Sealing of Double Postcards
This Customer Support Ruling
discusses the standards
for sealing a double postcard at the card rate.
The issue is double postcards and the
standards set forth in Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 201.1.2*.
A double card (i.e., a double stamped
card or double postcard) consists of two attached cards, one of
which is designed to be detached by the recipient and returned by
mail as a single card. Double cards are subject to these standards:
The reply half of the card must be
used for reply only and may not be used to convey a message to
the original addressee or to send statements of account. The
reply half may be formatted for response purposes (e.g., contain
blocks for completion by the addressee).
A double card must be folded before
mailing and prepared so that the address on the reply half is on
the inside when the double card is originally mailed. The
address side of the reply half may be prepared as business reply
mail, courtesy reply mail, or as merchandise return service
Plain stickers, seals, or a single
wire stitch (staple) may be used to fasten the open edge at the
top or bottom once the card is folded if affixed so that the
inner surfaces of the cards can be readily examined. Fasteners
must be affixed according to the applicable preparation
requirements for the rate claimed.
The first half of a double card must
be detached when the reply half is mailed for return.
The lower First-Class rate for postal
and postcards was established to accommodate mailers that desire to
send a “visible” message without an envelope. Eligibility for the
card rate is limited to cards meeting prescribed size limits and to
messages fitting within that space. Thus, the “second portion” of a
double postcard may not be used to convey a message to the original
addressee or to send statements of account. It must be designed
solely for reply purposes. When mailers use the second or reply half
of a double postcard to convey a message to the original addressee,
whether advertising or matter other than advertising, the card is
properly chargeable at the First-Class Mail letter rate. The
First-Class Mail letter rate also must be paid if the card is sealed
in a manner such that prevents examination of the two cards and may
only be sealed at the top (or the bottom if folded at the top) once
the card is folded.
The card reviewed corrected the content
deficiencies from earlier versions (i.e. the reply half no longer
includes a message as earlier submissions did), but remained sealed
in a manner not meeting postal requirements. The cards are folded
and sealed at the top and also partially on the left and right sides
with a permanent spot of glue on each side (not permitted by postal
standards). In the most recent example, a message on the message
side of the outgoing card portion was not visible until defacing the
card by tearing the glue strips on the sides. As explained above,
the card may be sealed only at the top or bottom once folded. Any
sealing on the left and right sides of the cards, no matter the
sealing process used, is not permitted by postal standards.
It was concluded the cards are not
eligible for the card rate.
*See also DMM
United States Postal Service
Washington DC 20260-3436