USPS Homepage Skip navigation    USPS Home | Postal Explorer Home


Postal Explorer

Determining Standard Mail Eligibility

   
 

Standard Mail consists of mailable matter that is neither mailed or required to be mailed as First-Class Mail nor entered as Periodicals (unless permitted or required by standard) and that weighs less than 16 ounces.

As advances in technology have enabled mailers to increase the amount of “personal information” in computer-generated mailings, including advertising material typically entered as Standard Mail, the Postal Service has determined the need for guidance concerning the inclusion of “personal information” in Standard Mail (regular or nonprofit rates).

The following “decision tree” along with Customer Support Rulings will assist you in determining if your mailpiece is eligible at the Standard Mail rates of postage.

These eligibility standards for Standard Mail are effective June 1, 2005. On October 27, 2004, the USPS published the Federal Register Final Rule for Eligibility Requirements for Standard Mail.

Indicates Customer Support Ruling. Click on icon to see more information.

Standard Mail Eligibility Decision Tree (PDF)

   
   
 
Mailpiece Flow Chart with links to CSR.
   
 

Summary of Customer Support Rulings (CSR) on Qualifications for Standard Mail

Q. Is it typewritten or handwritten?
A. Yes        
CSR   Description   DMM Reference
PS-091   This CSR discusses whether the age of documents affects their status as handwritten or typewritten matter that is mailable only at First-Class Mail or Express Mail rates.   133.3
Back to Top

 

Q. Is it a bill or statement of account?
A. Yes        
CSR   Description   DMM Reference
PS-031   This CSR shows whether a computer prepared mortgage payment card is considered a bill or statement of account that is mailable only at First-Class Mail or Express Mail rates, rather than as Standard Mail.   233.2
Back to Top

 

Q. Does it contain personal information?
A. No        
CSR   Description   DMM Reference
PS-026   In this CSR a determination will be made as to whether a “check” is “personal” information and mailable only at First-Class Mail or Express Mail rates.   243.2
PS-159   This CSR discusses whether certain information inserted into a mailpiece by computer constitutes “personal information” within the meaning of postal standards governing what may be mailed as Standard Mail and what must be mailed as First-Class Mail.   343.2
PS-317   In this CSR, a question is raised as to whether certain information is considered “personal” information for the purpose of classifying mail.   243.2
PS-320   In this CSR, a determination will be made as to whether a “check,” while present in a mailpiece, is “personal” information mailable only as First-Class Mail or at Express Mail rates.   243.2
PS-323   This CSR discusses whether “personal information” present in the mailpiece of an organization authorized to mail at Nonprofit Standard Mail rates causes the piece to be ineligible for Standard Mail rates.   243.2
Back to Top

 

Q. Does it contain personal information?
A. Yes        
CSR   Description   DMM Reference
PS-238   In this CSR, a determination will be made as to whether a mailpiece containing “personal” information is eligible as Standard Mail under current rules as well as revised standards that are effective June 1, 2005.   243.2
PS-262   This CSR discusses whether “personal information” present in the mailpiece of an organization authorized to mail at the Nonprofit Standard Mail rates causes the piece to be ineligible for Standard Mail rates.   243.2
PS-275   In this CSR, a case study serves to clarify whether certain “personal information” present in the mailpiece of a “points program” mailing is part of an “explicit” advertisement where all of the personal information is “directly related” to the advertisement and the “exclusive” purpose for including the personal information is in support of the advertisement.   243.2
PS-318   In this CSR a determination will be made as to whether certain “personal” information present in the mailpiece is part of an “explicit” advertisement where all of the personal information is “directly related” to the advertisement and the “exclusive” purpose for including the personal information is in support of the advertisement.   343.2
PS-319   In this CSR 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.   233.2.3
PS-321   In this CSR, a case study serves to clarify whether certain “personal information” present in the mailpiece of a credit card issuer’s mailing is part of an “explicit” advertisement where all of the personal information is “directly related” to the advertisement and the “exclusive” purpose for including the personal information is in support of the advertisement.   233.2
PS-322   This CSR discusses whether “personal information” in the mailpiece of an organization authorized to mail at the Nonprofit Standard Mail rates causes the piece to be ineligible for Standard Mail rates.   233.2
PS-323   This CSR discusses whether “personal information” present in the mailpiece of an organization authorized to mail at Nonprofit Standard Mail rates causes the piece to be ineligible for Standard Mail rates.   243.2
PS-324   This CSR discusses whether “personal information” in an “advocacy” mailpiece causes the piece to be ineligible for entry as Standard Mail.   243.2
Back to Top

 

Q. Is there explicit advertising for a product or service for sale or lease, or an explicit solicitation for a donation?
A. No        
CSR   Description   DMM Reference
PS-319   In this CSR 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.   233.2.3
Back to Top

 

