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243 Rates and Eligibility

1.0 Rates and Fees for Standard Mail

1.1 Rate Application

Postage is based on the rate that applies to the weight (postage) increment of each addressed piece. [P013.2.1]

1.2 Standard Mail Rate Application

Standard Mail rates are based on the weight of the pieces and are applied differently to pieces weighing less than or equal to 3.3 ounces (0.2063 pound) and those weighing more, as follows:

a. The appropriate minimum per piece rate applies to any Standard Mail piece that weighs 3.3 ounces or less.

b. A rate determined by adding the appropriate fixed per piece charge and the corresponding variable per pound charge (based on the weight of the piece) applies to any Standard Mail piece that weighs more than 3.3 ounces. [P013.4.0]

1.3 Regular Standard Mail—Presorted, Enhanced Carrier Route, and Automation Rates

 

Entry Discount

Presorted1

Enhanced Carrier Route (ECR)2

Automation

Basic

3/5

Basic

High
Density

Saturation

Automation
Basic

Mixed
AADC

AADC

3‑Digit

5‑Digit

Letters weighing 3.3 oz. or less

per piece rate

None

$0.268

$0.248

$0.194

$0.164

$0.152

$0.171

$0.219

$0.212

$0.203

$0.190

DBMC

0.247

0.227

0.173

0.143

0.131

0.150

0.198

0.191

0.182

0.169

DSCF

0.242

0.222

0.168

0.138

0.126

0.145

---

0.186

0.177

0.164

DDU

---

---

0.162

0.132

0.120

0.139

---

---

---

---

more than
3.3 oz3

per pound rate

None

$0.708

$0.708

$0.610

$0.610

$0.610

$0.610

$0.708

$0.708

$0.708

$0.708

DBMC

0.608

0.608

0.510

0.510

0.510

0.510

0.608

0.608

0.608

0.608

DSCF

0.583

0.583

0.485

0.485

0.485

0.485

0.583

0.583

0.583

0.583

DDU

---

---

0.453

0.453

0.453

0.453

---

---

---

---

+

 

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

per piece rate

 

0.198

0.142

0.068

0.0384

0.026 4

0.045 4

0.073 4

0.066 4

0.057 4

0.044 4

  1. Nonmachinable letters (see 201.2.0) are subject to a surcharge of $0.04.
  2. ECR High Density letters or ECR Saturation letters that are not automation-compatible are mailable at the applicable flat rate (201.3.0).
  3. For pieces weighing more than 3.3 ounces, each piece is subject to both a per piece rate and a per pound rate. Multiply the number of pieces in the mailing by per piece rate. Multiply the number of pounds of the mailing by per pound rate. Add both totals.
  4. Per piece rate for ECR letters and automation letters that weigh more than 3.3 oz. but less than (or equal to) 3.5 oz. includes a discount from the nonletter rate (more than 3.3 oz.) that equals the applicable nonletter rate (3.3 oz. or less) minus the applicable letter piece rate (3.3 oz. or less).

[R600.1.1, R600.1.3, R600.2.1, R600.2.3]

1.4 Nonprofit Standard Mail—Presorted, Enhanced Carrier Route, and Automation Rates

 

Entry
Discount

Presorted1

Enhanced Carrier Route (ECR)2

Automation

Basic

3/5

Basic

High
Density

Saturation

Automation
Basic

Mixed
AADC

AADC

3‑Digit

5‑Digit

Letters weighing 3.3 oz. or less

per piece rate

None

$0.165

$0.153

$0.126

$0.102

$0.095

$0.111

$0.144

$0.136

$0.129

$0.114

DBMC

0.144

0.132

0.105

0.081

0.074

0.090

0.123

0.115

0.108

0.093

DSCF

0.139

0.127

0.100

0.076

0.069

0.085

---

0.110

0.103

0.088

DDU

---

---

0.094

0.070

0.063

0.079

---

---

---

---

more than
3.3 oz3

per pound rate

None

$0.584

$0.584

$0.370

$0.370

$0.370

$0.370

$0.584

$0.584

$0.584

$0.584

DBMC

0.484

0.484

0.270

0.270

0.270

0.270

0.484

0.484

0.484

0.484

DSCF

0.459

0.459

0.245

0.245

0.245

0.245

0.459

0.459

0.459

0.459

DDU

---

---

0.213

0.213

0.213

0.213

---

---

---

---

+

 

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

per piece rate

 

0.110

0.063

0.050

0.0264

0.019 4

0.035 4

0.024 4

0.016 4

0.009 4

‑0.006 4

  1. Nonmachinable letters (see 201.2.0) are subject to a surcharge of $0.02.
  2. ECR High Density letters or ECR Saturation letters that are not automation-compatible are mailable at the applicable flat rate (201.3.0).
  3. For pieces weighing more than 3.3 ounces, each piece is subject to both a per piece rate and a per pound rate. Multiply the number of pieces in the mailing by per piece rate. Multiply the number of pounds of the mailing by per pound rate. Add both totals.
  4. Per piece rate for ECR letters and automation letters that weigh more than 3.3 oz. but less than (or equal to) 3.5 oz. includes a discount from the nonletter rate (more than 3.3 oz.) that equals the applicable nonletter rate (3.3 oz. or less) minus the applicable letter piece rate (3.3 oz. or less).

[R600.3.1, R600.3.3, R600.4.1, R600.4.3]

1.5 Nonmachinable Surcharge

Surcharge per piece:

a. Presorted Regular: $0.04.

b. Presorted Nonprofit: $0.02. [R600.5.0]

1.6 Fees

1.6.1 Presort Mailing Fee

Mailing fee, per 12‑month period: $150.00. [R600.8.1]

1.6.2 Weighted Fee

For return of pieces bearing the ancillary service markings "Address Service Requested" and "Forwarding Service Requested."

weighted fee

Single Piece
Weight Not Over (ounces)

Weighted Fee per Piece1

Card Rate

$0.57

1

0.92

2

1.49

3

2.06

4

2.63

5

3.19

6

3.76

7

4.33

8

4.90

9

5.47

10

6.04

11

6.61

12

7.17

13

7.74

Over 13
but under 16

9.52

  1. Weighted fee equals single-piece First-Class Mail or Priority Mail rate multiplied by 2.472. Nonmachinable surcharge may apply.

