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Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service
Domestic Mail Manual Introduction


Transforming the Domestic Mail Manual

The Postal Service has transformed the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) into a series of documents that are easier for customers and employees to use.

Publications in the DMM Series

DMM 100
A Customer’s Guide to Mailing answers the most common questions of household mailers. It includes tips for addressing, preparing packages, choosing a class of mailing, and adding extra services. It is available at and most Post Offices.


DMM 300

Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service contains all official prices and standards governing domestic mailing services and is mostly used by commercial mailers and Postal Service employees. This document is available at


Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service
makes it easy to access information about postal services and standards.

The DMM provides the following benefits
and features:

  • Easy-to-find information.
  • Clear mailing standards.
  • Extensive index.
  • Clear graphics.
  • Information grouped by mailing method, shape, class of mail, and topic.
  • Efficient cross-referencing.
  • Price List.

The Postal Service worked closely with customers and employees to organize the DMM. The DMM can help customers make informed decisions about postal products and services to get the most value from the mail. Postal employees can use it to help customers.


Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service is organized into color-coded modules that make it easy to locate information quickly.

The RETAIL section explains the services and standards for letters, flats, and parcels mailed at single-piece prices. The information in this section is intended for both household consumers and businesses.

Standards in the retail section are organized into units represented by the available mailing services. Within each mailing service, the information is organized into chapters that follow the sequence of mailing tasks.


The COMMERCIAL sections explain the services and standards for commercial or “bulk,” presorted, and automation mail. The information in this section is intended for business mailers who are willing to do some extra work preparing their mail in exchange for discounted postage prices.


The GENERAL INFORMATION sections contain standards for all the additional services available to mailers, including extra services, mailer services, and recipient services. The general information sections also include standards that apply to all mailers, such as general mailability and addressing, and special standards, such as technical specifications and advanced preparation standards.



The modules for each method and shape of mail contain general design standards and topics relating to the preparation of each class of mail.

Design Standards
101 Physical Standards
102 Elements on the of a Mailpiece

110 Express Mail
113 Prices and Eligibility
114 Postage Payment Methods
115 Mail Preparation
116 Deposit

120 Priority Mail
123 Prices and Eligibility
124 Postage Payment Methods
125 Mail Preparation
126 Deposit

130 First-Class Mail
133 Prices and Eligibility
134 Postage Payment Methods
135 Mail Preparation
136 Deposit

150 Parcel Post
153 Prices and Eligibility
154 Postage Payment Methods
155 Mail Preparation
156 Deposit

170 Media Mail
173 Prices and Eligibility
174 Postage Payment Methods
175 Mail Preparation
176 Deposit

180 Library Mail
183 Prices and Eligibility
184 Postage Payment Methods
185 Mail Preparation
186 Deposit

Design Standards
201 Physical Standards
202 Elements on the Face of a Mailpiece

230 First-Class Mail
233 Prices and Eligibility
234 Postage Payment and Documentation
235 Mail Preparation
236 Enter and Deposit

240 Standard Mail
243 Prices and Eligibility
244 Postage Payment and Documentation
245 Mail Preparation
246 Enter and Deposit

Design Standards
301 Physical Standards
302 Elements on the Face of a Mailpiece

330 First-Class Mail
333 Prices and Eligibility
334 Postage Payment and Documentation
335 Mail Preparation
336 Enter and Deposit

340 Standard Mail
343 Prices and Eligibility
344 Postage Payment and Documentation
345 Mail Preparation
346 Enter and Deposit

360 Bound Printed Matter
363 Prices and Eligibility
364 Postage Payment and Documentation
365 Mail Preparation
366 Enter and Deposit

370 Media Mail
373 Prices and Eligibility
374 Postage Payment and Documentation
375 Mail Preparation
376 Enter and Deposit

380 Library Mail
383 Prices and Eligibility
384 Postage Payment and Documentation
385 Mail Preparation
386 Enter and Deposit

Design Standards
401 Physical Standards
402 Elements on the Face of a Mailpiece

410 Express Mail
413 Prices and Eligibility
414 Postage Payment and Documentation
415 Mail Preparation
416 Enter and Deposit

