Updated February 2012
This Customer Support Ruling
discusses the use of
embossing techniques on permit imprints.
Permit imprints may be embossed as noted
in Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 604.5.3.1. In addition, DMM
604.5.3.3 states that the permit imprint must be legible and of a
color that contrasts sufficiently with the paper and the imprint’s
background for readability. A different color background may be
used to highlight the background of a permit imprint.
However, some embossing techniques
produce a raised outer ridge resembling a perforated separation,
very much like the edge of a postage stamp. When such embossing is
combined with the printing of a highlighted background color, the
imprint can appear, upon casual inspection, to be affixed postage.
DMM 604.1.4 states, in part, that mailpieces bearing imitations
of postage stamps are not acceptable for mailing.
Embossed permit imprints with an outer
ridge resembling a perforated separation are permissible on
Presorted Standard Mail mailings only under the following
The contents of the permit imprint
must be printed and remain consistent with all other standards
noted in DMM 604.5.
The raised portion of the envelope
stock (forming the background of the permit imprint) must not
distort the printed contents of the imprint, or weaken the paper
stock so that it is unreasonably susceptible to tearing during
normal processing and handling.
The use of
different colors, graphics, or printed patterns (other than
those used for the envelope paper stock and the required permit
imprint wording) is not permitted when embossing because of the
standards in DMM 604.5.3.11.
United States Postal Service
Washington DC 20260-3436