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Customer Support Ruling

   
 

Checks
January 2005

PS-319 (233.2.3)

In this Customer Support Ruling a determination will be made as to whether a “check” is considered “personal information” and mailable only at First-Class Mail or Express Mail rates.

This ruling concerns the classification of  a printed mailpiece with a “convenience” check enclosed styled “To the order of John M. Doe.”   The “amount” and “date” spaces on the check were left blank.

Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 233.2.3*, requires that matter containing personal information must be mailed as First-Class Mail or Express Mail.  Personal information is any information specific to the addressee.

A check which is made payable only to the addressee or a specific individual(s) is personal correspondence and is mailable only at the First-Class rates of postage.  Examples include “Pay to the order of John Doe,” or “Pay to Jane Doe or order.” As explained in PS-26, a printed “bearer check,” styled, for example, "Pay to John Doe or Bearer" would be acceptable at the Standard Mail rates.

Since the mailpiece includes a check made payable “To the order of John M. Doe” it is First-Class Mail despite the “amount” or other spaces such as “date” being left blank for completion.  Similar checks styled payable “To the order of” with the payee line left blank are not required to be mailed as First-Class Mail.

*See also DMM 133.3, 333.2, and 433.2.

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