[R600.8.2]

1.7 Computing Postage for Standard Mail

1.7.1 Weight

To compute the total weight of the addressed pieces in a mailing or mailing segment for:

a. Identical‑weight pieces, multiply the computed average weight of a single piece by the corresponding number of pieces; do not round the product.

b. Nonidentical‑weight pieces, add the actual weight of the individual pieces or weigh the entire mailing in bulk; do not round either result. [P013.8.1]

1.7.2 Determining Single‑Piece Weight

To determine single‑piece weight in any mailing of nonidentical‑weight pieces, weigh each piece individually. To determine single‑piece weight in a mailing of identical‑weight pieces, weigh a sample group of at least 10 randomly selected pieces and divide the total sample weight by the number of pieces in the sample. Express all single‑piece weights in decimal pounds rounded off to four decimal places. [P013.1.3]

1.7.3 Net Postage

Postage is computed at the applicable rates on the entire mailing to be mailed at one time. The net postage rate that must be paid is either the applicable minimum per piece rate or the piece/pound rate, as reduced by any discounts for which the piece is eligible, and/or as increased by any surcharge to which the piece is subject. The net postage rate is commonly designated by the name of the primary rate category or discount (e.g., Enhanced Carrier Route rate, automation letter rate, automation flat rate, Presorted rate). [E610.5.6]

1.7.4 Per Piece and Per Pound Charges

The per piece charge is computed based on the total number of addressed pieces for each rate category claimed. The minimum rate may apply to each piece as detailed in 1.2, Standard Mail Rate Application. Otherwise, the per piece charge must be added to the per pound charge to determine total postage. Where applicable, the per pound charge is computed based on the total weight of the addressed pieces for each rate category claimed, and is added to the per piece charge to determine total postage. For example, a quantity of pieces weighing 100.25 pounds is charged 100.25 times the applicable rate per pound, based on the rate claimed, plus one unit of the applicable per piece charge for each addressed piece. [P013.8.2]

1.7.5 Computing Affixed Postage

To compute postage to be affixed to each piece, multiply the weight of the piece (in pounds) by the applicable rate per pound; add the applicable per piece charge and any surcharge; and round the sum up to the next tenth of a cent. The applicable minimum per piece charge must be affixed if it is more than the total computed per piece postage. [P013.8.3]

1.7.6 Computing Affixed Postage—Heavy Letters

To compute postage to be affixed to each piece, multiply the weight of the piece (in pounds) by the applicable rate per pound; add the applicable per piece charge, subtract the heavy letter discount (see 1.7.8 through 1.7.10); and round the sum up to the next tenth of a cent. [P013.8.4]

1.7.7 Permit Imprint

In any permit imprint mailing:

a. For each rate or rate category, multiply the number of addressed pieces by the corresponding rate per piece and (if applicable) multiply the unrounded total weight of the pieces by the corresponding rate per pound; round off each product to four decimal places.

b. Add the per piece and per pound charges and round off the total postage to the nearest whole cent. [P013.8.5]

1.7.8 Discount for Heavy Automation Letters

Automation letters that weigh more than 3.3 ounces but not more than 3.5 ounces are charged postage equal to the automation piece/pound rate for that piece and receive a discount equal to the corresponding automation nonletter piece rate (3.3 ounces or less) minus the corresponding automation letter piece rate (3.3 ounces or less). For automation ECR pieces, postage is calculated using the regular basic piece/pound rate and the regular basic nonletter piece rate. If a destination entry rate is claimed, the discount is calculated using the corresponding rates. [P013.8.6]

1.7.9 Discount for Heavy ECR Letters

Pieces that otherwise qualify for the high density or saturation letter rate and weigh more than 3.3 ounces but not more than 3.5 ounces pay postage equal to the piece/pound rate and receive a discount equal to the nonletter piece rate (3.3 ounces or less) minus the letter piece rate (3.3 ounces or less). If a destination entry rate is claimed, the discount is calculated using the corresponding rates. [P013.8.7]

1.7.10 Discount for Heavy ECR Basic Automation Letters

Pieces that otherwise qualify for the automation basic rate and weigh more than 3.3 ounces but not more than 3.5 ounces pay postage equal to the regular basic piece/pound rate and receive a discount equal to the regular basic nonletter piece rate (3.3 ounces or less) minus the automation basic piece rate (3.3 ounces or less). If a destination entry rate is claimed, the discount is calculated using the corresponding rates. [P013.8.8]

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2.0 Content Standards for Standard Mail Letters

2.1 Definition and Weight

Standard Mail consists of mailable matter that is neither mailed or required to be mailed as First‑Class Mail nor entered as Periodicals (unless permitted or required by standard) and that weighs less than 16 ounces. Standard Mail includes matter formerly classified as Standard Mail (A) and third‑class mail. [E610.1.1]

2.2 Postal Inspection

Standard Mail is not sealed against postal inspection. Regardless of physical closure, the mailing of articles at Standard Mail rates constitutes consent by the mailer to postal inspection of the contents. [E610.1.2]

2.3 Circulars

Circulars, including printed letters that, according to their contents, are sent in identical terms to more than one person are Standard Mail. A circular does not lose its character as such if a date and the individual names of the addressee and sender are written (handwritten or typewritten) on the circular or written corrections of typographical errors are made on the circular. [E610.2.1]

2.4 Printed Matter

Printed matter may be sent as Standard Mail. For this standard, printed matter means paper on which words, letters, characters, figures, or images (or any combination of them), not having the character of a bill or statement of account or of actual and personal correspondence, are reproduced by any process other than handwriting or typewriting. [E610.2.2]

2.5 Computer‑Prepared Material

Computer‑prepared material is considered printed matter. Such material is not considered to have the character of actual and personal correspondence merely because it contains:

a. Specific information about a product (e.g., size, color, price) or a service being offered for sale or lease (e.g., the name, address, and telephone number of a company representative).

