greater. If that digit is 4 or less, the last digit kept is unchanged (e.g., 3.3761 rounded off to two decimal places is 3.38, whereas 3.3741 is 3.37).
  2. Round up requires increasing by 1 the last digit to be kept if there are any digits to its right, regardless of value (e.g., rounding up either 3.3701 or 3.3791 to two decimal places yields 3.38).

152.3 Stamps

152.31 Types of Stamps

The following types of stamps may be used to pay for postage and fees for extra services listed under chapter 3 for all single-piece international mail transactions:

  1. Denominated postage stamps: A denominated postage stamp’s value is based on the dollar amount that is printed on the stamp. Any denominated postage stamp issued by the United States, unless listed in DMM 604.1.3, is valid for postage.
  2. Nondenominated postage stamps (excludes precanceled stamps under 152.33): A nondenominated postage stamp’s value is linked to its domestic postage issue price (e.g., the Antique Toys stamp, issued on June 7, 2002, has a postage value of 37 cents). A complete listing of nondenominated postage stamps is available in Quick Service Guide (QSG) 604a found online at
  3. Nondenominated semi-postal stamps: Nondenominated semi-postal stamps (e.g., Stop Family Violence or Breast Cancer Research) are sold at a price that exceeds the postage value of the stamp, with the amount exceeding postage going to the stated cause. Only their value (at the time of purchase) may be used to pay postage. A complete listing of these semi-postal stamps and their issue prices are available in QSG 604a found online at
  4. Forever Stamps (domestic): A domestic Forever stamp’s value is linked to the domestic First-Class Mail single-piece 1-ounce machinable letter price that is in effect on the day of use (mailing) regardless of when the stamp is purchased and regardless of how prices may change in the future.
  5. Global Forever Stamps: A Global Forever stamp’s value is linked to the First-Class Mail International single-piece 1-ounce machinable letter price that is in effect on the day of use (mailing) regardless of when the stamp is purchased and regardless of how prices may change in the future. Global Forever stamps can be used to mail a postcard or 1ounce machinable letter-size mailpiece anywhere in the world. In addition, mailers may use a Global Forever stamp as postage for any type of single-piece international or domestic mailpiece. Global Forever stamps are round and always bear the words “Global Forever.”
152.32 Additional Postage for Nondenominated Postage Stamps, Forever Stamps, or Forever Print-on-Demand Indicias

Because international postage prices are always higher than the comparable domestic postage prices, mailers who affix a single nondenominated postage stamp or a domestic Forever stamp to their outbound mailpieces must add additional postage to comply with the international price schedule.

152.33 Precanceled Stamps

Except for the “Nonprofit Org.” variant, mailers may use precanceled stamps for only IPA mailings (see 293.333) and ISAL mailings (see 293.333). The same conditions that are applicable to domestic mail under DMM 604 apply.

152.4 Postage Meters, Postage Validation Imprints (PVI), Forever Print-on-Demand Indicia, and PC Postage

Postage meter imprints, postage validation imprint (PVI) labels, Forever Print-on-Demand Indicia labels, and PC Postage imprints are collectively identified as “postage evidencing systems.” A postage evidencing system is a device or system of components that a customer uses to print evidence that postage required for mailing has been paid. Postage evidencing systems print indicia, such as meter imprints or information-based indicia (IBI), to indicate postage payment. Mailers may print these indicia directly on a mailpiece or on a label that is affixed to a mailpiece to pay postage and fees for extra services (see chapter 3) for all single-piece mail transactions. In addition, postage meters may also be used to pay for the “per piece price” portion of IPA (see 292) and ISAL (see 293) mailings. For additional information, including a listing of authorized postage meter and PC Postage providers, see DMM 604.4.

152.5 Additional Standards for Forever Print-on-Demand Indicia Labels

Mailers may use the USPS-produced Forever Print-on-Demand Indicia labels, which bear an information-based indicia (IBI) and the word “Forever,” in the same way as the Forever stamp described in 152.31d.

152.6 Permit Imprint

152.61 Conditions of Use

Postage may be paid by permit imprint, subject to the standards in DMM 124, 604, and 705. Postage charges are computed on PS Form 3700. This postage payment method may be used for postage and extra service fees for the following services:

  1. Global Express Guaranteed service prepared under 213.8.
  2. Express Mail International service prepared under 223.221.
  3. Priority Mail International service.
  4. First-Class Mail International service.
  5. First-Class Package International Service.
  6. International Priority Airmail (IPA) service.
  7. International Surface Air Lift (ISAL) service.
152.62 Place of Mailing

Mail must be deposited and accepted at the Post Office that issued the permit, at a time and place designated by the postmaster, except as otherwise provided for drop shipments.

152.63 Usage Criteria

To use a permit imprint for international mailing purposes, a mailer must enter a minimum of 200 pieces or 50 pounds of mail matter addressed to recipients in foreign countries. All of the mailpieces bearing a permit imprint do not have to be addressed to the same destination country. See 292.23 and 293.23 for the minimum quantity requirements that govern the entry of International Priority Airmail (IPA) items and International Surface Air Lift (ISAL) items, respectively.

Note: The 200-piece or 50-pound minimum requirement does not apply to M-bags.

152.64 Required Format

Each mailpiece sent under this payment method must bear a permit imprint indicia showing that postage is paid. Permit imprint indicia must be prepared in one of the formats shown in Exhibit 152.64. No variations or additions — such as Bulk Rate, Media Mail, Presorted Standard, Enhanced Carrier Route Sort, Automation Rate, Nonprofit Organization, or Bound Printed Matter — are allowed. Mailpieces may bear a company permit imprint, in which the exact name of the company or individual holding the permit is shown in the indicium in place of the city, state, and permit number. The mailer may substitute the abbreviation “INTL” in place of “INTERNATIONAL” in any of the indicia formats in Exhibit 152.64. Mailings prepared with a company permit imprint must comply with the standards in DMM 604.5.3.9.

Exhibit 152.64 

Indicia Formats



Global Express Guaranteed indicia.


Express Mail International indicia.


Priority Mail International indicia.


Exhibit 152.64 

Indicia Formats (cont’d)



First Class Mail International indicia.



First Class Package International Service indicia.


Exhibit 152.64 

Indicia Formats (cont’d)



International Priority Airmail indicia.


International Surface Air Lift indicia.


M-Bags indicia.

Exhibit 152.64 

Indicia Formats (cont’d)



IPA M-Bags indicia.


ISAL M-Bags indicia.



Official Mail indicia.