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Quick Service Guide 230d
Discount Letters and Cards First-Class Mail
Automation Letters and Cards

January 2006
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Related QSGs

230a, First-Class Mail Move Update
201b, Using Tabs, Wafer Seals, and Glue Strips

 

Physical Standards (201)

Maximum weight: 3.3 ounces.

Heavy letter mail weighing more than 3 ounces must have a barcode in the address block and be prepared in a sealed envelope under 201.3.13.5.

For an overview of the physical standards for discount letters and cards, see Quick Service Guide 201.

 

Rates and Fees (233.1)

Weight Not
Over
(ounces)

Mixed AADC

AADC 3-Digit 5-Digit Carrier Route2
1 $0.326 $0.317 $0.308 $0.293 $0.290
2 0.563 0.554 0.545 0.530 0.527
3 0.757 0.748 0.739 0.724 0.721
3.3 0.994 0.985 0.976 0.961 0.958
Card Rate1 0.204 0.197 0.193 0.186 0.179

1. Rate shown applies to each single and double postcard when originally mailed.

2. Carrier Route rates limited to 5-digit ZIP Codes identified in the City State File.

Annual $160.00 presort mailing fee.

 

Content (233.2)

First-Class Mail is required for personal correspondence, handwritten or typewritten material, and bills or statements of account. It may also be used for any mailable item, including advertisements and lightweight merchandise.

 

Eligibility Standards (233.5)

Mailings of 500 or more addressed pieces, 100% delivery point barcoded, sorted, and marked as described below. All pieces must be automation-compatible (201.3). Pieces mailed at card rates and pieces mailed at letter rates must meet separate 500-piece minimums.

Each piece must also include a complete delivery address with correct ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code.

For address standards, see 233.5.6; for barcode standards see 708.4; and for CASS/MASS standards see 708.3.

Addresses on all pieces must be updated within 185 days before mailing through a USPS-approved address update method (e.g., ACS, NCOALink, FASTforward, or the appropriate ancillary service endorsement under 507). For an overview of the move update standards, see Quick Service Guide 230a.

Addresses must be matched using CASS/MASS-certified process within 180 days before mailing.

Carrier route information updated using CASS-certified process within 90 days before mailing.

All letter-size reply cards and envelopes (business reply, courtesy reply, and metered reply mail) provided as enclosures must meet the standards in 201.3.14.

Mailers can apply Repositionable Notes ("sticky notes") for an additional charge of $0.005. See 709.7.

 

Postage Payment and Documentation (234)

Precanceled stamp (604.3), meter (604.4), or permit imprint (604.5).

Additional standards apply to mailings of nonidentical-weight pieces.

Documentation:

  • Postage statement: Form 3600-R or approved facsimile.
  • Form 3553 must be retained for 1 year (708.3.5.2).
  • Supporting documentation: required unless correct rate affixed to each piece or unless each piece is of identical weight and separated by rate when presented for acceptance; documentation generated by PAVE-certified software (or printed in standardized format).

 

Mail Preparation (235)

Mark each piece: "PRESORTED or "PRSRT" and "FIRST-CLASS" in the postage area. For optional marking location, see 202.3.

Pieces mailed at carrier route rate must bear an "AUTOCR" marking. Non-carrier route rates marked "First-Class" must also bear the "AUTO" marking. Non-carrier route pieces marked "Presorted (or PRSRT) First-Class" bearing a Delivery Point Barcode in the address block or on an insert visible through a window do not require the additional "AUTO" marking. For rate markings applied by MLOCRs, see 202.3.5. For additional marking standards for carrier route pieces, see 708.8. Pieces not claimed at an automation rate must not be marked "AUTO" or "AUTOCR" unless single-piece postage is affixed or a corrective single-piece rate marking is applied under 235.5.1.2 (202.3).

1-foot or 2-foot trays used (235.3.3) where appropriate (e.g., when there is enough mail to fill a 2-foot tray, a 2-foot tray must be used).

Barcoded tray labels required (235.4.9).

See reverse for preparation and labeling.

Trays sleeved and strapped (235.3.4). See 235.3.5 for exceptions to strapping for mixed AADC trays and mailings that originate and destinate in delivery area of same SCF.

 

Enter and Deposit (236)

Mailing entered at an acceptance point designated by USPS.

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.

 

Traying Sequence (235.6)


5-Digit/Scheme

Trays: Optional, 150 pieces to same 5-digit ZIP Code/scheme destination; packaging not permitted; only one overflow tray permitted per destination.

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1: use city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code on mail; on optional 5-digit scheme trays, use destination in City State File.

Rate: 5-Digit


3-Digit/Scheme
(Required)

Trays: Required, 150 pieces to same 3-digit ZIP Code/scheme destination; bundling not permitted; only one overflow tray permitted per destination. (Exception: After all full trays are prepared, one less-than-full tray must be prepared for any remaining pieces for each 3-digit ZIP Code/scheme of SCF serving post office where mail is verified.)

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use L002, Column B, for destination facility.

Rate: 3-Digit or AADC1


AADC

Trays: Required, 150 pieces to same AADC; bundling not permitted; pieces within trays grouped by 3-digit/scheme destination; only one overflow tray permitted per destination.

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use L801, Column B, for destination facility.

Rate: AADC


Mixed AADC

Trays: Required for all remaining pieces placed in mixed AADC trays; pieces within trays grouped by AADC tray; only one less-than-full mixed AADC tray permitted per mailing.

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use "MXD" followed by city/state/ZIP Code of origin facility in L002, Column C.

Rate: Mixed AADC

This graphic shows the traying sequence for First-Class Mail Automation Letters and Cards.

1. AADC rate for any 3-digit/scheme tray for the origin SCF area containing fewer than 150 pieces.

2. Use "5D BC" on 5-digit trays; on optional 5-digit scheme trays, use "BC 5D SCHEME."

3. Use "3D BC" on 3-digit trays; on 3-digit scheme trays, use "BC SCHEME" and, if applicable, as shown in L002, Column B, followed by the letter "A," "B," or "C."

Where overflow trays are permitted, they are required for required presort levels and optional for optional presort levels (235.3.3).

 

Optional Carrier Route Preparation
At least 10 or more pieces to same carrier route (city route, rural route, highway contract route, post office box section, or general delivery unit); fewer than 10 pieces per route not permitted. Use an optional endorsement line or carrier route information line.


Carrier Route

Trays: Full trays only for pieces to same carrier route; bundling not permitted. Card-size pieces must be bundled. Less-than-full trays not permitted.

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code on mail.

Rate: Carrier Route


5-Digit Carrier Routes

Trays: Required if enough mail for a full tray, optional otherwise. After all full carrier route trays are prepared, remaining carrier route pieces (10 or more per route) must be grouped (use separator cards in full trays and banding material in less-than-full trays) and placed in 5-digit carrier routes trays (no minimum number of pieces per tray).

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code on mail.

Rate: Carrier Route


3-Digit Carrier Routes

Trays: Carrier route bundles only; optional with minimum one 10-piece carrier route bundle for each of two or more 5-digit areas.

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use city, state, and 3-digit ZIP Code prefix shown in L002, Column A.

Rate: Carrier Route

This graphic shows the optional Carrier Route Preparation for First-Class Mail Automation Letters and Cards.

Carrier route rates limited to 5-digit ZIP Codes identified in the City State File.

Bundling required in all mailings consisting entirely of postcard-size pieces and for pieces in overflow, less-than-full, and 3-digit carrier routes trays.

 

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