b. Information relating the addressee directly to an advertised product or service being offered for sale or lease.

c. Information such as the amount paid for a previous purchase, pledge, or donation, when associated with a sales promotion or solicitation for donations. [E610.2.3]

2.6 Attachments and Enclosures

2.6.1 Invoice

An invoice, whether it also serves as a bill, may be placed either inside a Standard Mail piece or in an envelope marked "Invoice Enclosed" and attached to the outside of the piece if the invoice relates solely to the matter with which it is mailed. The invoice may show this information:

a. Names and addresses of the sender and addressee.

b. Names and quantities of the articles enclosed, descriptions of each (e.g., price, tax, style, stock number, size, and quality, and, if defective, nature of defects).

c. Order or file number, date of order, date and manner of shipment, shipping weight, postage paid, and initials or name of packer or checker. [E610.4.1]

2.6.2 Incidental First‑Class Attachments and Enclosures

Incidental First‑Class matter may be enclosed in or attached to Standard Mail merchandise (including books but excluding merchandise samples) without payment of First‑Class postage. Incidental First‑Class matter may not be enclosed in or attached to matter mailed as Customized MarketMail under 705.1.0. An incidental First‑Class attachment or enclosure must be matter that, if mailed separately, would require First‑Class postage, is closely associated with but secondary to the host piece, and is prepared not to encumber postal processing. An incidental First‑Class attachment or enclosure may be a bill for the product or publication, a statement of account for past products or publications, or a personal message or greeting included with a product, publication, or parcel. Postage at the Standard Mail or Package Services rate for the host piece is based on the combined weight of the host piece and the incidental First‑Class attachment or enclosure. [E610.4.2]

2.6.3 Nonincidental First‑Class Enclosures

Letters or other pieces of nonincidental First‑Class Mail, subject to postage at First‑Class Mail rates, may be enclosed with Standard Mail pieces (except matter mailed as Customized MarketMail under 705.1.0). Postage for the First‑Class enclosure must be placed on the outside of the piece. It may be affixed separately or added to the postage for the host piece. The endorsement "First‑Class Mail Enclosed" must be placed on the piece, below the postage and above the address. [E610.4.3]

2.6.4 Nonincidental First‑Class Attachments

Letters or other pieces of nonincidental First‑Class Mail may be placed in an envelope and securely attached to the address side of a Standard Mail piece (except matter mailed as Customized MarketMail under 705.1.0), or of the principal piece, as applicable. Combination envelopes or containers with separate parts for the two classes of mail may be used. The names and addresses of the sender and addressee must be placed on both the principal piece and the attachment. Alternatively, the sender's name and address must be placed on one part and the addressee's name and address on the other. If the piece is a combination container with inseparable parts or compartments, the names and addresses may appear on only one part. The applicable Standard Mail postage for the Standard Mail matter must be prepaid and placed in the upper right corner of the address space. Postage at the applicable First‑Class rate must be paid for and affixed to the First‑Class attachment, unless other payment methods are permitted by standard. [E610.4.4]

2.6.5 Attachment of Other Standard Mail Matter

Standard Mail pieces may bear an attachment that is eligible as Standard Mail matter if these additional conditions are met:

a. The piece bearing the attachment is claimed as Customized MarketMail (CMM) under 705.1.0 or as Enhanced Carrier Route Standard Mail under 6.0.

b. The face of the attachment may bear only the rate markings and endorsements permitted for the rate claimed for the host piece.

c. At the time of mailing, the piece shows only one complete delivery address. If the attachment is a reply card, the address for returning the piece is not visible.

d. Enhanced Carrier Route host pieces are larger than 6 by 11 inches. CMM host pieces are any size permitted under 705.1.1.3, Physical Standards.

e. The attachment is not larger than the host piece and does not extend beyond the host piece. An attachment affixed to a CMM piece may not be greater than 1/4 inch thick at its thickest point.

f. Each piece in the mailing bears the attachment, and the attachment is of identical size, weight, and positioning on the host piece. Different wording or designs may be used.

g. The attachment does not interfere with processing or delivery. Folded or multipage attachments must be secured to prevent opening during handling. [E610.4.5]

2.7 Written Additions

Markings that have the character of personal correspondence require, with certain exceptions, additional postage at the First‑Class rates. The following written additions and enclosures do not require additional First‑Class postage:

a. The sender's and the addressee's names, occupations, and addresses, preceded by "From" or "To," and directions for handling.

b. Marks, numbers, names, or letters describing the contents.

c. Words or phrases such as "Do Not Open Until Christmas" and "Happy Birthday, Mother."

d. Instructions and directions for the use of the item mailed.

e. A manuscript dedication or inscription not having the nature of personal correspondence.

f. Marks to call attention to words or passages in the text.

g. Corrections of typographical errors in printed matter.

h. Manuscripts accompanying related proof sheets and corrections of proof sheets including corrections of typographical and other errors, changes in the text, insertions of new text, marginal instructions to the printer, and corrective rewrites of parts.

i. Handstamped imprints, unless the added material is in itself personal or converts the original matter to a personal communication.

j. Matter mailable separately as Standard Mail printed on the wrapper, envelope, tag, or label. [E610.3.0]

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3.0 Basic Standards for Standard Mail Letters

3.1 Basic Standards

Each Standard Mail mailing is subject to these general standards:

a. All pieces in a mailing must be of the same processing category.

b. Each mailing must contain at least 200 pieces or 50 pounds of pieces. See 3.4, Residual Volume Requirement, for volume requirement eligibility unique to Presorted Standard rate mailings. Other volume standards also can apply, based on the rate claimed.

c. All pieces in an automation mailing must be eligible for an automation rate.

d. All pieces in a mailing must be sorted together and marked under the standards for the rate claimed.

e. Each piece must bear the addressee's name and delivery address, including the correct ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code, unless an alternative addressing format is used subject to 602.3.0. Detached address labels may be used subject to 602.4.0.

