USPS Homepage Skip navigation     USPS Home | Postal Explorer Home
Section divider line


Quick Service Guide 240d

Commercial Letters and Postcards

Standard Mail Carrier Route Letters

January 4, 2010
Printer-Friendly PDF

Related QSG

Section divider line

703, Standard Mail Nonprofit Eligibility

Physical Standards (201)

Section divider line

Maximum weight: 3.5 ounces.

Heavy letter mail weighing more than 3 ounces must have a barcode in the address block and be prepared in a sealed envelope in 201.3.6.

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

Prices and Fees (243.1.0)

Section divider line

For a complete listing of commercial Standard Mail prices, see Notice 123-Price List.

For pieces that weigh more than 3.3 but not more than 3.5 ounces, see 243.1.3. For pieces that are not automation compatible, or not barcoded, or for pieces weighing more than 3.3 ounces, see 243.1.4 (Regular) or 243.1.4 (Nonprofit).

There are no Standard Mail card prices; cards may be mailed at the letter prices.

Destination discounts (243.1.0) apply to mail prepared as prescribed by USPS and addressed for delivery within service area of destination BMC/ASF or SCF (246.2.0).

Annual presort mailing fee applies.

Content (243.2.0)

Section divider line

Letters containing mailable items not required to be sent using First-Class Mail can be sent using Standard Mail. Standard Mail is typically used for advertisements and flyers. Additional content restrictions must be met for authorized nonprofit mailers (703.1.0).

Eligibility Standards (243.6.0)

Section divider line

Mailings of 200 or more addressed pieces, sorted and marked as described below. Pieces are eligible if not required to be mailed at First-Class Mail prices or not eligible for Periodicals prices. Nonprofit prices require specific authorization (703.1.0). Pieces must be part of a group of 10 or more to one carrier route, prepared in line-of-travel or walk sequence. All letter-price pieces must be automation compatible (201.3.0) and have a delivery point or Intelligent Mail barcode (708.4.0). Pieces not meeting these standards are mailable at the corresponding flat-size carrier-route prices (DDU discount not available for letter-size pieces). Exceptions apply to pieces with simplified addresses.

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

High-density, saturation, and basic letter-price mail subject to address standards in 243.7.5, barcode quality standards in 708.4.0, and CASS/MASS standards in 708.3.0.

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

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 507.1.5.3). For an overview of the Move Update standards, see Quick Service Guide 230a.

Postage Payment and Documentation (244)

Section divider line

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:
  • Regular: PS Form 3602-R, or approved facsimile.
  • Nonprofit: PS Form 3602-N, 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).
  • Additional documentation to support density standards (245.6.9).

Mail Preparation (245.6.0)

Section divider line

Marking on each piece in the postage area (202.3.0):

  • Regular: "Presorted Standard" or "PRSRT STD," "Standard" or "STD."
  • Nonprofit: "Nonprofit Organization" or "NONPROFIT ORG." or "NONPROFIT."
  • Basic, high-density, and saturation price pieces must also be marked "ECRLOT," "ECRWSH," or "ECRWSS," respectively, in the correct optional endorsement line under 708.7.0 or in correct carrier route information line under 708.8.0, or postage area. Mailings consisting of bundles claimed at more than one enhanced carrier route price must bear appropriate marking for price claimed. Pieces not claimed at corresponding price must not be included in mailing and must not bear the "ECRLOT," "ECRWSH," or "ECRWSS" marking. For additional marking standards for carrier route pieces, see 708.8.0.

Basic price mail must be in line-of-travel (LOT) or in walk sequence (245.6.8).

High-density (WSH) and saturation (WSS) price mail must be in walk sequence (245.6.8).

Letter-size pieces that are claimed at nonletter prices must be marked, sorted, and trayed as letters.

Barcoded tray labels required (245.4.9). Use 2-inch tray labels for all letter-size pieces (245.4.2).

The mailer must retain required documentation in 708.3.5.2 for 1 year.

Trays must be sleeved and strapped (245.3.4). See 245.3.5 for exceptions to strapping for mailings that originate and destinate in delivery area of same SCF and for trays not processed at a BMC.

Enter and Deposit (246)

Section divider line

Mailing entered at an acceptance point designated by USPS.

Preparation

Section divider line
Preparation for Barcoded Automation-Compatible Letters 3 Ounces or Less (245.6.7)
Required for Saturation, High Density, and Basic barcoded and automation-compatible letter-size mail weighing up to 3 ounces. For all other mail, use the preparation on page three.
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.

