Contents Index

 

 

P100 First-Class Mail

Summary

P100 describes the different rate levels and payment options for First-Class Mail.

1.0 Basic Information

1.1Payment Method

Postage for single-piece and discount (presorted or automation) rate First-Class Mail and Priority Mail must be paid with affixed postage or permit imprint as specified in 2.0 through 5.0. A permit imprint may be used for mailings of nonidentical-weight pieces only if authorized by Business Mailer Support at USPS Headquarters. The mailer is responsible for prompt payment of postage.

1.2Postage Statement and Documentation

A complete postage statement must accompany each mailing paid with a permit imprint or claimed at other than the First-Class Mail or Priority Mail single-piece rate. The postage statement must be supported by documentation as required by P012 and the rate claimed unless the correct rate is affixed to each piece or each piece is of identical weight and the pieces are separated by rate when presented for acceptance.

2.0 Single-Piece Rate

2.1Payment Method

First-Class Mail single-piece postage must be paid with postage stamps, stamped envelopes, stamped cards, meter stamps, or permit imprints.

2.2More Than One Mailer

When two or more individuals or organizations, or a party acting as their agent, mail in one package the bills, statements of account, or other letters of the individuals or organizations, to an addressee in common, First-Class postage may be paid on the weight of the entire package of aggregated mail. Postage is not required on each individual piece of First-Class Mail.

2.3More Than One Letter

An individual or organization may mail in one envelope more than one of the mailer’s own letters and pay postage at the First-Class Mail rate on the weight of the entire package of letters if:

a. The letters are for persons at the same residence or working for the same organization at the address on the envelope (if the letters relate to the business of such organization); or

b. The letters are sent to a party who turns them over to other persons as part of a minor service provided in addition to a substantial and independent sales, service, or other business function that party performs for such persons.

2.4Agent

Any agent of a licensing authority may forward completed applications in one envelope to an office of the licensing authority and pay postage at the First-Class Mail rate on the weight of the piece.

2.5Pieces Presented With Automation or Presort Mailings

Regardless of the method of postage payment, pieces of single-piece rate First-Class Mail may be presented with and reported on the same postage statement as pieces claimed at automation or presort rates if the single-piece rate pieces are physically separated from other pieces; bear no rate marking, or are marked only “First-Class,” or (if not affixed with full single-piece rate postage) are marked “Single-Piece” or “SNGLP” under M012 in addition to any other marking; and either have additional postage affixed to yield the correct amount on each piece or (if prepared with a corrective rate marking) have all additional postage paid at the time of mailing.

2.6Residual Standard Mail Subject to First-Class Rates

Mailers who have pieces weighing 13 ounces or less that do not qualify for Standard Mail rates but that are prepared as Standard Mail must pay single-piece First-Class Mail postage for such pieces. If mailers do not desire to receive First-Class Mail service for such pieces they may enter the mailpieces “as is” (i.e., bearing the Standard Mail markings and endorsements), under the following conditions:

a. Additional markings and/or postage must not be added to these pieces.

b. Mail bearing metered or precanceled stamp postage must pay the difference between the postage affixed at the Standard Mail rates and the single-piece First-Class Mail rates by means of an advance deposit account or by affixing a meter stamp for the appropriate amount to Form 3600-P. These pieces are reported in Part C on the reverse side of Form 3600-P under the heading “From Standard Mail.”

c. Mail bearing permit imprints must pay the appropriate single-piece First-Class rates by completing Form 3600-R. These pieces are reported in Part C on the reverse side of Form 3600-R under the heading “From Standard Mail.” For permit imprint mail there must be at least 200 pieces, except when the pieces are part of a larger mailing job and are submitted for acceptance along with the mail and a Standard Mail postage statement for the other pieces in the same mailing job.

3.0 Priority Mail Rates

3.1Payment Method

Priority Mail postage may be paid with postage stamps, meter stamps, or permit imprint. To use a permit imprint, the pieces must be of identical weight and, unless all the pieces are in a weight category for which the rate does not vary by zone, the pieces must be separated by zone when presented to the post office, if not otherwise permitted by standard or USPS authorization.

3.2Residual Standard Mail Subject to Priority Mail Rates

Mailers who have permit imprint pieces weighing over 13 ounces but less than 16 ounces that do not qualify for Standard Mail rates but that are prepared as Standard Mail must pay Priority Mail postage for such pieces. Mailpieces paid with meters or permit imprints must re-envelope or otherwise prepare the pieces so that when mailed they bear only the appropriate Priority Mail markings, ancillary service endorsements, and ACS codes and do not bear Standard Mail markings, endorsements, or ACS codes. Mailpieces paid with permit imprints for which mailers do not desire to receive Priority Mail service may enter the mailpieces “as is” (i.e., bearing the Standard Mail markings and endorsements), under the following conditions:

a. Additional markings and/or postage must not be added to these pieces.

b. The appropriate Priority Mail rates must be paid by completing Form 3600-PM. The pieces must be recorded on this postage statement on the line titled “Pieces From Standard Mail” in the postage calculation section. For permit imprint mail there must be at least 200 pieces, except when the pieces are part of a larger mailing job and are submitted for acceptance along with the mail and a Standard Mail postage statement for the other pieces in the same mailing job.