f. Postage must be paid under 244.1.0 through 244.3.0 with precanceled stamps, meter stamps, or permit imprint.

g. A postage statement, completed and signed by the mailer, using the correct USPS form or an approved facsimile, must be submitted with each mailing. In addition, mailings must be documented under 244.4.2, Basic Documentation Standards, and the standards for the rate claimed.

h. Each piece must meet the standards for any other rate or discount claimed.

i. Any POSTNET barcode on a mailpiece must be correct for the delivery address and meet the standards in 202.5.0, Barcode Placement, 708.3.0, Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS), and 708.4.0, Barcoding Standards for Letters and Flats.

j. Mailings must be deposited at a business mail entry unit of the post office where the postage permit or license is held and the annual mailing fee paid, unless deposit elsewhere is permitted by standard. [E610.8.0]

3.2 Presort Mailing Fees

An annual mailing fee must be paid once each 12‑month period at each post office of mailing. A mailer paying this fee may enter clients' mail as well as the mailer's own. The mailer whose permit imprint appears on pieces in a mailing paid with a permit imprint must show that permit number on the postage statement and must pay the annual mailing fee for that permit; this fee is in addition to the one‑time fee for an application to use permit imprints. The fee may be paid in advance only for the next 12 months and only during the last 60 days of the current service period. The fee charged is that which is in effect on the date of payment. [E610.6.1]

3.3 Merging Similar Standard Mailings

Mailings are subject to the general definitions and conditions in 245.1.0, General Information for Mail Preparation. Generally, mailers may merge similar Standard Mail matter into a single mailing. Differences in text, address labels, and address lists or list key numbers do not prohibit the mailer from merging and sorting pieces together. Pieces with different methods of postage payment may be combined in the same mailing only if authorized by Business Mailer Support (BMS). Pieces of nonidentical weight, if merged in the same mailing, must bear the correct postage when mailed, unless otherwise authorized by BMS. [E610.7.0]

3.4 Residual Volume Requirement

Pieces in an Enhanced Carrier Route rate mailing that has separately met a 200‑piece or 50‑pound minimum quantity requirement may be counted toward the minimum quantity requirement for a Presorted rate mailing, provided that the Enhanced Carrier Route rate mailing and the Presorted rate mailing are part of the same mailing job. Likewise, pieces in an automation rate mailing that has separately met a 200‑piece or 50‑pound minimum quantity requirement may be counted toward the minimum quantity requirement for a Presorted rate mailing, provided that the automation rate mailing and the Presorted mailing are part of the same mailing job. Pieces mailed at Presorted Standard Mail rates must not be counted toward the minimum volume requirements for an Enhanced Carrier Route rate or an automation rate mailing. [E620.1.2]

3.5 Residual Mail Subject to First‑Class or Priority Mail Rates

Pieces prepared as Standard Mail (i.e., that bear Standard Mail rate markings, ACS codes, etc.) that do not qualify for Enhanced Carrier Route, automation, or Presorted Standard Mail rates are subject to the single‑piece First‑Class or Priority Mail rates as applicable for the weight of the mailpiece. Metered pieces weighing over 13 ounces but less than 16 ounces that do not qualify for Standard Mail rates and any pieces that do not qualify for Standard Mail rates for which First‑Class or Priority Mail service is desired must be re‑enveloped or otherwise prepared so that they do not bear Standard Mail markings, endorsements, and ACS codes and must bear the proper First‑Class Mail or Priority Mail rate markings and ACS codes. Mailers who have pieces (other than metered pieces weighing over 13 ounces but less than 16 ounces) that do not qualify for Standard Mail rates but that are prepared as Standard Mail and who do not desire to receive First‑Class Mail or Priority Mail service for those pieces may enter their mailpieces "as is" (i.e., bearing the Standard Mail markings and endorsements), provided the requirements in 244.5.1, Residual Standard Mail Subject to First‑Class Rates, and 244.5.2, Residual Standard Mail Subject to Priority Mail Rates, are met. [E620.1.3]

3.6 ZIP Code Accuracy

3.6.1 Basic Standards

The ZIP Code accuracy standard is a means of ensuring that the 5‑digit ZIP Code in the delivery address correctly matches the delivery address information. For the purposes of this standard, address means a specific address associated with a specific 5‑digit ZIP Code. Addresses used on pieces claiming certain rates under 3.6.1d that are subject to the ZIP Code accuracy standard must meet these requirements:

a. Each address and associated 5‑digit ZIP Code used on the mailpieces in a mailing must be verified and corrected within 12 months before the mailing date with one of the USPS‑approved methods in 3.6.2.

b. Each individual address in the mailing is subject to the ZIP Code accuracy standard.

c. If an address used on a mailpiece in a mailing at one class of mail and rate is verified and corrected with an approved method, the same address may be used during the following 12 months to meet the ZIP Code accuracy standard required for mailing at any other class of mail and rate. [A030.2.1]

d. Except for mail bearing a simplified address, addresses used on pieces claiming Standard Mail rates, regardless of any required surcharges, must meet the ZIP Code accuracy standard. [A030.2.2 and A030.2.3]

3.6.2 USPS‑Approved Methods

The following methods are authorized for meeting the ZIP Code accuracy standard:

a. For computerized lists, Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS)‑certified address matching software and current USPS City State Product, within a mailer's computer systems or through an authorized service provider.

b. For manually maintained lists or small computerized lists, options include the following:

1. Current USPS Publication 65, National Five‑Digit ZIP Code and Post Office Directory.

2. Surveys of addressees on mailer's address list inquiring about the accuracy of ZIP Code information.

3. Any mailing list service in 507.6.0.

4. An authorized service provider.

5. CASS‑certified matching software.

6. USPS Web site www.usps.com. [A030.2.4]

3.6.3 Mailer Certification

The mailer's signature on the postage statement certifies that the ZIP Code accuracy standard has been met for each address in the corresponding mailing presented to the USPS. [A030.2.5]

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4.0 Rate Eligibility for Standard Mail

