Contents Index
S900 Special Postal Services
S910 Security and Accountability

S919 Signature Confirmation

Summary

S919 describes Signature Confirmation, the classes of mail that may include this service, and the retail and electronic delivery options.

1.0 Basic Information

1.1Description

[7-10-03] Signature Confirmation service provides the mailer with information about the date and time an article was delivered and, if delivery was attempted but not successful, the date and time of the delivery attempt. A delivery record, including the recipient’s signature, is maintained by the USPS and is available, via fax or mail, upon request. No acceptance record is kept at the office of mailing. Signature Confirmation service is available only at the time of mailing. Signature Confirmation service does not include insurance, but insurance may be purchased as an additional service (see 1.7). Some statutes and regulations governing the mailing of documents with legal significance may require the use of Certified Mail or Registered Mail rather than Signature Confirmation.

1.2Eligible Matter

[7-10-03] Signature Confirmation is available for First-Class Mail parcels defined in C050 as machinable (with no minimum weight), irregular, or outside parcels; for all Priority Mail pieces; and for Package Services parcels defined in C050 as machinable, irregular, or outside parcels. For the purposes of using Signature Confirmation with a First-Class Mail parcel or a Package Services parcel, the parcel must meet these additional requirements:

a. The surface area of the address side of the parcel must be large enough to contain completely and legibly the delivery address, return address, postage, and any applicable markings, endorsements, and special service labels.

b. Except as provided in 1.2c for machinable parcels, the parcel must be greater than 3/4 inch thick at its thickest point.

c. If the mailpiece is a machinable parcel under C050 and no greater than 3/4 inch thick, the contents must be prepared in a strong and rigid fiberboard or similar container or in a container that becomes rigid after the contents are enclosed and the container is secured. The parcel must be able to maintain its shape, integrity, and rigidity throughout processing and handling without collapsing into a letter-size or flat-size piece.

1.3Ineligible Matter

[7-10-03] Signature Confirmation is not available for the following:

a. Express Mail, Periodicals, and Standard Mail pieces.

b. First-Class Mail letter-size and flat-size pieces.

c. Package Services flat-size pieces.

d. Mail paid with precanceled stamps.

e. Mail addressed to APO/FPO destinations.

f. Mail addressed to any U.S. territory, possession, or Freely Associated State listed in G011, with the exception of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

1.4Service Options

The two Signature Confirmation service options are:

a. Retail option: Available at post offices at the time of mailing. A mailing receipt is provided. Mailers can access delivery information over the Internet at www.usps.com or by calling 1-800-222-1811 toll-free and providing the article number.

b. Electronic option: Available to mailers who establish an electronic link with the USPS to exchange acceptance and delivery data. No mailing receipt is provided.

1.5Proof of Delivery

[7-10-03] Proof of delivery information for Signature Confirmation is available as follows:

a. Individual requests by article number can be retrieved at www.usps.com or by calling 1-800-222-1811. A proof of delivery letter is provided via fax or mail.

b. Bulk proof of delivery letters are available only to mailers using Signature Confirmation service electronic option or privately printed labels. Bulk proof of delivery letters can be obtained in CD-ROM or Signature Extract File formats. For additional information see Publication 80, Bulk Proof of Delivery Program.

1.6Fees and Postage

The applicable Signature Confirmation fee in R900 must be paid in addition to the correct postage. The fee and postage may be paid with postage stamps, meter stamps, or permit imprint. Precanceled stamps are not permitted as postage payment.

1.7Additional Services

Signature Confirmation may be combined with:

a. Collect on delivery (COD).

b. Insured mail.

c. Registered mail.

d. Restricted delivery, if purchased with insurance for more than $50, COD, or registry service.

e. Special handling.

1.8Where to Mail

A mailer may mail articles with retail option Signature Confirmation at a post office, branch, or station, or give articles to a rural carrier.

1.9Firm Sheets

If three or more articles are presented for mailing at one time, the mailer may use Form 3877 provided by the USPS at no charge, or privately printed firm sheets. Privately printed or computer-generated firm sheets that contain the same information as Form 3877 may be used if approved by the local postmaster. The mailer may omit columns from Form 3877 that are not applicable to Signature Confirmation mail. Required elements are the package identification code (PIC), 5-digit destination ZIP Code, and applicable fees. If the mailer wants the firm sheets receipted by the USPS, the mailer must present the books with the articles to be mailed at a post office. The sheets of the books are the mailer’s receipts. All entries made in firm sheets must be made by typewriter or ink. Alterations must be initialed by the mailer and accepting postal employee. All unused portions of the addressee column must be obliterated with a diagonal line. A receipt is required for refund requests.

