Contents Index
M000 General Preparation Standards
M010 Mailpieces

M012 Markings and Endorsements

Summary

M012 describes the standards for markings, endorsements, and placement on First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, and Package Services. It also covers the placement of endorsements for delivery services and ancillary services.

1.0 MarkingsBasic Standards

1.1Class and Rate

Except for single-piece First-Class Mail, mailpieces must be marked under the corresponding standards to show the class of service and/or rate paid:

a. Single-piece First-Class Mail may be identified under M110.

b. Presorted First-Class Mail and Standard Mail must be marked under 2.0.

c. Package Services must be marked under 3.0.

d. Priority Mail must be identified under E120.

e. Periodicals must be identified under E211.

f. Express Mail is identified with the Express Mail mailing label (Label 11 or Form 5625) without any other required class or rate marking.

g. All mailable hazardous materials must be labeled and/or marked as required in C020.

1.2Enclosures

Enclosures, attachments, and mixed rate mailpieces must be marked under the applicable standards in E070, M070, and P070.

1.3Printing and Designs

Required markings may be printed by a postage meter or other means that ensures a legible marking. A marking may not include or be part of a decorative design or advertisement.

2.0 MarkingsFirst-Class mail and Standard Mail

2.1Placement

[8-10-03] Markings must be placed as follows:

a. Basic Marking. The basic required marking that indicates the class or subclass—“First-Class,” “Presorted Standard” or “PRSRT STD,” or “Nonprofit Organization” (or “Nonprofit Org.” or “Nonprofit”)—must be printed or produced as part of, or directly below or to the left of, the permit imprint indicia, meter stamp or impression, or adhesive or precanceled stamp.

b. Other Markings. The rate-specific markings “AUTO,” “AUTOCR,” “Presorted” (or “PRSRT”); “Single-Piece” (or “SNGLP”) (First-Class Mail only); and “ECRLOT,” “ECRWSH,” “ECRWSS,” and “Customized MarketMail” (or “CUST MKTMAIL” or “CMM”) (Standard Mail only) may be placed as follows:

(1) In the location specified in 2.1a.

(2) In the address area on the line directly above or two lines above the address if the marking appears alone or if no other information appears on the line with the marking except optional endorsement line information under M013 or carrier route package information under M014.

(3) If preceded by two asterisks (**), the “AUTO,” “AUTOCR,” “PRESORTED” (or “PRSRT”), “CUSTOMIZED MARKETMAIL” (or “CUST MKTMAIL” or “CMM”), or “Single-Piece” (or “SNGLP”) marking also may be placed on the line directly above or two lines above the address in a mailer keyline or a manifest keyline, or it may be placed above the address and below the postage in an MLOCR ink-jet printed date correction/meter drop shipment line. Alternatively, the “AUTO,” “AUTOCR,” “PRSRT,” or “SNGLP” marking may be placed to the left of the barcode clear zone (subject to the standards in C840) on letter-size pieces.

c. Additional Requirements for Carrier Route. “AUTOCR,” “ECRLOT,” “ECRWSH,” and “ECRWSS” (Standard Mail only) must appear in their entirety wherever placed, except “ECR” may be placed in the postage area if “LOT,” “WSH,” or “WSS,” as applicable, is placed in the line above or two lines above the address, as specified in 2.1b. Pieces not mailed at ECR rates must not bear these markings.

2.2Exceptions to Markings

Exceptions are as follows:

a. Automation Letters: Non-carrier route First-Class Mail and Standard Mail letters do not require an “AUTO” marking if they bear a DPBC in the address block or on an insert visible through a window. Non-carrier route First-Class Mail letters not marked “AUTO” must bear both the “Presorted” or “PRSRT” and “First-Class” markings. Non-carrier route Standard Mail letters not marked “AUTO” must bear the appropriate basic marking in 2.1a.

b. Automation Flats: First-Class Mail and Standard Mail flats do not require an “AUTO” marking. First-Class Mail flats not marked “AUTO” must bear both the “Presorted” or “PRSRT” and “First-Class” markings. Standard Mail flats not marked “AUTO” must bear the appropriate basic marking in 2.1a.

c. Manifest Mailings. The basic marking must appear in the postage area on each piece as required in 2.1a. The two-letter rate category code required in the keyline on manifest mailing pieces prepared under P910 meets the requirement for other rate markings (e.g., on a First-Class piece mailed at automation carrier route rates, the “AC” code may replace the “AUTOCR” marking).

d. MLOCR Prepared Automation Mailings. The basic marking must appear in the postage area on each piece as required in 2.1a. The other “AUTO” marking described in 2.1b must be replaced by the appropriate identifier/rate code marking described in P960 on those pieces that have the marking applied by an MLOCR. This seven-character marking provides a description of the Product Month Designator, MASS/FASTforward System Identifier, postage payment method, and the rate of postage affixed for metered and precanceled stamp mail or other postage information for permit imprint mail.