4.1 General Information

All Standard Mail rates are presorted rates (including all nonprofit rates). These rates apply to mailings meeting the basic standards in 2.0 through 4.0 and the corresponding standards for Presorted rates under 3.0 and 5.0, Enhanced Carrier Route rates under 6.0, automation rates under 7.0, or Customized MarketMail rates under 705.1.0. Except for Customized MarketMail pieces, destination entry discount rates are available under 246.2.0 through 246.5.0. Nonprofit rates may be used only by organizations authorized by the USPS. Not all processing categories qualify for every rate. Pieces are subject to either a single minimum per piece rate or a combined piece/pound rate, depending on the weight of the individual pieces in the mailing. [E610.5.1]

4.2 Minimum Per Piece Rates

The minimum per piece rates (i.e., the minimum postage that must be paid for each piece) apply as follows:

a. Basic Requirement. Pieces mailed at Regular, Enhanced Carrier Route, Nonprofit, and Nonprofit Enhanced Carrier Route rates are subject to minimum per piece rates when they weigh no more than 3.3 ounces (0.2063 pound).

b. In applying the minimum per piece rates, a mailpiece is categorized as either a letter or a nonletter, based on whether the piece meets the letter‑size standard in 201.1.1.1, Minimum and Maximum Size for Letters, without regard to placement of the address on the piece, except under these conditions:

1. If the piece meets both the definition of a letter in 201.1.1.1, Minimum and Maximum Size for Letters, and the definition of an automation flat in 301.3.0, Physical Standards for Automation Flats, the piece may be prepared and entered at an automation flat (nonletter) rate.

2. If the piece is prepared for automation letter rates, address placement is used to determine the length when applying the size standards and aspect ratio requirements to qualify for automation letter rates under 201.3.0, Physical Standards for Automation Letters and Cards. For this purpose, the length is considered to be the dimension parallel to the address.

3. If the piece is mailed as a Customized MarketMail piece under 705.1.0, the piece is always subject to the applicable Regular or Nonprofit Standard Mail basic nonletter per piece rate and must not exceed the maximum weight for those rates.

c. Individual Rates. There are separate minimum per piece rates for each subclass (Regular, Enhanced Carrier Route, Nonprofit, and Nonprofit Enhanced Carrier Route) and within each subclass for the type of mailing and the level of presort within each mailing. Except for Customized MarketMail pieces, discounted per piece rates also may be claimed for destination entry mailings (destination bulk mail center (DBMC), destination sectional center facility (DSCF), and destination delivery unit (DDU)) under 246. DDU rates are available only for mail entered at Enhanced Carrier Route or Nonprofit Enhanced Carrier Route rates. See 1.0 for individual per piece rates. [E610.5.2]

4.3 Piece/Pound Rates

Pieces that exceed 3.3 ounces (0.2063 pound) are subject to a two‑part piece/pound rate that includes a fixed charge per piece and a variable pound charge based on weight. Pieces exceeding 3.3 ounces may not be mailed as Customized MarketMail. There are separate per piece rates for each subclass (Regular, Enhanced Carrier Route, Nonprofit, and Nonprofit Enhanced Carrier Route) and within each subclass for the type of mailing and the level of presort within each mailing under 3.0 through 7.0. There are separate per pound rates for each subclass (Regular, Enhanced Carrier Route, Nonprofit, and Nonprofit Enhanced Carrier Route) under 3.0 through 7.0. Discounted per pound rates also may be claimed for destination entry mailings (destination bulk mail center (DBMC), destination sectional center facility (DSCF), and destination delivery unit (DDU)) under 246. [E610.5.3]

4.4 Residual Shape Surcharge

Any piece that is prepared as Customized MarketMail under 705.1.0 is subject to the residual shape surcharge. [E610.5.5]

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5.0 Additional Eligibility Standards for Presorted Standard Mail Letters

5.1 Basic Standards

All pieces in a Regular Standard Mail or Nonprofit Standard Mail Presorted rate mailing must:

a. Meet the basic standards for Standard Mail in 2.0 through 4.0 in Rates and Eligibility.

b. Except as provided in 3.4, Residual Volume Requirement, be part of a single mailing of at least 200 addressed pieces or 50 pounds of pieces qualifying for Presorted Standard Mail. Basic rate and 3/5 rate pieces prepared as part of the same mailing are subject to a single minimum volume standard. Regular and Nonprofit mailings must meet separate minimum volumes.

c. Bear a delivery address that includes the correct ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code and that meets these address quality standards:

1. The ZIP Code accuracy standard in 3.6.

2. If an alternative addressing format is used, the additional standards in 602.3.0.

d. Be marked, sorted, and documented as specified in 245, Mail Preparation, or 705.8.0, Preparation for Pallets. [E620.1.1]

5.2 Weight Standards for Machinable Pieces

Maximum weight limit for machinable Presorted Standard mail is 3.3 ounces (0.2063 pound). [C810.2.3]

5.3 Rate Application

Presorted rates for Regular and Nonprofit Standard Mail apply to letters that meet the eligibility standards in 2.0, Content Standards for Standard Mail Letters, and the preparation standards in 245, Mail Preparation, or 705.8.0, Preparation for Pallets. [E620.2.1]

5.4 Basic Rate

The basic rate applies to pieces that do not meet the standards for 3/5 rates described in 5.5. [E620.2.2]

5.5 3/5 Rate

The 3/5 rate applies to qualifying letter‑size pieces (see 201.1.0, Physical Standards for Machinable Letters and Cards) presented in quantities of 150 or more pieces for a single 3‑digit ZIP Code prefix area and prepared in 5‑digit or 3‑digit trays. [E620.2.3]

5.6 Nonmachinable Surcharge

The nonmachinable surcharge in 1.0 applies only to Regular and Nonprofit Standard Mail letter‑size pieces (including card‑size pieces), except for letter‑size pieces prepared and entered as Customized MarketMail under 705.1.0, if the pieces weigh 3.3 ounces or less, are claimed at Presorted letter rates, and are subject to either of these conditions:

a. The pieces have one or more of the nonmachinable characteristics for letter‑size mail in 201.2.0.