4.0 Presorted Rate

4.1Payment Method

Presorted First-Class Mail rate postage must be paid with meter stamps, permit imprints, or precanceled postage, subject to the corresponding standards for these methods. All pieces in a mailing must be paid with the same method unless otherwise permitted by standard or Business Mailer Support authorization.

4.2Affixed Postage

Unless permitted by other standards or by Business Mailer Support, USPS Headquarters, when precanceled postage or meter stamps are used, only one payment method may be used in a mailing and each piece must bear postage under one of these conditions:

a. The full postage at the First-Class Mail rate for which it qualifies (no postage documentation is required).

b. A precanceled stamp or the full postage at the lowest First-Class first-ounce rate applicable to the mailing job, and full postage on metered pieces for any additional ounce(s) or nonmachinable surcharge; postage documentation may be required by standard.

c. Postage in an amount not less than the lowest available First-Class first-ounce letter or card rate (as applicable) in the mailing job if authorized by Business Mailer Support, plus full postage on metered pieces for any extra ounce(s); postage documentation may be required by standard.

4.3Additional Postage

Additional postage for pieces not bearing sufficient postage when presented to the USPS (e.g., under 4.2b or 4.2c) must be paid before acceptance either using an advance deposit account or with a meter stamp affixed to the postage statement accompanying the mail. When the amount of postage affixed is subject to Business Mailer Support authorization under 4.2c, credit is not given for postage affixed in excess of the authorized amount.

5.0 Automation Rates

5.1Payment Method

First-Class Mail automation rate postage must be paid with meter stamps, permit imprints, or precanceled stamps. All pieces in a mailing must be paid with the same method unless otherwise permitted by standard or Business Mailer Support authorization. Permit imprints may be used for mailings of nonidentical-weight pieces only if authorized by Business Mailer Support.

5.2Postage Affixed, Generally

Unless permitted by other standards or Business Mailer Support authorization, when precanceled postage or meter stamps are used, only one payment method may be used in a mailing and each piece must bear postage under one of these conditions:

a. Each metered piece weighing more than 1 ounce must bear the correct additional postage to pay for the additional ounce(s).

b. Flat-size pieces must bear enough postage to include the nonmachinable surcharge if applicable.

c. Each piece must bear a precanceled stamp or meter postage in the exact amount or at the lowest rate applicable to pieces in the mailing job. If exact postage is not affixed, all additional postage must be paid at the time of mailing with an advance deposit account or with a meter stamp affixed to the required postage statement.

d. Documentation meeting the standards in P012 must be presented with the postage statement to show the number of pieces at each rate and the computation of the additional postage due for pieces not bearing full postage at the applicable rate (i.e., the difference between what the pieces bear and the correct postage at the rate for which each qualifies).

5.3Nondenominated Precanceled Stamp

A mailer may use available nondenominated precanceled stamps if:

a. Stamps are affixed to every piece in the mailing.

b. Additional postage is paid at the time of mailing either by advance deposit account or by a meter stamp affixed to the back of the accompanying postage statement.

c. Documentation is presented with the postage statement showing, by 5-digit and 3-digit ZIP Code, the number of pieces at each rate and the computation of the additional postage due at the applicable rate (i.e., the difference between the value of the nondenominated stamp affixed and the correct postage at the rate for which each piece qualifies).

5.4Lower Denomination Precanceled Stamp

A mailer may use precanceled stamps of a denomination less than the postage for the first ounce at the lowest rate in the mailing if:

a. The stamps do not bear an improper rate marking.

b. The same denomination of stamp is affixed to every piece in the mailing.

c. Additional postage is paid at the time of mailing either by advance deposit account or by a meter stamp affixed to the back of the accompanying postage statement.

d. Documentation is presented with the postage statement showing, by 5-digit and 3-digit ZIP Code, the number of pieces at each rate and the computation of the additional postage due at the applicable rate (i.e., the difference between the value of the stamps affixed and the correct postage at the rate for which each piece qualifies).

5.5Postage Affixed at Lowest Rate to All Pieces

Where it is not practicable for the mailer to affix the exact postage to each piece or to affix the lowest postage rate to all pieces in the mailing, the mailer may compute postage for the mailing as if the lowest rate affixed to any piece in the mailing were affixed to all pieces. Additional postage is computed based on the difference between the lowest rate affixed to any piece in the mailing and the rate for each rate level in the mailing. This computation must be documented to meet the basic standards in P012. No refund is paid for any piece where postage is affixed at a rate higher than the lowest rate claimed for or affixed to any piece. The total additional postage must be paid either by advance deposit account or by a meter stamp affixed to the back of the accompanying postage statement.

DMM Issue 58 Updated 12-9-04