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Quick Service Guide 230b

Commercial Letters and Postcards

First-Class Mail Nonmachinable Letters

January 4, 2010
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Physical Standards (201)

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Minimum
Maximum
Length
5 inches
11-1/2 inches
Height
3-1/2 inches
6-1/8 inches
Thickness
0.007
1/4 inch

Maximum weight: 3.5 ounces. All letter-size pieces over 3.5 ounces are prepared as letters and charged the flat-size prices.

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

Prices and Fees (233.1.0)

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Postage is based on the weight of each addressed piece. First-Class Mail letters are charged per ounce or fraction thereof; any fraction of an ounce is considered a whole ounce.

Letters are subject to a nonmachinable surcharge if they meet any of the characteristics in 201.2.1. The nonmachinable characteristics do not apply to pieces mailed at postcard prices.

Annual presort mailing fee applies.

Content (233.2.0)

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

Eligibility Standards (233.4.0)

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Mailings of 500 or more addressed pieces, sorted and marked as described below. All pieces must be letter-size and meet one of the nonmachinable criteria in 201.1.0. Pieces mailed at card prices and pieces mailed at letter prices must meet separate 500-piece minimums.

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

Addresses on all pieces must be updated within 95 days before mailing through a USPS-approved address update method (e.g., ACS, NCOALink, FASTforward, or the appropriate ancillary service endorsement except Forwarding Service Requested, under 507.1.5). For an overview of the Move Update standards, see Quick Service Guide 230a.

A certified process (233.3.6.2) must be used within 12 months before mailing to ensure accuracy of 5-digit ZIP Codes.

Mailers can apply Repositionable Notes for an additional charge. See 705.21.0.

Postage Payment and Documentation (234)

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Precanceled stamp (604.3.0), meter (604.4.0), or permit imprint (604.5.0).

Additional standards apply to mailings of nonidentical-weight pieces.

Documentation:

  • Postage statement: PS Form 3600-R, PS Form 3600-EZ, or approved facsimile.
  • Supporting documentation: required unless correct price is affixed to each piece or unless each piece is of identical weight and separated by price when presented for acceptance; documentation generated by PAVE-certified software (or printed in standardized format).

Mail Preparation (235.5.3)

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Mark each piece "Presorted" or "PRSRT" and "First-Class Mail" in the postage area. For optional marking location, see 202.3.0.

When preparing full trays, mailers must fill all possible 2-foot trays first; if there is mail remaining for the presort destination, mailers must use a combination of 1-foot and 2-foot trays that result in the fewest total number of trays for that presort level.

Use 2-inch tray labels (245.4.0).

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

Enter and Deposit (236)

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Mailing entered at an acceptance point designated by USPS.

Preparation

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Bundling and Traying Sequence (235.5.3)
5-Digit
Bundles: Required, pieces must be bundled if 10 or more pieces to same 5-digit ZIP Code; fewer than 10 pieces in a bundle not permitted. Bundling not required if sufficient quantity to fill a 5-digit tray.
Labels: Red Label 5 or optional endorsement line (OEL) (708.7.0).
3-Digit
Bundles: Required, pieces must be bundled if 10 or more pieces to same 3-digit ZIP Code prefix; fewer than 10 pieces in a bundle not permitted.1
Labels: Green Label 3 or OEL.
ADC
Bundles: Required, pieces must be bundled if 10 or more pieces to same ADC (see L004); fewer than 10 pieces in a bundle not permitted.1
Labels: Pink Label A or OEL.
Mixed ADC
Bundles: Required, any remaining pieces must be bundled in mixed ADC bundles.
Labels: Tan Label X or OEL.

This graphic describes the packaging, labeling and sortation standards for nonmachinable First-Class Mail Letters and Cards as described in the text.

Trays: Required, full trays only for pieces to same 5-digit ZIP Code; bundling not required; less-than-full trays not permitted.
Labels: For Line 1, use city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code on mail.
Price: Presorted
Trays: Required, full trays only for bundles to same 3-digit ZIP Code prefix; less-than-full trays not permitted.
Exception: One less-than-full tray must be prepared for any remaining bundles for each origin 3-digit ZIP Code prefix.
Labels: For Line 1, use L002, Column A, for destination facility.
Price: Presorted
Trays: Required, full trays only for bundles to same ADC (see L004); less-than-full trays not permitted.
Labels: For Line 1, use L004, Column B, for destination facility.
Price: Presorted
Trays: Required for any remaining bundles placed in mixed ADC trays; only one less-than-full tray permitted.
Labels: For Line 1, use L201. For mail originating in 3-digit ZIP Codes in Column A, use "MXD" followed by city/state/3-digit ZIP Code in Column C.
Price: Presorted
Bundling required in mailings consisting entirely of postcard-size pieces and for other pieces in less-than-full trays.
The maximum bundle thickness is 6 inches (235.2.3).
1Bundling not required if sufficient quantity to fill a tray and none of the mail in the tray would have been more finely sorted if bundled (235.2.4).

 

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