USPS Homepage Skip NavigationUSPS Home | Postal Explorer Home | Privacy Policy
  DMM TOC > 100 Retail Letters, Cards, Flats, and Parcels > 130 First Class Mail

133 Prices and Eligibility

1.0 First-Class Mail Prices and Fees

1.1 First-Class Mail Single-Piece Price Application

[6-2-14] [1-26-14] The single-piece prices for First-Class Mail are applied as follows:

a. The card price applies to a card meeting the standards in 101.6.2.

b. The letter price applies to letter-size pieces meeting the standards in 101.1.1 and weighing 3.5 ounces or less, and that are not eligible for the card price. There are separate prices for stamped letters and for letters with postage affixed (other than regular stamps) or imprinted by the mailer (Metered Mail price); see 134.1.1.

c. The flat price applies to flat-size pieces that meet the standards in 101.2.0.

d. The parcel price applies to parcel-size pieces under 101.3.0 and to flat-size pieces that do not meet the standards in 101.2.0.

1.2 Price Computation for First-Class Mail

First-Class Mail prices are charged per ounce or fraction thereof; any fraction of an ounce is considered a whole ounce. For example, if a piece weighs 1.2 ounces, the weight (postage) increment is 2 ounces. The minimum postage per addressed piece is that for a piece weighing 1 ounce. See Notice 123—Price List.

1.3 Determining Single-Piece Weight

To determine single-piece weight in any mailing of nonidentical-weight pieces, weigh each piece individually. To determine single-piece weight in a mailing of identical-weight pieces, weigh a sample group of at least 10 randomly selected pieces and divide the total sample weight by the number of pieces in the sample. Express all single-piece weights in decimal pounds rounded off to four decimal places.

1.4 Keys and Identification Devices

[6-2-14] Keys and identification devices (such as identification cards and uncovered identification tags) that weigh 13 ounces or less may be returned at the applicable single-piece First-Class Mail parcel price plus the fee. Keys and identification devices that weigh more than 13 ounces are subject to Priority Mail prices under 123.1.7. The key or identification device must bear, contain, or have securely attached the name and complete address of a person, organization, or concern, with instructions to return the key or identification device to that address and a statement guaranteeing payment of postage due on delivery.

1.5 Nonmachinable Surcharge

The nonmachinable surcharge is charged per piece and applies to letter-size pieces that meet one or more of the nonmachinable characteristics in 101.1.2. Pieces mailed at the card price are not subject to the nonmachinable surcharge. An envelope weighing no more than one ounce with one enclosed standard optical disc no larger than 12 centimeters in diameter that is mailed as letter-size BRM (see 505.1.0) or PRM (see 505.2.0) and addressed to a company who sent the disc and BRM or PRM envelope to a subscriber as part of a round-trip-mailing (under 233.2.8) is not subject to the nonmachinable surcharge.

Back to Top

2.0 Basic Eligibility Standards for First-Class Mail

2.1 Description of Service

[6-2-14] First-Class Mail receives expeditious handling and transportation. Service objectives for delivery are 1 to 3 days; however, delivery time is not guaranteed.

2.2 Defining Characteristics

2.2.1 Inspection of Contents

[6-2-14] First-Class Mail is closed against postal inspection.

2.2.2 Forwarding and Return Service

[6-2-14] The price of First-Class Mail includes forwarding service to a new address for up to 12 months and return service if the mailpiece is undeliverable.

2.2.3 Extra Services

[6-2-14] First-Class Mail (including Priority Mail) is the only class of mail eligible to receive the following extra services: Registered Mail service and Certified Mail service. See information regarding additional extra services in 503.

Back to Top

3.0 Content Standards

3.1 General Eligibility

[6-2-14] With the exception of restricted material as described in 601.8.0, any mailable item may be mailed as First-Class Mail.

3.2 Bills and Statements of Account

Bills and statements of account must be mailed as First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, or Priority Mail Express and are defined as follows:

a. Bills and statements of account assert a debt in a definite amount owed by the addressee to the sender or a third party. In addition, bills include a demand for payment; statements of account do not include a demand for payment. The debt does not have to be due immediately but may become due at a later time or on demand. The debt asserted need not be legally collectible or owed.

b. Bills and statements of account do not need to state the precise amount due if they contain information that would enable the debtor to determine that amount.

3.3 Personal Information

Mail containing personal information must be mailed as First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, or Priority Mail Express. Personal information is any information specific to the addressee.

3.4 Handwritten and Typewritten Material

[6-2-14] Mail containing handwritten or typewritten material must be mailed as First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, or Priority Mail Express.

3.5 Matter Marked Postcard or Double Postcard

[6-2-14] Any matter marked “Postcard” or “Double Postcard” must be mailed as First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, or Priority Mail Express.

3.6 Prohibited Air Transportation

[6-2-14] All First-Class Mail is subject to limitations for air transportation. Generally, all mailable matter may be transported by air, unless restricted in 601.9.0.