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Quick Service Guide 240c
Discount Letters and Cards Standard Mail
Automation Letters

January 2006
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Related QSG

703, Standard Mail Nonprofit Eligibility


Physical Standards (201)

Maximum weight: 3.5 ounces

Heavy letter mail weighing more than 3 ounces must have a barcode in the address block and be prepared in a sealed envelope under

For an overview of the physical standards for discount letters and cards, see Quick Service Guide 201.


Rates and Fees (243.1)




5-Digit (optional) $0.200 $0.118
3-Digit 0.214 0.133
AADC 0.223 0.140
Mixed AADC 0.231 0.148

Letters that weigh more than 3.3 ounces but not more than 3.5 ounces pay piece/pound postage but receive a discount (see 243.7.6).

There are no Standard Mail card rates; cards may be mailed at letter rates.

Destination discounts apply to mail prepared as prescribed by USPS and addressed for delivery within service area of destination BMC/ASF or SCF (246.2).

Annual $160.00 presort mailing fee (243.3.2).


Content (243.2)

Letters containing mailable items not required to be sent using First-Class Mail can be sent using Standard Mail. Standard Mail is typically used for advertisements and flyers. Additional content restrictions must be met for authorized nonprofit mailers (703.1).


Eligibility Standards (243.7)

Mailings of 200 or more addressed pieces must be 100% delivery point barcoded (708.4), sorted, and marked as described below. All pieces must be automation compatible (201.3). Pieces are eligible if not required to be mailed at First-Class rates or not eligible for Periodicals rates. Nonprofit rates require specific authorization (703.1).

Each piece must also include a complete delivery address with correct ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code.

For address standards, see 243.7.4; for barcode quality standards, see 708.4 and CASS/MASS standards in 708.3.

Addresses matched using CASS/MASS-certified process within 180 days before mailing date.

All letter-size reply cards and envelopes (business reply, courtesy reply, and metered reply mail) provided as enclosures must meet the standards in 201.3.14.

Mailers can apply Repositionable Notes ("sticky notes") for an additional charge of $0.015. See 709.7.


Postage Payment and Documentation (244)

Precanceled stamp (604.3), meter (604.4), or permit imprint (604.5).

Additional standards apply to mailings of nonidentical-weight pieces.


  • Postage statement:
    Regular: Form 3602-R or approved facsimile.
    Nonprofit: Form 3602-N or approved facsimile.
  • Form 3553 must be retained for 1 year (708.3.5.2).
  • Supporting documentation: required unless correct rate is affixed to each piece or unless each piece is of identical weight and separated by rate when presented for acceptance; documentation generated by PAVE-certified software (or printed in standardized format).


Mail Preparation (245.7)

Marking on each piece in the postage area (202.3):

  • Regular: "Presorted Standard" or "PRSRT STD."
  • Nonprofit: "Nonprofit Organization" or "NONPROFIT ORG." or "NONPROFIT."

Pieces with a delivery point barcode printed in the barcode clear zone must also bear an "AUTO" marking. For rate markings applied by an MLOCR, see 202.3.5. Pieces not claimed at an automation rate must not bear an "AUTO" marking.

1-foot or 2-foot trays used (245.3.3) where appropriate (e.g., when there is enough mail to fill a 2-foot tray, a 2-foot tray must be used).

Barcoded tray labels required (245.4.9).

See reverse for preparation and labeling.

Trays on pallets (705.8.5) are permitted and preferred.

Trays must be sleeved and strapped (246.3.4). See 245.3.5 for exceptions to strapping for mailings that originate and destinate in delivery area of same SCF. Strapping not required on trays placed on 5-digit, 3-digit, and SCF pallets that are secured with stretchwrap.


Enter and Deposit (246)

Mailing entered at an acceptance point designated by USPS.

For the specific DMM standards applicable to this category of mail, consult the DMM sections referenced above and the general sections within each DMM module.


Traying Sequence (245.7.7)


Trays:Optional, at least 150 pieces to same 5-digit ZIP Code/scheme destination; only one overflow tray permitted per destination.

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1: use city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code on mail; on optional 5-digit scheme trays, use destination in City State File.

Rate: 5-Digit


Trays: Required, at least 150 pieces to same 3-digit ZIP Code/scheme destination; smaller quantities not permitted; only one overflow tray permitted per destination. (Exception: One less-than-full tray must be prepared for any remaining pieces for each 3-digit ZIP Code/scheme of SCF serving post office where mail is verified.)

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use L002, Column B, for destination facility.

Rate: 3-Digit or AADC1


Trays: Required, at least 150 pieces to same AADC (see L801); smaller quantities not permitted; pieces within trays grouped by 3-digit/scheme; only one overflow tray permitted per destination.

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use L801, Column B, for destination facility.


Mixed AADC

Trays: Required for all remaining pieces placed in mixed AADC trays; pieces within trays grouped by AADC; only one less-than-full tray permitted per mailing.

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use "MXD" followed by L011, Column B (for BMC/ASF entry, use L010, Column B).

Rate: Mixed AADC

This graphic shows the traying sequence for Standard Mail Automation Letters as described in the text.

Bundling not permitted except for mailings of card-size pieces and for pieces in overflow and less-than-full trays.

1. AADC rate for any 3-digit/scheme tray for the origin SCF area containing fewer than 150 pieces.

2. Use "5D BC" on 5-digit trays; use "BC 5D SCHEME" on optional 5-digit scheme trays.

3. Use "3D BC" on 3-digit trays; use "BC SCHEME" on 3-digit scheme trays and, if applicable, as shown in L002, Column B, followed by the letter "A," "B," or "C."



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