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Quick Service Guide 201b
Discount Letters and Cards
Using Tabs, Wafer Seals, and Glue Strips

January 2006
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Overview

Unenveloped letter-size mailpieces prepared for automation rate mailings must be secured (tabbed) to prevent an open edge from jamming high-speed processing equipment. Standards for tabbing are based on basis weight of paper stock used and the location of the folded or bound edge. As an alternative to tabs or wafer seals, the open edge of the length of the mailpiece may be continuously glued or spot glued. Continuous glue or spot glue is permissible with single-sheet self-mailers and cards.

 

Physical Standards (210.3.10)

Number and location of tabs or wafer seals are specified for particular types of letter-size mail. In all cases, additional tabs may be used.

Tabs, wafer seals, cellophane tape, or permanent glue (continuous or spot) must not interfere with recognition of the barcode, rate marking, postage identification, or required address information. In all cases additional tabs or seals may be used. Cellophane tape is not acceptable within the barcode clear zone. Tabs or wafer seals placed in the barcode clear zone must contain a paper face meeting the standards for background reflectance and, if the barcode is not preprinted by the mailer, the standards for water-based ink.  

Adequate adhesion is required.

Basis weight: the minimum basis weight standards vary, depending on the construction of the mailpiece (see reverse) and the sheet size below.

 

Letter-Size Folded Self-Mailers (201.3.14.2)

Folded edge (top or bottom) must be parallel to the longest dimension (length) and address of the mailpiece.

With one tab or wafer seal: folded edge at bottom of mailpiece, tab or wafer seal in middle of top edge of mailpiece.

  • Single folded sheet, sealed with one tab or wafer seal, minimum basis weight: 28 pounds (17 by 22 inches by 500 sheets) or 70 pounds (25 by 38 inches by 500 sheets).
  • Two or more sheets, sealed with one tab or wafer seal, minimum basis weight: 24 pounds (17 by 22 inches by 500 sheets) or 60 pounds (25 by 38 inches by 500 sheets).

With two tabs or wafer seals: minimum basis weight 20 pounds (17 by 22 inches by 500 sheets) if folded edge is at top or bottom of the mailpiece. Tabs or wafer seals must be placed within 1 inch of the right and left edges of mailpiece (see reverse).

With folded edge on right (leading) edge: left (trailing) edge secured with at least one tab or a glue line; additional tabs may be required based on trim size and basis weight. Pieces 7 or more inches in length must be secured at top and bottom edges and be preapproved by the USPS.

 

Letter-Size Booklet-Type Mailpiece (201.3.13.3)

The bound edge (spine) must be at the bottom and parallel to the longest dimension (length) and the address of the mailpiece, unless preapproved by the USPS. The mailpiece must be tabbed (secured) in one of two ways:

  • Top (unbound edge) must have at least two tabs or wafer seals placed within 1 inch of the right and left edges (see reverse).
  • The right (leading) and left (trailing) edges must be secured with tabs or wafer seals placed within 1 inch of the top right and top left edges of the mailpiece.

Cover must have a minimum basis weight of 20 pounds.

With spine on right (leading) edge: minimum basis weight 20-pound bond paper. Address must be parallel to longest dimension (length) and unbound left (trailing) edge must be tabbed (secured):

  • If no more than 4-1/4 inches high and 6 inches long, one tab or wafer seal in middle of trailing left edge.
  • If more than 4-1/4 inches high and 6 inches long, two tabs or wafer seals within 1 inch of top and bottom edges.

 

Postcard (201.3.13.4)

Minimum basis weight 75 pounds or greater. Double postcards must have folded edge at the top or bottom. The open edge must be secured with one tab in the middle.

 

Flat-Size Booklet-Type Mailers (301.3.8.4)

The contents of the mailpiece prepared in sleeves or other wrappers must be sufficiently secure in the sleeve or wrapper to stay in place during processing. If material bearing the delivery information or barcode for the mailpiece is enclosed in a partial wrapper, that wrapper must be sufficiently secure to prevent the contents from shifting and obscuring the delivery address or barcode.

For the specific DMM standards applicable to this category of mail, consult the DMM sections referenced above and the general sections within each DMM module.

 

Placement of Tabs and Wafer Seals

Specifications for Automation-Compatible Letter-Size Mailpieces

This graphic show the placement of tabs and wafer seals.

 

Double Postcard
Tabs                 1 (middle)
Folded Edge     Top or Bottom
Sheets               Single
Basis Weight     75 lb.

This graphic shows a double postcard.

 

Folded Self-Mailer
Tabs                2 (start < 1 inch from edges)
Folded Edge    Top or Bottom
Sheets              Single
Basis Weight    20 lb.

This graphic shows a folded self-mailer Basis weight 20 lb.

 

Folded Self-Mailer
Tabs                1 (middle)
Folded Edge     Bottom
Sheets               Multiple
Basis Weight     24 lb.

This graphic shows a folded self-mailer basis weight  24 lb.

 

Folded Self-Mailer
Tabs               1 (middle)
Folded Edge    Bottom
Sheets              Single
Basis Weight    28 lb.

This graphic shows a Folded Self-Mailer Basis weight 28 lb.

 

Folded Self-Mailer1
Tabs                 1 (middle)
Folded Edge     Right
Sheets               Single
Basis Weight     75 lb.

This graphic shows a folded self-mailer basis weight 75 lb.

 

Folded Self-Mailer 
(Invitation Fold)
Tab                    Address Label
Folds                 Top and Bottom
Sheets                Multiple
Basis Weight      20 lb.

This graphic shows a folded self-mailer (invitational fold).

Folded Self-Mailer 
(Continuous Glue Strip)

Open Edge             Top
Folded Edge           Bottom
Sheets                    Single
Basis Weight          20 lb.

This graphic shows Folded Self-Mailer (Continuous Glue Strip).

 

Booklet
Tabs               2 (start < 1 inch from edges)
Spine              Bottom
Sheets             Multiple with Cover
Basis Weight   20 lb. (Cover)

This graphic shows a Booklet as described in text.

 

Folded Booklet
Tabs                         2 (start < 1 inch from edges)
Spine                        Top
Folded Edge             Bottom
Sheets                       Multiple with Cover
Basis Weight             20 lb. (Cover)

This graphic shows a Folded Booklet as described in text.

 

Folded Booklet
Tabs                         2 (start < 1 inch from top edge)
Spine                        Top
Folded Edge             Bottom
Sheets                       Multiple with Cover
Basis Weight             20 lb. (Cover)

This graphic shows a Folded Booklet.

 

Booklet
Tabs                          2 (start < 1 inch from top and bottom edges)
Spine                         Right (open edge left)
Sheets                       Multiple with Cover
Basis Weight             24 lb. (Cover)

This graphic shows a Booklet as described in text.

 

1. Pieces 7 inches or longer must be sealed on the top and bottom; the middle tab is optional (201.3.13.2c).

An 8-1/2 x 11 inch sheet of 20, 24, or 28 pound paper folded once to 8-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches does not meet the minimum thickness of 0.009 inch for an automation-compatible letter.

 

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