420 Priority Mail
423 Prices and Eligibility
424 Postage Payment and Documentation
425 Mail Preparation
426 Enter and Deposit

430 First-Class Mail
433 Prices and Eligibility
434 Postage Payment and Documentation
435 Mail Preparation
436 Enter and Deposit

440 Standard Mail
443 Prices and Eligibility
444 Postage Payment and Documentation
445 Mail Preparation
446 Enter and Deposit

450 Parcel Select
453 Prices and Eligibility
454 Postage Payment and Documentation
455 Mail Preparation
456 Enter and Deposit

460 Bound Printed Matter
463 Prices and Eligibility
464 Postage Payment and Documentation
465 Mail Preparation
466 Enter and Deposit

470 Media Mail
473 Prices and Eligibility
474 Postage Payment and Documentation
475 Mail Preparation
476 Enter and Deposit

480 Library Mail
483 Prices and Eligibility
484 Postage Payment and Documentation
485 Mail Preparation
486 Enter and Deposit


Services and standards that apply generally to all customers are organized into three tabbed sections.

503 Extra Services
Extra Services for Express
Registered Mail
Certified Mail
Insured Mail
Certificate of Mailing
Return Receipt
Restricted Delivery
Return Receipt for Merchandise
Delivery Confirmation
Signature Confirmation
Collect on Delivery (COD)
Special Handling
Money Orders

507 Mailer Services
Treatment of Mail
Premium Forwarding Service
Address Correction Service
Recall of Mail
Pickup Service
Mailing List Services
Address Sequencing Service
Business Reply Mail (BRM)
Permit Reply Mail
Merchandise Return Service
Bulk Parcel Return Service
Parcel Return Service

508 Recipient Services
Recipient Options
Conditions of Delivery
Customer Mail Receptacles
Post Office Box Service
Caller Service
General Delivery
Firm Holdout
Pandering Advertisements
Sexually Oriented Advertisements

509 Other Services
Address Information System
Nonpostal Services

601 Mailability
General Standards
Acceptable Mailing Containers
Cushioning, Closure, and Reinforcement
Handling, Content, and Extra Service Markings
Mailing Containers-Special Types of Envelopes and Packaging
Packaging Standards for Mail Processed at Network Distribution Centers
Nonmailable and Restricted Articles and Substances Generally
Hazardous Materials
Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco
Other Restricted and Nonmailable Matter
Written, Printed, and Graphic Matter Generally

602 Addressing
Elements of Addressing
Use of Alternative Addressing
Detached Address Labels (DALs)

604 Postage Payment Methods
Stamped Stationery
Precanceled Stamps
Postage Meters and PC Postage Products ("Postage Evidencing Systems")
Permit Imprint (Indicia)
Payment of Postage
Computing Postage
Insufficient or Omitted Postage
Refunds and Exchanges
Revenue Deficiency

607 Mailer Compliance and Appeals of Classification Decisions
Mailer Compliance With Mailing Standards
Rulings on Mailing Standards

608 Postal Information and Resources
About the Domestic Mail Manual
Domestic Mail
Post Offices and Holidays
Philatelic (Stamp Collecting) Services
Private Express Statutes
Complaints and Postal Law Violations
Trademarks and Copyrights of the USPS
USPS Contact Information

609 Filing Indemnity Claims for Loss or Damage
General Filing Instructions
Providing Proof of Loss or Damage
Providing Evidence of Insurance and Value
Adjudication of Claims

703 Nonprofit Standard Mail and Other Unique Eligibility
Nonprofit Standard Mail
Overseas Military Mail
Department of State Mail
Mail Sent by U.S. Armed Forces
Free Matter for the Blind and Other Physically Handicapped Persons
Official Mail (Franked)
Official Mail (Penalty)
Absentee Balloting Materials
Mixed Classes

