Contents Index


A000 Basic Addressing

A060 Detached Address Labels (DALs)


A060 describes how to use DALs. It covers the label preparation, including paper stock, placement and type of address format, mail preparation, and postage. It also describes the handling of excess DALs or mailpieces.

1.0 Use


For these standards, item(s) refers inclusively to the types of mail described in 1.2 through 1.4.

1.2Periodicals or Standard Mail Flats

Saturation mailings of unaddressed Periodicals or Standard Mail flats may be mailed with detached address labels (DALs). For this standard, saturation mailing means a mailing sent to at least 75% of the total addresses on a carrier route or 90% of the residential addresses on a route, whichever is less. Deliveries are not required to every carrier route of a delivery unit.

1.3Standard Mail Merchandise Samples

Merchandise samples more than 5 inches wide (high) or 1/4 inch thick, or nonuniform in thickness, mailed at Standard Mail rates, must be mailed with DALs when prepared for general distribution on city delivery routes. Merchandise samples may be mailed with DALs for general distribution on other (e.g., rural) routes and for the residual portion of a general distribution mailing. For this standard, general distribution means distribution in a single mailing to at least 25% of the addresses in any 5-digit ZIP Code delivery area regardless of the number of samples addressed to a single route or the number of 5-digit areas to which samples are addressed. If the same mailing includes a general distribution to one or more 5-digit areas and a secondary distribution of lesser quantities to one or more other 5-digit areas, pieces in the secondary distribution are considered residual.

1.4Bound Printed Matter

Unaddressed pieces of Bound Printed Matter may be mailed with DALs when:

a. The mail is prepared on 5-digit pallets meeting the standards in M040 and M045, except that for flat-size mail, separate 5-digit pallets of Carrier Route and Presorted rate mail are not required. The destination delivery unit is determined using the Drop Shipment Product under the provisions for the DDU rate in E752. The mail may not be prepared on pallets when the Drop Shipment Product indicates that the delivery unit that serves the 5-digit pallet destination cannot handle pallets. For such delivery units, mail with DALs must be prepared in sacks. The trays or cartons of DALs must be prepared under 3.0, placed on the same pallet as the pieces, and must be stretch-wrapped together as one unit.

b. The mail is prepared in 5-digit sacks and entered at the destination delivery unit. The destination delivery unit is determined by using the Drop Shipment Product under the provisions for the DDU rate in E752. DALs must be bundled under 3.0 and presented to the destination delivery unit with the accompanying items to be distributed with the DALs.

1.5Alternative Addressing Formats

The addresses on DALs may be prepared using an alternative addressing format under A020, subject to the applicable eligibility, volume, density, and preparation standards.


When requested by the USPS, DAL mailers must provide documentation to establish that the applicable distribution standards in 1.2 through 1.4 are met.

1.7Special Services

Items mailed with DALs may not be combined with any special services.

2.0 Label Preparation

2.1Label Construction

Each DAL must be made of paper or cardboard stock that is not folded, perforated, or creased, and that meets these measurements:

a. Between 3-1/2 and 5 inches high (perpendicular to the address label).

b. Between 5 and 9 inches long (parallel to the address label).

c. At least 0.007 inch thick.


The address for each item must be placed on a DAL, parallel to the longest dimension of the DAL, and may not appear on the item it accompanies. The DAL must contain the recipient’s delivery address and the mailer’s return address. A ZIP+4 code or 5-digit ZIP Code is required unless a simplified address format is used. The delivery address may include the correct delivery point barcode.


Only one DAL may be prepared for each accompanying item, and only one item may be identified for delivery per DAL (i.e., a single DAL may not be prepared to deliver one each of different accompanying items or multiples of the same item).

2.4Required Information

The following words must appear in bold type at least 1/8 inch high on the front of each DAL: “USPS regulations require that this address label be delivered with its accompanying postage-paid mail. If you should receive this label without its accompanying mail, please notify your local postmaster.” The title or brand name of the item (which may include an illustration of the item) must also appear on the front or back of the DAL to associate it with the accompanying item.

2.5Other Information

Nothing may appear on the front of a DAL except the information described in 2.2 and 2.4, an indicium of postage payment, and official pictures and data circulated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Ancillary service endorsements are not permitted. Undeliverable material is treated under 4.0.

3.0 Mail Preparation

3.1Notice to Delivery Office

Each delivery office to receive a DAL mailing must be notified in writing at least 10 days before the requested delivery period. To ensure that the delivery office can readily relate the notice to the cartons containing the corresponding items, a copy of that letter must be enclosed with the DALs unless the initial notice and the cartons used for the DALs and items each conspicuously bears a mailing identification number. The letter must contain the following information:

a. Name and telephone number of mailer or representative.

b. Origin post office of mailing.

c. Expected mailing date.

d. Description of mailing.

e. Number of addressees for each 5-digit ZIP Code.

f. Number of DALs per carton or bundle.

g. Number of items per carton or bundle.

h. Expected delivery period (range of dates).

i. Requested action for excess or undeliverable DALs or items (see 4.0).


