Tips for Using Permit Imprint

Use these tips to mail successfully using a permit imprint:
  • To pay postage using permit imprint, all of your mailpieces must weigh exactly the same.
  • To keep your permit imprint account active, you must do a mailing with your permit imprint at least once every 24 months.
  • If you're mailing through a presort bureau or letter shop, you may be able to use their permit number. This will save you the permit imprint application fee and/or the annual mailing fee.
  • A permit imprint indicia only becomes postage when you bring those pieces into the Post Office as part of a commercial mailing. Because there isn't "live" postage on these pieces, you can print lots in advance (maybe getting a better price on your printing job) and mail smaller quantities as you need.
  • Permit imprint indicia can be used only as part of a commercial mailing that you bring to the Post Office—it cannot be used to send individual pieces of mail. Some companies print brochures with a permit indicia to use in a commercial mailing. Then they hand those same brochures out to customers. Because they are printed with the words "postage paid," some people address these individual brochures and drop them in a collection box to be mailed. Don't do this! These pieces will be returned to you postage due.
  • If you are mailing from more than one Post Office, you have the option of using something called "company permit imprint," where you omit the city, state, and permit number from the indicia but include your company name. This allows you to print one batch of mailpieces but mail them from many offices. You can also use company permit imprint if you're mailing from only a single location. Using company permit imprint doesn't save you any money on your mailing fees, because you must pay separate permit imprint application fees and annual mailing fees at every office where you hold a permit. It does let you use a single design for all of your permit indicia, no matter where you hold permits and mail (which may save you money on printing costs). Company permit imprints require a domestic return address on each mailpiece. Your local Business Mail Entry Unit staff can help you decide if company permit imprint is the right choice for you.
  • Do not draw your permit imprint indicia by hand or type it with a typewriter.
  • Mailpieces bearing permit imprint must be brought to the Post Office where you hold your permit. Mailpieces CANNOT be dropped into a collection box or given to a carrier.
  • Postage Statement: You must present a postage statement with your mailing either electronically or hardcopy. The postage statement will help you figure out how much postage will be deducted from your advance deposit account when you drop off your mail.
  • There are special postage payment programs called manifest mailing systems that allow you to mail nonidentical-weight pieces (usually parcels) via permit imprint. The Postal Service can help you decide if manifesting is the right solution for you. If it is, we'll help you set up a system and get started.
  1. How to Apply for a Permit Imprint
  2. How to Design a Permit Imprint Indicia
  3. Quick Service Guide 604d, Permit Imprint
  4. Mailing Permit
  5. Annual Mailing Fee