b. The pieces are labeled for manual processing by the mailer under the manual only option in 245.5.3. [E620.4.0]

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6.0 Additional Eligibility Standards for Enhanced Carrier Route Standard Mail

6.1 General Enhanced Carrier Route Standards

6.1.1 Optional Preparation

Preparation to qualify for any Enhanced Carrier Route rate is optional and need not be performed for all carrier routes in a 5‑digit area. An Enhanced Carrier Route mailing may include pieces at basic, high density, and saturation Enhanced Carrier Route rates. Automation basic carrier route rate pieces must be prepared as a separate mailing. [E630.1.3]

6.1.2 Basic Eligibility Standards

All pieces in an Enhanced Carrier Route or Nonprofit Enhanced Carrier Route Standard Mail mailing must:

a. Meet the basic standards for Standard Mail in 2.0 through 4.0 in Rates and Eligibility.

b. Be part of a single mailing of at least 200 pieces or 50 pounds of pieces of Enhanced Carrier Route Standard Mail. Automation basic carrier route rate pieces are subject to a separate 200‑piece or 50‑pound minimum volume standard and may not be included in the same mailing as other Enhanced Carrier Route mail. Regular and Nonprofit mailings must meet separate minimum volumes.

c. Be marked and sorted to carrier routes.

d. Bear a delivery address that includes the correct ZIP Code, ZIP+4 code, or numeric equivalent to the delivery point barcode (DPBC) and that meets these address quality standards:

1. The carrier route accuracy standard in 6.2.

2. If high density and saturation rate letter‑size mail is prepared, the address matching and coding standards in 7.4, Address Standards for Barcoded Pieces, and 708.3.0, Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS).

3. If an alternative addressing format is used, the additional standards in 602.3.0.

e. Meet the applicable sequencing requirements in 6.3 through 6.5 and 245.6.9. [E630.1.1]

f. Meet the applicable documentation and postage payment standards in 244, Postage Payment and Documentation, and 1.7, Computing Postage for Standard Mail. [E640.2.1]

6.1.3 Maximum Weight for Enhanced Carrier Route Letters

Maximum weight limit for Standard Mail Enhanced Carrier Route high density mail, saturation mail, and automation carrier route mail pieces: 3.5 ounces (0.2188 pound) (see 201.3.14.5, Heavy Letter Mail, for pieces heavier than 3 ounces). [C810.2.3]

6.2 Carrier Route Accuracy

6.2.1 Basic Standards

The carrier route accuracy standard is a means of ensuring that the carrier route code correctly matches the delivery address information. For the purposes of this standard, address means a specific address associated with a specific carrier route code. Addresses used on pieces claiming certain rates under 6.2.2 that are subject to the carrier route accuracy standard must meet these requirements:

a. Each address and associated carrier route code used on the mailpieces in a mailing must be updated within 90 days before the mailing date with one of the USPS‑approved methods in 3.6.2. For the Enhanced Carrier Route Standard Mail automation rate, USPS City State Product information must also be updated within 90 days before the mailing date.

b. Each individual address in the mailing is subject to the carrier route accuracy standard.

c. If the carrier route code (and accuracy) of an address used on a mailpiece in a carrier route mailing at one class of mail and rate is updated with an approved method, the same address may be used during the following 90 days to meet the carrier route accuracy standard required for mailing at any other class of mail and rate. [A030.3.1]

6.2.2 Mail Classes and Rates

Except as provided in 243.6.2.3, addresses used on pieces claiming all Enhanced Carrier Route rates for Standard Mail, regardless of any required surcharges, must meet the carrier route accuracy standard. [A030.3.2]

6.2.3 Exception

The carrier route accuracy standard does not apply to mail of any class bearing a simplified address format under 602.3.0, Use of Alternative Addressing. [A030.3.3]

6.2.4 USPS‑Approved Methods

Carrier route coding must be performed using CASS‑certified software and the current USPS Carrier Route Product or another Address Information System (AIS) product containing carrier route information subject to 509.1.0, Address Information System Products, and 708.3.0, Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS). [A030.3.4]

6.2.5 Mailer Certification

The mailer's signature on the postage statement certifies that the carrier route accuracy standard has been met for each address in the corresponding mailing presented to the USPS. [A030.3.5]

6.3 Basic Rate Enhanced Carrier Route Standards

6.3.1 Sequencing

All pieces mailed at basic rates must be prepared in walk sequence or in line‑of‑travel (LOT) sequence according to LOT schemes prescribed by the USPS (see 245.6.9 through 245.6.10 in Preparation for Enhanced Carrier Route Letters). [E630.2.1]

6.3.2 Basic Rate Eligibility

Basic rates apply to each piece sorted under 245.6.0 or 705.8.0, Preparation for Pallets, and in a full carrier route tray or in a carrier route bundle of 10 or more pieces placed in a 5‑digit carrier routes or 3‑digit carrier routes tray. [E630.2.2]

6.4 High Density Enhanced Carrier Route Standards

6.4.1 Basic Eligibility Standards for High Density Rates

High density rates apply to each piece that is automation‑compatible according to 201.3.0, Physical Standards for Automation Letters and Cards, has a delivery point barcode under 202.5.0, Barcode Placement, and 708.4.0, Barcoding Standards for Letters and Flats, and is in a full carrier route tray or in a carrier route bundle of 10 or more pieces placed in a 5‑digit carrier routes or 3‑digit carrier routes tray. Pieces that are not automation‑compatible or are not barcoded are mailable at the high density nonletter rate. Pieces bearing a simplified address do not need to meet the standards in 201.3.0, Physical Standards for Automation Letters and Cards, and are not required to have a delivery point barcode. [E630.3.2]

6.4.2 High Density Rates for Letters

All pieces mailed at high density rates must:

a. Be prepared in walk sequence according to schemes prescribed by the USPS (see 245.6.9 through 245.6.10 in Preparation for Enhanced Carrier Route Letters).

