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Quick Service Guide 230a

Commercial Letters, Postcards, Flats, and Parcels

Move Update Standard

January 27, 2013
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Related QSG

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507, Ancillary Service Endorsements


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The Move Update standard is a means of reducing the number of mailpieces in a mailing that require forwarding or return by the periodic matching of a mailer’s address records with change-of-address orders received and maintained by the Postal Service. Mailers who claim presorted or automation prices for First-Class Mail or Standard Mail must demonstrate that they have updated their mailing list within 95 days before the mailing date.

The Postal Service offers four preapproved methods: Address Change Service (ACS), National Change of Address Linkage System (NCOALink), FASTforward, and ancillary service endorsements except for Forwarding Service Requested. Alternative methods that require separate approval also are offered for First-Class Mail. Mailers must use one of the preapproved or alternative methods to meet the Move Update standard.

The Move Update standard is met when an address used on a mailpiece in a mailing for any class of mail is updated with an approved method and the same address is used in a commercial First-Class Mail or Standard Mail mailing within 95 days after the address has been updated. Except for mail bearing an alternative address format, addresses used on all pieces claiming Standard Mail prices are required to meet the Move Update standard.

Address Change Service (507.4.2)

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Address Change Service (ACS) is an electronic enhancement to traditional, manual methods of providing change-of-address (COA) information to mailers. The system is designed to reduce the volume of manual (printed) address-correction notifications handled by both the Postal Service and mailers and to centralize and automate the provision of address correction information to mailers. Mailers add a unique mailer identification code to the address area of their mailpieces to identify them as ACS participants.

ACS may be used on any class of mail to qualify the addresses in a mailing list that is also used for First-Class Mail or Standard Mail mailings. First-Class Mail mailers who are ACS participants may use the ancillary service endorsement “Change Service Requested” to receive an electronic notice of the change-of-address information and prevent the mailpiece from being forwarded to the new address or returned to the sender. Electronic notices can be obtained on a variety of electronic media.

A mailer may determine the frequency with which to use an ancillary endorsement and ACS participant code, as long as the mailer can certify that each address in a First-Class Mail or Standard Mail mailing has been updated for customer moves within 95 days before the mailing date.

ACS is available for First-Class Mail, Periodicals, and Standard Mail. ACS is available monthly, weekly, or more frequently, depending on the needs and ACS volume of the mailer.

See example of an ACS code in Quick Service Guide 708, Optional Information Lines.


National Change of Address Linkage System (602.5.0)

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National Change of Address Linkage System (NCOALink) is an address correction service provided to mailers through companies licensed by the Postal Service. Updated change-of-address information for the entire country is provided on a regular basis to the licensees by the Postal Service. The licensees match mailing lists submitted to them by mailers on tape or disk against the computerized information. If a match is made, NCOALink can correct the address before it is printed.


For more information about NCOALink, including a list of licensees, see Postal Explorer ( > Address Quality > Address Management Services > Move Update > NCOA Link Systems.

FASTforward (507.4.3)

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The FASTforward system consists of a Postal Service-owned and user-licensed computer system containing FASTforward name- and address-matching software and a change-of-address database. The FASTforward database is updated weekly.

Multiline optical character readers (MLOCRs) – Licensed FASTforward MLOCR users must obtain an approved interface from their MLOCR vendors.

For a list of FASTforward licensees, see Postal Explorer ( > Address Quality > Address Management Services > Move Update > FASTforward > Licensees.

Benefits: When FASTforward is used in conjunction with either MLOCR (and/or RVE) processing, mailpieces avoid the delays associated with traditional mail forwarding.

Ancillary Service Endorsements (507.1.5)

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Any mailer may use one of the four ancillary service endorsements below to request a notification of the addressee’s new address and provide the Postal Service with instruction on how to handle undeliverable-as-addressed mail. When these endorsements are used without participation in ACS, manual notices are provided. The handling of Standard Mail items participating in ACS may be different than noted below. See DMM Exhibit 507.1.5.3a.

Mailers may use the following endorsements with First-Class Mail and Standard Mail service to initiate this updating method:

Address Service Requested: The mailpiece is forwarded to the new location when possible and a printed notice is returned to the mailer with the new address information. This notice is then used by the mailer to update the address list.

Return Service Requested: The mailpiece is returned with the new address information affixed. No forwarding service is provided. The return of First-Class Mail is provided at no charge. Standard Mail is returned at either the single-piece First-Class Mail or Priority Mail price, depending on the weight of the piece. The mailer then updates the address information in the file and may mail a new piece to the new address.

Change Service Requested: A separate notice of new address or reason for nondelivery is provided (in either case, an electronic address correction fee is charged); USPS disposes of the mailpiece. This endorsement is available only when used in conjunction with electronic Address Change Service for First-Class Mail pieces.

Temp-Return Service Requested: This endorsement is only available for First-Class Mail pieces. The mailpiece is returned with the new address or reason for nondelivery attached. If this is a temporary change of address, the piece is forwarded; no separate notice of new temporary change-of-address is provided.

For an address to meet the Move Update requirement by this method, the mailer must send at least one letter or card to the address with an approved ancillary service endorsement within 95 days before reuse of the address in a First-Class Mail mailing. To complete the Move Update process, the mailer must make the address changes received as a result of the use of the approved ancillary service endorsement. It is recommended that mailers retain address correction records for up to two years.

Benefits: Ancillary service endorsements allow the sender to obtain, on request, the addressee’s new (forwarding) address (if the addressee filed a change-of-address order with the Postal Service) or the reason for nondelivery. These endorsements also provide the Postal Service with instructions for the disposition of undeliverable-as-addressed mail.

Alternative Methods (602.5.0)

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Mailer Move Update Process Certification and USPS-approved alternative methods for mailers with legitimate restrictions on incorporating USPS-supplied change-of-address information into their mailing lists. The National Customer Support Center administers and approves both Mailer Move Update Process Certification and alternative methods.

Additional Information

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Phone: National Customer Support Center (NCSC) at (800) 238-3150.

Internet: Postal Explorer ( > Address Quality > Address Management Services > Move Update.


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