Updated June 2014
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, Priority Mail, or Priority Mail Express prices.
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 (DMM) 233.2.4, matter wholly or partially in handwriting must be sent at First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, or Priority Mail Express prices, unless the handwritten matter is an authorized addition. The authorized additions for Standard Mail set forth in DMM 243.2.6 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 price.