b. Meet the density requirement of at least 125 pieces for each carrier route. Multiple pieces per delivery address can count toward this density standard. Fewer pieces may be prepared for routes with fewer than 125 possible deliveries if a piece is addressed to every possible delivery on the route. [E630.3.1]

6.4.3 High Density Discount for Heavy Letters

Pieces that otherwise qualify for the high density letter rate and weigh more than 3.3 ounces but not more than 3.5 ounces pay postage equal to the piece/pound rate and receive a discount equal to the high density nonletter piece rate (3.3 ounces or less) minus the high density letter piece rate (3.3 ounces or less). If claiming a destination entry rate, the discount is calculated using the corresponding rates. [E630.3.3]

6.5 Saturation ECR Standards

6.5.1 Basic Eligibility Standards for Saturation Rates

Saturation rates apply to each piece that is automation‑compatible according to 201.3.0, Physical Standards for Automation Letters and Cards, has a delivery point barcode under 202.5.0, Barcode Placement, and 708.4.0, Barcoding Standards for Letters and Flats, and is in a full carrier route tray or in a carrier route bundle of 10 or more pieces placed in a 5‑digit carrier routes or 3‑digit carrier routes tray. Pieces that are not automation‑compatible or are not barcoded are mailable at the saturation nonletter rate. Pieces bearing a simplified address do not need to meet the standards in 201.3.0, Physical Standards for Automation Letters and Cards, and are not required to have a delivery point barcode to qualify for letter rates. [E630.4.2]

6.5.2 Saturation Rates for Letters

All pieces mailed at saturation rates must:

a. Be prepared in walk sequence according to schemes prescribed by the USPS (see 245.6.9 through 245.6.10 in Preparation for Enhanced Carrier Route Letters).

b. Meet the density requirement of at least 90% or more of the active residential addresses or 75% or more of the total number of active possible delivery addresses on each carrier route receiving this mail. Pieces bearing a simplified address must meet the coverage standards in 602.3.0, Use of Alternative Addressing. Multiple pieces per delivery address do not count toward this density standard. [E630.4.1]

6.5.3 Saturation Discount for Heavy Letters

Pieces that otherwise qualify for the saturation letter rate and weigh more than 3.3 ounces but not more than 3.5 ounces pay postage equal to the piece/pound rate and receive a discount equal to the saturation nonletter piece rate (3.3 ounces or less) minus the saturation letter piece rate (3.3 ounces or less). If claiming a destination entry rate, the discount is calculated using the corresponding rates. [E630.4.3]

6.6 Automation ECR Standards

6.6.1 Optional Preparation

Preparation to qualify for any of Enhanced Carrier Route automation rates is optional and need not be done for all carrier routes in a 5‑digit area. An automation rate Enhanced Carrier Route mailing may not include pieces at basic, high density, and saturation Enhanced Carrier Route rates. [E640.2.2]

6.6.2 Basic Eligibility Standards

All pieces in an Enhanced Carrier Route or Nonprofit Enhanced Carrier Route Standard Mail automation rate mailing (available only for letter‑size mail) must:

Meet the basic standards for Standard Mail in 2.0 through 4.0 in Rates and Eligibility.

a. Be part of a single mailing of at least 200 pieces or 50 pounds of pieces of automation rate Enhanced Carrier Route Standard Mail.

b. Meet the physical standards in 201.3.0, Physical Standards for Automation Letters and Cards.

c. Bear a delivery address that includes the correct ZIP Code, ZIP+4 code, or numeric equivalent to the delivery point barcode (DPBC) and that meets these address quality standards:

1. The carrier route accuracy standard in 6.2.

2. The address matching and coding standards in 7.4, Address Standards for Barcoded Pieces, and 708.3.0, Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS).

3. If an alternative addressing format is used, the additional standards in 602.3.0.

d. Bear an accurate barcode meeting the standards in 202.5.0, either a DPBC (if a card or letter) either on the piece or on an insert showing through a barcode window.

e. Be marked and sorted to carrier routes.

f. Meet the applicable documentation and postage payment standards in 244, Postage Payment and Documentation, and 1.7, Computing Postage for Standard Mail. [E640.2.1]

6.6.3 Carrier Route Information

The automation basic carrier route rate is available only for letter‑size mail and only for those 5‑digit ZIP Code areas identified with an "A" or "B" in the Carrier Route Indicators field in the USPS City State Product used for address coding. [E640.2.3]

6.6.4 Enclosed Reply Cards and Envelopes

All letter‑size reply cards and envelopes (business reply, courtesy reply, and meter reply mail) provided as enclosures in automation Enhanced Carrier Route Standard Mail, and addressed for return to a domestic delivery address, must meet the standards in 201.3.0, Physical Standards for Automation Letters and Cards, for enclosed reply cards and envelopes. The mailer must certify that this standard has been met when the corresponding mail (in which the reply pieces are enclosed) is presented to the USPS. [E640.2.4]

6.6.5 Specific Eligibility Standards for Enhanced Carrier Route Automation Rates

Automation basic carrier route rates apply to each piece that is sorted under 245.7.0, Preparation for Automation Rate Letters, into full carrier route trays, in carrier route groups (or bundles, where appropriate) of 10 or more pieces each placed in 5‑digit carrier routes trays, or in carrier route bundles of 10 or more pieces each placed in 3‑digit carrier routes trays. (Preparation to qualify for that rate is optional and need not be done for all carrier routes in a 5‑digit area.) [E640.2.5]

6.6.6 Automation Discount for Heavy Letters

Pieces that otherwise qualify for the ECR automation basic letter rate and weigh more than 3.3 ounces but not more than 3.5 ounces pay postage equal to the ECR regular basic nonletter piece/pound rate and receive a discount equal to the regular basic nonletter piece rate (3.3 ounces or less) minus the automation basic letter piece rate. If claiming a destination entry rate, the discount is calculated using the corresponding rates. [E640.2.6]

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7.0 Eligibility Standards for Automation Rate Standard Mail

7.1 Basic Eligibility Standards for Automation Standard Mail

All pieces in a Regular Standard Mail or Nonprofit Standard Mail automation rate mailing must:

a. Meet the basic standards for Standard Mail in 2.0 through 4.0 in Rates and Eligibility.

b. Be part of a single mailing of at least 200 pieces or 50 pounds of pieces of automation rate Standard Mail (Regular and Nonprofit mailings must meet separate minimum volumes).

c. Be in the same processing category and meet the physical standards in 201.3.0, Physical Standards for Automation Letters and Cards.

d. Bear a delivery address that includes the correct ZIP Code, ZIP+4 code, or numeric equivalent to the delivery point barcode (DPBC) and that meets these address quality standards:

1. The address matching and coding standards in 7.4, Address Standards for Barcoded Pieces, and 708.3.0, Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS).