Q. Is there explicit advertising for a product or service for sale or lease, or an explicit solicitation for a donation?
A. Yes        
CSR   Description   DMM Reference
PS-238   In this CSR, a determination will be made as to whether a mailpiece containing “personal” information is eligible as Standard Mail under current rules as well as revised standards that are effective June 1, 2005.   243.2
PS-262   This CSR discusses whether “personal information” present in the mailpiece of an organization authorized to mail at the Nonprofit Standard Mail rates causes the piece to be ineligible for Standard Mail rates.   243.2
PS-275   In this CSR, a case study serves to clarify whether certain “personal information” present in the mailpiece of a “points program” mailing is part of an “explicit” advertisement where all of the personal information is “directly related” to the advertisement and the “exclusive” purpose for including the personal information is in support of the advertisement.   243.2
PS-318   In this CSR a determination will be made as to whether certain “personal” information present in the mailpiece is part of an “explicit” advertisement where all of the personal information is “directly related” to the advertisement and the “exclusive” purpose for including the personal information is in support of the advertisement.   343.2
PS-321   In this CSR, a case study serves to clarify whether certain “personal information” present in the mailpiece of a credit card issuer’s mailing is part of an “explicit” advertisement where all of the personal information is “directly related” to the advertisement and the “exclusive” purpose for including the personal information is in support of the advertisement.   233.2
PS-322   This CSR discusses whether “personal information” in the mailpiece of an organization authorized to mail at the Nonprofit Standard Mail rates causes the piece to be ineligible for Standard Mail rates.   233.2
Back to Top

 

Q. Is all the “personal information” directly related to the advertising solicitation?
A. No        
CSR   Description   DMM Reference
PS-321   In this CSR, a case study serves to clarify whether certain “personal information” present in the mailpiece of a credit card issuer’s mailing is part of an “explicit” advertisement where all of the personal information is “directly related” to the advertisement and the “exclusive” purpose for including the personal information is in support of the advertisement.   243.2
Back to Top

 

Q. Is all the “personal information” directly related to the advertising solicitation?
A. Yes        
CSR   Description   DMM Reference
PS-238   In this CSR, a determination will be made as to whether a mailpiece containing “personal” information is eligible as Standard Mail under current rules as well as revised standards that are effective June 1, 2005.   243.2
PS-262   This CSR discusses whether “personal information” present in the mailpiece of an organization authorized to mail at the Nonprofit Standard Mail rates causes the piece to be ineligible for Standard Mail rates.   243.2
PS-275   In this CSR, a case study serves to clarify whether certain “personal information” present in the mailpiece of a “points program” mailing is part of an “explicit” advertisement where all of the personal information is “directly related” to the advertisement and the “exclusive” purpose for including the personal information is in support of the advertisement.   243.2
PS-318   In this CSR a determination will be made as to whether certain “personal” information present in the mailpiece is part of an “explicit” advertisement where all of the personal information is “directly related” to the advertisement and the “exclusive” purpose for including the personal information is in support of the advertisement.   343.2
PS-322   This CSR discusses whether “personal information” in the mailpiece of an organization authorized to mail at the Nonprofit Standard Mail rates causes the piece to be ineligible for Standard Mail rates.   233.2
Back to Top

 

Q. Is the exclusive purpose of the “personal information” to support the advertising or solicitation?
A. No        
CSR   Description   DMM Reference
PS-322   This CSR discusses whether “personal information” in the mailpiece of an organization authorized to mail at the Nonprofit Standard Mail rates causes the piece to be ineligible for Standard Mail rates.   233.2
Back to Top

 

Q. Is the exclusive purpose of the “personal information” to support the advertising or solicitation?
A. Yes        
CSR   Description   DMM Reference
PS-238   In this CSR, a determination will be made as to whether a mailpiece containing “personal” information is eligible as Standard Mail under current rules as well as revised standards that are effective June 1, 2005.   243.2
PS-262   This CSR discusses whether “personal information” present in the mailpiece of an organization authorized to mail at the Nonprofit Standard Mail rates causes the piece to be ineligible for Standard Mail rates.   243.2
PS-275   In this CSR, a case study serves to clarify whether certain “personal information” present in the mailpiece of a “points program” mailing is part of an “explicit” advertisement where all of the personal information is “directly related” to the advertisement and the “exclusive” purpose for including the personal information is in support of the advertisement.   243.2
PS-318   In this CSR a determination will be made as to whether certain “personal” information present in the mailpiece is part of an “explicit” advertisement where all of the personal information is “directly related” to the advertisement and the “exclusive” purpose for including the personal information is in support of the advertisement.   343.2
Back to Top

 

Additional Information

For the content standards for Standard Mail, see Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 243.2 for letters, 343.2 for flats, or 443.2 for parcels.

For the content standards for First-Class Mail, see DMM 233.2 for letters, 333.2 for flats, or 433.2 for First-Class Package Service parcels.

On October 27, 2004, the USPS published the Federal Register Final Rule for Eligibility Requirements for Standard Mail.

For questions concerning Standard Mail eligibility, contact your manager, district Business Mail Entry.

Back to Top