1.10Signature Waiver

Customers who waive the signature requirement must accept the delivery employee’s signature and date of delivery as proof of delivery. Customers who waive the signature requirement will be provided only the date of delivery in the delivery record, unless a special request for the delivery employee's signature is made. For retail labels, detach both parts of the gummed label and attach to the mailpiece. Waiver of signature is not available when Signature Confirmation is combined with other special services.

2.0 Labels

2.1Types of Labels

Mailers must use one of the label options shown below ( for additional information see Publication 91, Confirmation Services Technical Guide):

a. [7-11-02] Form 153, obtained from the post office at no charge. This form may be used only with the retail option (see Exhibit 2.1a).

b. [7-11-02] Label 315, available at no charge to electronic option mailers (see Exhibit 2.1b).

c. Privately printed barcoded labels that meet the requirements in 2.0 and 3.0 (see Exhibit 2.1c). On the Priority Mail label, mailers must use the registered trademark symbol following the Priority Mail text or add the following statement at the bottom of the label in at least 6-point Helvetica type: “Priority Mail is a registered trademark of the U.S. Postal Service.”

Exhibit 2.1aForm 153

Shows Form 153, Signature Confirmation receipt.
 

Exhibit 2.1bLabel 315

Shows Label 315, Signature Confirmation.
 

Exhibit 2.1cPrivately Printed Label

Shows a privately printed Signature Confirmation label.
 

2.2Label Placement

The barcoded label section of Label 315 or Form 153 must be placed either above the delivery address and to the right of the return address or to the left of the delivery address. A privately printed Signature Confirmation label that is separate from a privately printed address label must be placed in close proximity to the address label. In all cases, the entire Signature Confirmation label must be placed on the address side of the mailpiece and not overlap any adjacent item.

3.0 Barcodes

3.1Symbology

Labels printed by mailers must meet the following symbology requirements:

a. Mailers printing their own barcodes and using the retail option (1.4a) must print their barcodes using Automatic Identification Manufacturers’ (AIM) Uniform Specifications for USS Code Interleaved 2 of 5.

b. Mailers printing their own barcodes and using the electronic option (1.4b) must use one of the following barcode symbologies: UCC/EAN 128, USS Code Interleaved 2 of 5, USS Code 39, or USS Code 128. Each barcode must contain a unique Package Identification Code (PIC) as specified in 3.2. The barcodes must meet the specifications in Publication 91.

3.2Package Identification Code (PIC)

Each barcode symbology must contain a unique PIC:

a. For UCC/EAN 128, each barcode must contain a unique PIC and be made up of five fields totaling from 16 to 22 characters. Additional information and specifications can be found in Publication 91. The five required data fields are:

(1) Application Identifier (AI): two characters; identifies the barcode as a postal barcode.

(2) Service Type Code (STC): two characters; identifies the type of product or service used for each item.

(3) Customer ID: nine characters; DUNS® number that uniquely identifies the customer.

(4) Package Sequence Number (PSN): variable from two to eight numbers.

(5) Modulus 10 Check digit: one character. See Publication 91 for use of the concatenated barcode for routing purposes.

b. For USS Code Interleaved 2 of 5, USS Code 39, and USS Code 128, each barcode must contain a unique PIC and be made up of four fields totaling 20 characters. The four required data fields are fields 2 through 5 above with a fixed sequential number of 8 digits. Additional information and specifications can be found in Publication 91. These symbologies do not use an Application Identifier (AI).

3.3Printing

Labels printed by mailers must meet the following specifications:

a. Each barcoded label must bear a return address and a unique Signature Confirmation PIC barcode as specified in 3.2. The text “USPS SIGNATURE CONFIRMATION” (if using retail service option, as specified in 1.4) or “e/USPS SIGNATURE CONFIRMATION” (if using electronic service option, as specified in 1.4, and the postage is evident on the mailpiece) must be printed between 1/8 inch and 1/2 inch above the barcode in minimum 12-point bold sans serif type. Additionally, mailers approved for the electronic service option, at their discretion, may print the text “ELECTRONIC RATE APPROVED #[DUNS NUMBER]” in minimum 8-point bold sans-serif type directly below the bottom horizontal identification bar (see Exhibit 3.3). Human-readable characters that represent the barcode ID must be printed between 1/8 inch and 1/2 inch under the barcode in minimum 10-point bold sans serif type. These characters must be parsed in accordance with Publication 91. A minimum 1/8-inch clearance must be maintained between the barcode and any printing. The preferred range of widths of narrow bars and spaces is 0.015 inch to 0.017 inch. The width of the narrow bars or spaces must be at least 0.013 inch but no more than 0.021 inch. All bars must be at least 3/4 inch high. Minimum 1/16-inch bold bars must appear between 1/8 inch and 1/2 inch above and below the human-readable endorsements to segregate the Signature Confirmation barcode from other areas of the shipping label. The line length should extend across the width of the label but must extend the length of the barcode at a minimum (see Exhibit 2.1c). Only information relating to Signature Confirmation and other special services must be placed between these lines.