The DALs must be presorted, counted, and packed by 5-digit ZIP Code delivery area. Only DALs for the same 5-digit area may be placed in the same carton. DAL mailings claimed at carrier route or walk-sequence rates must be further prepared under the corresponding standards. Different size cartons may be used in the same mailing, but each must be filled with dunnage as necessary to ensure that the DALs retain their integrity while in transit. Each carton of DALs must bear a label showing the information in 3.5 unless a mailing identification number is used (see 3.1). Multiple containers of DALs must be numbered sequentially (“1 of __,” “2 of __,” etc.).


The items to be distributed with the DALs must be placed in cartons or prepared in bundles placed in sacks, as appropriate for the type of item and subject to the standards for the rate claimed. A label bearing the content description information in 3.5 must be affixed to each carton, sacked bundle, or pallet unless a mailing identification number is used (see 3.1). Cartons of items (including those on pallets) may be of different sizes but must be filled with dunnage as necessary to ensure the integrity of the items while in transit. The gross weight of each carton or sack must not be more than 40 pounds.

3.4Combined Cartons

Both the DALs and the accompanying items may be enclosed in the same carton when sent to a small volume 5-digit ZIP Code area. If packed together, these standards apply:

a. The DALs must be bundled and labeled under 3.2 and placed on top of the items.

b. The carton must be packed with dunnage to ensure the integrity of the contents while in transit.

c. The gross weight of the carton must not exceed 40 pounds.

d. The exterior of the carton must be labeled under 3.5 and marked “DALs ENCLOSED” in letters not less than 1/2 inch high.

3.5Label Information

Sacks, cartons, and pallets of DAL mail must be labeled under the preparation standards for the rate claimed. A second label must be affixed to each carton or sacked bundle to provide the following information (unless a mailing identification number is used under 3.1):

a. Delivery post office name and 5-digit ZIP Code delivery area.

b. Title, brand name, or other description of the items.

c. Name and telephone number of the mailer or representative.

d. Number of labels or items in the carton, as applicable.

e. Instructions to open and distribute either the DALs with matching items or the items with matching DALs, as appropriate.

3.6Use of Equipment

Cartons, bundles of flats, and sacks of items may be palletized under the applicable standards; cartons of DALs must be palletized with the corresponding items under the same standards. The USPS plant manager at whose facility a DAL mailing is deposited may authorize other types of equipment for the portion of the mailing to be delivered in that plant’s service area.

4.0 Disposition of Excess or Undeliverable Material

4.1Excess Material

The letter required under 3.1 must either request that the delivery office contact the mailer (or representative) about excess DALs or items, or provide instructions for their treatment. (If the mailer does not provide information about excess DALs or items, such material is disposed of as waste by the USPS.) The mailer must choose one of the following options for each DAL mailing and the items:

a. Disposal of any excess material as waste.

b. Return of the excess material to the mailer, postage due at the applicable single-piece rate under 5.0.

c. Holding of the excess material for pickup by the mailer (or representative). If pickup is not made within 15 calendar days of the notice to the mailer, the material is returned to the mailer postage due.

d. Holding of the excess material while additional DALs or items are supplied (as applicable). If additional material is not supplied within 15 days of the notice to the mailer, the excess material is returned to the mailer postage due. Additional material must be sent prepaid to the delivery post office as First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, or Express Mail.

4.2Undeliverable DAL

A DAL that is undeliverable as addressed (UAA) is handled under F010 for the applicable class of mail. The accompanying item is treated as specified by the mailer under 4.1.

5.0 Postage

5.1Available Rates

DAL mailings are not eligible for any automation rate, but they may qualify for a carrier route rate, subject to the applicable standards.

5.2Initial Distribution

Postage is computed based on the weight of the entire mailpiece (i.e., the combined weight of the item and the accompanying DAL). If the number of DALs and items mailed is not identical, the number of pieces used to determine postage is the greater of the two. No postage refund is allowed in these situations. The total weight of the mailing excludes the weight of the cartons used to carry the DALs or items, dunnage, and carton labels. In addition, these methods of postage payment apply:

a. Periodicals flats must be prepaid. A notice of entry must appear in the upper right corner of the DAL.

b. Standard Mail flats and samples and Bound Printed Matter must be paid by permit imprint, which must appear on each DAL. Standard Mail postage is computed at the applicable nonletter rates.


Postage for excess or undeliverable DALs that are properly endorsed or for items being returned is computed at the single-piece rate (First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, or Package Services) applicable to the combined weight of the DAL and the accompanying item, regardless of whether both are returned. The total amount due for returned material, which includes the return postage and the applicable address correction fee for each DAL or item returned, is collected when the material is returned to the mailer.

5.4Additional Items

Postage for additional material (DALs or items) mailed to the USPS under 4.1d must be prepaid as First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, or Express Mail, subject to the eligibility standards for the rate claimed and the conditions in 5.2.

DMM Issue 58 Updated 12-9-04