2. If an alternative addressing format is used, the additional standards in 602.3.0.

e. Bear an accurate delivery point barcode meeting the standards in 202.5.0, Barcode Placement, and 708.4.0, Barcoding Standards for Letters and Flats, either on the piece or on an insert showing through a barcode window.

f. Be marked and sorted according to 245.7.0, Preparation for Automation Rate Letters.

g. Meet the applicable documentation and postage payment standards in 1.7, Computing Postage for Standard Mail, and 244.1.0 through 244.3.0 in Postage Payment and Documentation. [E640.1.1]

7.2 Maximum Weight for Automation Letters

Maximum weight limit for automation rate mail is 3.5 ounces (0.2188 pound). See 201.3.14.5, Heavy Letter Mail, for pieces heavier than 3 ounces. [C810.2.3]

7.3 Rate Application for Automation Letters

Automation rates apply to each piece that is sorted under 245.7.0, Preparation for Automation Rate Letters, into the corresponding qualifying groups:

a. Groups of 150 or more pieces in 5‑digit or 5‑digit scheme trays qualify for the 5‑digit rate. Preparation to qualify for that rate is optional and need not be done for all 5‑digit or 5‑digit scheme destinations.

b. Groups of 150 or more pieces in 3‑digit or 3‑digit scheme trays qualify for the 3‑digit rate.

c. Groups of fewer than 150 pieces in origin or entry 3‑digit or 3‑digit scheme trays and groups of 150 or more pieces in AADC trays qualify for the AADC rate.

d. All pieces in mixed AADC trays qualify for the mixed AADC rate. [E640.1.3]

7.4 Address Standards for Barcoded Pieces

7.4.1 Basic Address Standards for Barcodes

To qualify for automation rates, addresses must be sufficiently complete to enable matching to the current USPS ZIP+4 Product when used with current CASS‑certified address matching software. Standardized address elements are not required. Any barcode as defined in 202.5.0, Barcode Placement, and 708.4.0, Barcoding Standards for Letters and Flats, that appears on a mailpiece claimed at an automation rate must be the correct barcode for the corresponding delivery address on the piece. [A800.1.1]

7.4.2 Numeric ZIP+4

A numeric ZIP+4 code must consist of five digits, a hyphen, and four digits. [A800.1.2]

7.4.3 Numeric Delivery Point Barcode (DPBC)

The numeric equivalent is formed by adding three digits directly after the ZIP+4 code. [A800.1.3]

7.4.4 Address Elements

Addresses must include the correct street number, predirectional, street name, suffix, and postdirectional that are input to obtain a match with the current USPS ZIP+4 Product. [A800.2.2]

7.4.5 Firm Name

An address must include a firm name when necessary to obtain a match with the finest level of ZIP+4 code in the USPS ZIP+4 Product. If an address contains a firm name assigned a unique ZIP+4 code in the USPS ZIP+4 Product, the unique ZIP+4 code must be used. If the firm name is not one assigned a unique ZIP+4 code in the USPS ZIP+4 Product and the apartment/suite number is included in the address, the ZIP+4 code for the range in which the apartment/suite number appears must be used in that address. If the firm name does not correspond to a firm name that has a unique ZIP+4 code assigned in the USPS ZIP+4 Product and the apartment/suite number is not included in the address, the ZIP+4 code for the building must be used. [A800.2.1]

7.4.6 Secondary Designator

If a secondary address designator (e.g., an apartment number) is shown in the address, the mailpiece must show the appropriate ZIP+4 code representing the range for that secondary address as contained in the current USPS ZIP+4 Product. If a secondary address designator is required to obtain an exact match with the finest level of ZIP+4 code in the USPS ZIP+4 Product but the information is not available, the alternative ZIP+4 code or ZIP+4 or delivery point barcode for the building must be used. [A800.2.3]

7.4.7 Rural and Highway Contract Routes

If a rural route or highway contract route box number is included in the address, the mailpiece must show the appropriate ZIP+4 code representing the range for that box number as contained in the current USPS ZIP+4 Product. If a rural route or highway contract route box number is required to obtain a match with the finest level of ZIP+4 code but is not available, the alternative ZIP+4 code or ZIP+4 or delivery point barcode for the rural route or highway contract route must be used. If used, the rural route or highway contract route box number must be placed on the line immediately above the city/state/ZIP Code line. [A800.2.4]

7.4.8 Post Office Box

A post office box address must contain a post office box number that can be exactly matched with the USPS ZIP+4 Product in effect. [A800.2.5]

7.5 Enclosed Reply Cards and Envelopes

All letter‑size reply cards and envelopes (business reply, courtesy reply, and meter reply mail) provided as enclosures in automation Regular or Nonprofit Standard Mail, and addressed for return to a domestic delivery address, must meet the standards in 201.3.0, Physical Standards for Automation Letters and Cards, for enclosed reply cards and envelopes. The mailer's signature on the postage statement certifies that this standard has been met when the corresponding mail is presented to the USPS. [E640.1.2]

7.6 Discount for Heavy Automation Letters

Automation letters that weigh more than 3.3 ounces but not more than 3.5 ounces pay postage equal to the automation piece/pound rate and receive a discount equal to the automation nonletter piece rate (3.3 ounces or less) minus the automation letter piece rate (3.3 ounces or less). If claiming a destination entry rate, the discount is calculated using the corresponding rates. [E640.1.4]