b. Each barcode must meet the requirements in 3.1 for the type of service requested.

c. Mailers must obtain USPS certification for each printer used to print barcoded Signature Confirmation labels. For certification, a mailer must forward for evaluation and approval 20 barcoded labels/forms generated by each printer to the National Customer Support Center (NCSC), Attention Barcode Certification (see G043 for address). The USPS will issue the mailer a Form 3152 for each printer certified. All barcodes must be in accordance with 2.0 and 3.0. Further certification instructions are included in Publication 91.

d. Barcodes that do not meet specifications will not be accepted by the USPS. The USPS will contact the mailer if problems with the barcodes are found and will try to resolve the problem. The USPS may suspend a mailer’s certification if electronic file quality does not meet specifications.

e. Mailers who have previously received certification for label printing under the Delivery Confirmation program are not required to obtain any additional certification to use Signature Confirmation.

Exhibit 3.3Electronic Service Option Identification

Shows an electronic service option identification label.
 

3.4Integrated Barcodes

An integrated barcode may be used by mailers printing their own barcodes and using the electronic service option. Mailers may combine Signature Confirmation and insurance services into a single barcode on the shipping label and eliminate multiple labels and barcodes on packages. Mailers must still meet existing specifications in 3.1 and 3.2. Minor modifications allow users to request multiple special services on Priority Mail and Package Services. Two required changes are:

a. Change the text above the barcode to identify the service requested. Exhibits are included in Publication 91.

b. Change the service type code in the barcode to identify the class of mail and/or type of special services combined with Signature Confirmation. Additional information on the Service Type Code Matrix can be found in Publication 91.

4.0 Electronic File Transmission

Mailers must meet the following standards for electronic file transmission:

a. [7-11-02] Publication 91 contains specifications for electronic file transmission. A test file transmission must be uploaded and approved before mailings begin. Upon certification, USPS will issue the mailer Form 3152.

b. Mailers using the electronic option must transmit a file with a unique record for each article mailed. The USPS may suspend a mailer’s certification if the electronic file quality does not meet specifications. In addition, USPS acceptance units will be notified to charge the customer the retail option Signature Confirmation fee.

c. [7-11-02] Mailers who previously received certification for electronic file transmission under the Delivery Confirmation program are not required to obtain an additional certification for Signature Confirmation use.

d. Mailers using the electronic option must include additional fields in the electronic file when planning to use the integrated barcode. For more information see Publication 91.

5.0 Acceptance

Customers must meet the following requirements when presenting electronic option Signature Confirmation mail for acceptance:

a. Presorted or permit imprint mailings containing pieces for which fees are paid for Signature Confirmation service must be presented to a post office business mail entry unit (BMEU), detached mail unit (DMU) at the mailer’s plant, bulk mail center or auxiliary service facility business mail entry unit, or other postal facility capable of properly verifying the mailing and at which the mailer has obtained the necessary permits or license and paid any applicable mailing fee.

b. [7-11-02] Mailers who use the electronic option or print their own labels must submit a copy of their original Form 3152 with their first mailing using Confirmation Services (see exception in 5.0c). The business mail or detached mail entry unit office will retain a copy of the form. However, mailers who wish to obtain an electronic entry scan must submit Form 3152 with each mailing to include the electronic file number associated with that mailing. The electronic file number on the form must be in either a barcode format (preferred) or written on the form. All barcode formats must comply with standards in Publication 91. Mailers should keep the certification form on file while using Confirmation Services. If requested by the USPS, the form must be presented within 24 hours.

c. [7-11-02] Mailers of single-piece rate mail with postage affixed using the electronic option rate are not required to submit Form 3152 with their initial mailing. This includes mailings generated from the Postal Service online shipping label application at www.usps.com or labels generated from a third-party vendor or system that supports the electronic option rates. All labels must meet USPS format and design requirements, including the “e” (electronic rate) endorsement in the barcode text line.

DMM Issue 58 (8-10-03)