705 Advanced Preparation and Special Postage Payment Systems
Customized MarketMail
Manifest Mailing System
Optional Procedure Mailing System
Alternate Mailing System
First-Class Mail or Standard Mail Mailings With Different Payment Methods
Combining Mailings of Standard Mail, Package Services, and Parcel Select
Combining Package Services and Parcel Select Parcels for Destination
Preparing Pallets
Combining Bundles of Automation and Nonautomation Flats in Trays and
Merging Bundles of Flats in Sacks and Pallets Using the City State Product
Combining Automation Price and Nonautomation Price Flats in Bundles
Merging Bundles of Flats on Pallets Using a 5% Threshold
Merging Bundles of Flats on Pallets Using the City State Product and a 5%
Plant Load Mailings
Plant-Verified Drop Shipment
Express Mail Open and Distribute and Priority Mail Open and Distribute
Express Mail Reshipment Service
Metered Mail Drop Shipment
Postage Due Weight Averaging Program
Optional Combined Parcel Mailings
Repositionable Notes (RPNs)
Full-Service Automation Option

707 Periodicals
Prices and Fees
Price Application and Computation
Physical Characteristics and Content Eligibility
Basic Eligibility Standards
Applying for Periodicals Authorization
Qualification Categories
Mailing to Nonsubscribers or Nonrequesters
Record Keeping Standards for Publishers
Changing Title, Frequency, or Known Office of Publication
Preferred Periodicals
Basic Eligibility
Nonbarcoded (Presorted) Eligibility
Carrier Route Eligibility
Barcoded (Automation) Eligibility
Ride-Along Eligibility
Postage Payment
General Mail Preparation
Sacks and Trays
Sack and Tray Labels
Preparing Nonbarcoded (Presorted) Periodicals
Preparing Carrier Route Periodicals
Preparing Letter-Size Barcoded (Automation) Periodicals
Preparing Flat-Size Barcoded (Automation) Periodicals
Physical Criteria for Nonmachinable Flat-Size Periodicals
Combining Multiple Editions or Publications
Enter and Deposit
Destination Entry
Additional Entry

708 Technical Specifications
Standardized Documentation for First-Class Mail, Periodicals, Standard
      Mail, and Flat-Size Bound Printed Matter
Presort Accuracy Validation and Evaluation (PAVE)
Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS)
Standards for POSTNET and Intelligent Mail Barcodes
Standards for Postal Routing Barcodes
Standards for Barcoded Tray Labels, Sack Labels, and Container Placards
Optional Endorsement Lines (OELs)
Carrier Route Information Lines
Facing Identification Mark (FIM)
Postal Zones

709 Experimental and Temporary Classifications
General Requirements for Negotiated Service Agreements (NSAs)
Standard Mail Incentive Program
First-Class Mail Incentive Program
Click-N-Ship Indemnity Increase for Express Mail and Priority Mail

Numbering System
The numbering system can help you locate standards quickly.


Page Layout
The layout includes graphic features and navigation elements to help you find the information you need.

A. Chapter Title
The DMM is divided into chapters based on mailing topics.

B. Overview
Each chapter begins with a table of contents.

C. Reference Number
Each section, subsection, and standard has its own reference number.

D. Change Bar
Change bars next to standards indicate that the text has changed since the last printed edition.

E. Change Date
The change date indicates the date a change is effective.



F. Chapter Header
The header lists the module, unit, and chapter.

G. Chapter Number
This number shows the current chapter for easy navigation.

H. Page-level Navigation
This element shows the number of the first or last reference on each page.

I. Shape Icon
Icons provide a visual point of reference.

J. Exhibit
Illustrations and diagrams provide clear visual explanations and examples.

K. Cross-reference
Cross-references point to other required or related standards. They are linked in the online DMM for quick access.

L. DMM Issue and Date
The DMM is updated online, between printed editions.


Postal Explorer
Postal Explorer is an easy-to-use Web site that provides a comprehensive collection of business mailing tools, including Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service.

With Postal Explorer you can:

  • Get the most up-to-date information.
  • Access the Quick Service Guides.
  • Check the DMM Advisory message board.
  • Access postage statements and forms.
  • Search one publication or a whole collection.
  • Calculate domestic and international postage prices.
  • Use the Standard Mail eligibility decision tree.
  • Access postal zone charts.

You will find the most up-to-date version of Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) in HTML and PDF formats. The online DMM features interactive menus and enhanced search options.


Domestic Mail Manual Introduction
PSN: 7610-07-000-5420
July 2010


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