This graphic shows the package preparation for Standard Mail Enhanced Carrier Route Letters 3 ounces or less as described in the text.

Carrier Route
Trays: Required, full trays only for pieces to the same carrier route; overflow trays not permitted.
Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code on mail. For Line 2, use "STD LTR BC WSS" for saturation, or "STD LTR BC WSH" for high density, or "STD LTR BC LOT" for basic followed by route type and number.
Price: Saturation, High Density, or Basic
5-Digit Carrier Routes
Trays: Required, full trays only for pieces to the same 5-digit carrier routes; group pieces by carrier route; bundling not permitted. Overflow trays not permitted.
Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code on mail. For Line 2, use "STD LTR 5D CR-RT BC."
Price: Saturation, High Density, or Basic
3-Digit Carrier Routes
Trays: Required, for any remaining pieces, group pieces by carrier route. Bundling required in less than full trays
Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use city, state, and 3-digit ZIP Code prefix shown in L002, Column A, for 3-digit ZIP Code prefix on mail. For Line 2, use "STD LTR 3D CR-RT BC."
Price: Saturation, High Density, or Basic
Bundling not permitted except for card-sized pieces.
1. For saturation pieces, use "WSS," for high-density pieces, use "WSH," for basic pieces, use "LOT."

Preparation for Letters Over 3 Ounces and all Nonbarcoded or Nonautomation-Compatible Letters (245.6.6)
Bundle Preparation
Saturation1
Bundles: 10 or more pieces addressed to same carrier route2 must be prepared in bundles (unless placed in full carrier routes trays or placed in full 5-digit carrier routes trays with separator cards); fewer than 10 pieces allowed only if route has fewer than 10 delivery stops. Mail must be in walk-sequence order (245.6.8) and meet density standards.
Labels: Use optional endorsement line (OEL) stating carrier route description prefix and route number (708.8.0).4
Price: Saturation
High Density3
Bundles: 10 or more pieces addressed to same carrier route4 must be prepared in bundles (unless placed in full carrier routes trays or placed in full 5-digit carrier routes trays with separator cards). Mail must be in walk-sequence order (245.6.8) and meet density standards.
Labels: Use OEL with carrier route description prefix and route number (708.8.0).2
Price: High Density
Basic
Bundles: 10 or more pieces addressed to same carrier route4 must be prepared in bundles (unless placed in full carrier routes trays or placed in full 5-digit carrier routes trays with separator cards). Mail must be in line-of-travel or walk-sequence order (245.6.8).
Labels: Use OEL with carrier route description prefix and route number (708.8.0).2
Price: Basic

This graphic shows the bundle preparation for Standard Mail Enhanced Carrier Route Letters over 3 ounces as described in the text.

Tray Preparation
Carrier Route
Trays: Required, full trays only for pieces to same carrier route; smaller quantities not permitted; bundling not required except for card-sized pieces.
Labels: For Line 1, use city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code of destination. For Line 2, use "STD LTR MACH" and "WSS" for saturation, "WSH" for high density, or "LOT" for basic followed by route type and number.5,6
5-Digit Carrier Routes
Trays: Required if full tray, optional with one 10-piece bundle. No minimum number of carrier route bundles for same 5-digit area.
Labels: For Line 1, use city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code of destination. For Line 2, use "STD LTR 5D CR-RT MACH."5
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.
Labels: For Line 1, use city, state, and 3-digit ZIP Code prefix shown in L002, Column A. For Line 2, use "STD LTR 3D CR-RT MACH."5

This graphic shows the tray preparation for Standard Mail Enhanced Carrier Route Letters as described in the text.

1Minimum 90% total active residential or 75% total active deliveries per route (100% if simplified address (243.6.0)).
2Carrier route includes city route, rural route, highway contract route, post office box section, or general delivery unit.
3125-piece minimum per route unless route has fewer than 125 deliveries.
4No facing slip or OEL required if the bundle is placed in a carrier route tray. Bundles in 5-digit carrier routes trays and 3-digit carrier routes trays must have a facing slip unless the pieces in the bundle show a carrier route information line or an OEL (245.6.4).
5Use "BC" for trays containing barcoded, automation-compatible pieces over 3 ounces. Use "MAN" for trays containing nonmachinable pieces and trays containing simplified address pieces.
6For saturation pieces, use "WSS," for high-density pieces, use "WSH," for basic pieces, use "LOT."

 

Back to Top