3.0 MarkingsPackage Services

3.1Basic Markings

The basic required Package Services subclass marking—“Parcel Post” or “PP,” “Bound Printed Matter” or “BPM,” “Media Mail,” or “Library Mail”—must be printed on each piece claimed at the respective rate. For Parcel Post destination entry rate mail, the marking “Parcel Select” may be used as the basic required marking instead of “Parcel Post.” The basic required marking must be placed in the postage area (i.e., printed or produced as part of, or directly below or to the left of, the permit imprint indicia or meter stamp or impression). Optionally, the basic required marking may be printed on the shipping address label as service indicators composed of a service icon and service banner (see Exhibit 3.1):

a. The service icon that will identify all Package Services subclasses will be a 1-inch solid black square. If the service icon is used, it must appear in the upper left corner of the shipping label.

b. The service banner must appear directly below the postage payment area and the service icon, and it must extend across the shipping label. If the service banner is used, the appropriate subclass marking (e.g., “PARCEL POST,” “BOUND PRINTED MATTER”) must be preceded by the text “USPS” and must be printed in minimum 20-point bold sans serif typeface, uppercase letters, centered within the banner, and bordered above and below by minimum 1-point separator lines. There must be a 1/16-inch clearance above and below the text.

Exhibit 3.1Package Services Indicators

Shows two sample labels with the Parcel Post and Media Mail service indicators.
 

3.2Additional Parcel Select (Parcel Post) Markings

Each piece in a Parcel Select (destination entry Parcel Post) mailing must bear a marking to indicate it was mailed at a destination entry rate. If the “Parcel Select” marking is used as the basic marking in the postage area on such pieces under 3.1, no additional marking is required because the “Parcel Select” marking identifies the mail as destination entry rate mail. If the “Parcel Post” (or “PP”) marking is used as the basic marking in the postage area under 3.1, one or both of the following markings also must appear on each piece in the mailing to identify it as destination entry rate mail: (1) “Drop Ship” (or “D/S”); (2) “Parcel Select.” These additional destination entry rate markings must appear in either the postage area described in 3.1 or in the address area on the line directly above or two lines above the address if the marking appears alone (i.e., if no other information appears on that line). The “Parcel Select” and “Drop Ship” (or “D/S”) markings must not appear on Parcel Post mail that is entered at rates other than DBMC, DSCF, or DDU destination entry rates.

3.3Additional Bound Printed Matter Markings

In addition to the basic marking in 3.1, each piece of Bound Printed Matter mailed at a presorted or carrier route rate must bear additional rate markings. The additional markings may be placed in the postage area as specified in 3.1. Alternatively, these markings may be placed in the address area on the line directly above or two lines above the address if the marking appears alone, or if no other information appears on the line with the marking except postal optional endorsement line information under M013 or postal carrier route package information under M014. The additional rate markings are:

a. For Presorted rate mail, the additional required marking is “Presorted” (or “PRSRT”). For presorted flats claiming the barcoded discount prepared under M820, the optional marking “AUTO” may be used in place of “Presorted” (or “PRSRT”). If the “AUTO” marking is not used, the automation rate flats must bear the “Presorted” (or “PRSRT”) rate marking.

b. For carrier route rate mail, the additional required marking is “Carrier Route Presort” (or “CAR-RT SORT”).

3.4Additional Media Mail Markings

Each piece of Media Mail mailed at a presorted rate must bear the required marking “Presorted” or “PRSRT” in addition to the basic marking specified in 3.1. This additional marking may be placed in the postage area as specified in 3.1. Alternatively, these markings may be placed in the address area on the line directly above or two lines above the address if the marking appears alone, or if no other information appears on the line with the marking except postal optional endorsement line information under M013.

3.5Additional Library Mail Markings

Each piece of Library Mail mailed at a presorted rate must bear the required marking “Presorted” or “PRSRT” in addition to the basic marking specified in 3.1. This additional marking may be placed in the postage area as specified in 3.1. Alternatively, these markings may be placed in the address area on the line directly above or two lines above the address if the marking appears alone, or if no other information appears on the line with the marking except postal optional endorsement line information under M013.

4.0 EndorsementsDelivery and Ancillary Services

4.1General

The mailer must place the correct endorsement on each mailpiece to provide delivery instructions (retention period under F030 or carrier release under D042) or to request an ancillary service (forwarding, return, or address correction under F010), subject to the corresponding standards for use and availability.

4.2Return Address

A domestic return address as presented in A010 must be used and placed in the upper left corner of the address side of the mailpiece or the upper left corner of the addressing area. If the return address is a multiple delivery address, it must show a unit designator (e.g., an apartment number).

4.3Placement

The placement of the endorsement on the mailpiece is determined as follows:

a. The carrier release endorsement must be placed directly below the return address. If any other endorsement is used, the carrier release endorsement must be separated by the equivalent of one blank line of the type size used.

b. A retention period specified by the mailer must be placed directly above the return address.

c. Any ancillary service endorsement must be placed in one of these four positions:

(1) Directly below the return address.

(2) Directly above the delivery address area (which includes the delivery address block and any related nonaddress elements such as a barcode, keyline, or optional endorsement line).

(3) Directly to the left of the postage area and below or to the left of any rate marking.

(4) Directly below the postage area and below any rate marking.

4.4Other Physical Standards

The endorsement or, if combined, endorsements must meet these physical standards:

a. The type size of the endorsement must be at least 8 points.

b. The read direction of the endorsement and return address must be the same as the read direction of the delivery address.

c. The color contrast between the endorsement and the mailpiece background must be kept at a reasonable degree. A brilliant colored background or reverse printing is not permitted.

d. A clear space of at least 1/4 inch around (above, below, and both sides) the total area containing the endorsement(s) is required. This 1/4-inch clear space is not required for an endorsement that is applied with a multiline optical character reader (MLOCR) inkjet and placed in the location directly below the postage area and any rate marking under 4.3c(4) if the endorsement is clear and legible.

DMM Issue 58 (8-10-03)