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Customer Support Ruling

 

Identification of Nonprofit Standard Mail Matter (a.k.a. and d.b.a.)
UPDATED January 2006

PS-124 (703.1.5)

This Customer Support Ruling discusses the identification of a nonprofit organization on matter mailed at the Nonprofit Standard Mail (nonprofit) rates of postage.

Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 703.1.5 states, in part, that all matter mailed at the nonprofit rates must identify the authorized nonprofit organization.  The name and return address of the authorized organization must appear either on the outside of the mailpiece or in a prominent location on the material being mailed.  Pseudonyms or bogus names of persons or organizations may not be used.

When the articles of incorporation, charter, bylaws, or other formal documents of an authorized nonprofit organization state that the organization operates using more than one name under an “also known as” (a.k.a.) or “doing business as” (d.b.a.) provision, the organization's use of the names so specified in the formal documents can be considered to meet the identification requirement in DMM 703.1.5, under one of these conditions:

1.   The a.k.a. or d.b.a. designation is shown in conjunction with the authorized name of the nonprofit rate organization, or;

2.   The organization applies for, and is approved, separate nonprofit mailing privileges in the assumed name (i.e., the a.k.a. or d.b.a.).  In that case, when the organization mails at the nonprofit rates solely under the a.k.a. or d.b.a. name, the mailpiece must be identified with the authorized a.k.a. or d.b.a., under DMM 703.1.5.

Following are three scenarios for mailing solely under an a.k.a. or d.b.a. name.

  • If an organization is currently authorized to mail at nonprofit rates under its incorporated name (or name supported by other evidence, such as a trust indenture), as shown on the original application to mail at nonprofit rates, and requests to have the name on the authorization changed to the a.k.a. or d.b.a name, the organization must submit the following to the Postal Service: a completed Form 6015; a copy of the certificate from the state that recognizes the use of the d.b.a. or a.k.a. name; and a letter from an official of the organization requesting a name change to the d.b.a. or a.k.a. name.

  • Alternately, the organization may maintain its authorization in its incorporated name and obtain a separate authorization to mail at the nonprofit rates in its a.k.a. or d.b.a. name. In order to do so, the organization must file a PS Form 3624, Application to Mail at Nonprofit Standard Mail Rates, in the a.k.a. or d.b.a. name.  The application must include the following: evidence of the organization’s qualifying primary purpose and nonprofit status; a copy of the certificate from the state that recognizes the use of the a.k.a. or d.b.a. name; and a letter from an official of the organization requesting to use the a.k.a. or d.b.a. name. Note:  It is understood that evidence of the qualifying primary purpose and nonprofit status generally will be in the incorporated name of the organization.

  • If an organization not authorized to mail at the nonprofit rates requests authorization in the name of the a.k.a. or d.b.a. name, the organization must file a PS Form 3624, Application to Mail at Nonprofit Standard Mail Rates, in the a.k.a. or d.b.a. name.  The application must include the following: evidence of the organization’s qualifying primary purpose and nonprofit status; a copy of the certificate from the state that recognizes the use of the a.k.a. or d.b.a. name; and a letter from an official of the organization requesting to use the a.k.a. or d.b.a. name.  Note:  It is understood that evidence of the qualifying primary purpose and nonprofit status generally will be in the incorporated name of the organization.

 

(Signed)
Sherry Suggs
Manager
Mailing Standards
United States Postal Service
Washington DC 20260-3436