Updated March 2005
This Customer Support Ruling discusses whether a mailpiece that
bears a handwritten addition may be mailed as Standard Mail, rather
than at First-Class Mail or Express Mail rates.
The mailpiece, from Maine Teddy Bears, is a package weighing less
than 16 ounces that contains a gift for the addressee. The package
bears the handwritten notation “Do Not Open Until Your Birthday.”
Under the provisions of
Domestic Mail Manual
233.2.4*, matter wholly or partially in handwriting must be sent at
First-Class Mail or Express Mail rates, unless the handwritten
matter is an authorized addition. The authorized additions for
Standard Mail set forth in DMM 243.2.7 provides that Standard Mail
may contain written additions such as “Do Not Open Until Christmas”
and “Happy Birthday.” Notations that do not conform substantially
to the specific examples in 243.2.6 or that convey personal
information are not considered to be “authorized additions.”
Since the written addition here, “Do Not Open Until Your Birthday,”
is just a variation of those specifically authorized under DMM
243.2.6 and does not convey “personal Information,” the mailpiece
would be eligible at the applicable Standard Mail rate.
*See also DMM 133.3, 333.2, 433.2, 343.2, and 443.2.
United States Postal Service
Washington DC 20260-3436