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Quick Service Guide 240e
Discount Letters and Cards Standard Mail
Enhanced Carrier Route 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 in

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


Rates and Fees (243.1)

For pieces weighing 3.3 ounces (0.2063 pound) or less:   Regular    Nonprofit
     Automation Basic                                                       $0.180      $0.117

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

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

Rates limited to 5-digit ZIP Codes identified in the City State File.

Destination discounts (243.1) apply to mail prepared as prescribed by USPS and addressed for delivery within service area of destination BMC/ASF, SCF, or delivery unit (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 (243.6)

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 for CASS/MASS standards, see 708.3.

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

Carrier route information updated using CASS-certified process within 90 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 (245.6)

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

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

Pieces not claimed at an automation rate may not be marked "AUTOCR." For additional marking standards for carrier route pieces, see 202.3.

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

Trays on pallets (705.8.5) are permitted and preferred.

Trays must be sleeved and strapped (245.3.4). See 245.3.5 for exceptions to strapping for mailings that originate and destinate in delivery area of same SCF.

Barcoded tray labels required (245.4.9).

See reverse for preparation and labeling.


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)
At least 10 or more pieces to same carrier route (city route, rural route, highway contract route, post office box section, or general delivery unit); fewer than 10 pieces per route not permitted. Use an optional endorsement line or carrier route information line.

Carrier Route 

Trays: Full trays only for pieces to same carrier route; bundling not permitted. Postcard-size pieces must be bundled. Less-than-full or overflow trays not permitted.

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code on mail. For Line 2, use "STD LTR CR BC" along with carrier route type and number (245.7.8).

Rate: Enhanced Carrier Route automation basic

5-Digit Carrier Routes

Trays: Required if full tray, otherwise optional. After all full carrier route trays are prepared, remaining carrier route pieces (10 or more per route) must be grouped (using separator cards in full trays and banding material in less-than-full trays) and placed in 5-digit carrier routes trays (no minimum number of pieces per tray).

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code on mail. For Line 2, use "STD LTR 5D CR-RT BC" (245.7.8).

Rate: Enhanced Carrier Route automation basic

3-Digit Carrier Routes 

Trays: Carrier route bundles only; optional with minimum one 10-piece carrier route bundle for each of two or more 5-digit areas.

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use city, state, and 3-digit ZIP Code prefix shown in L002, Column A, for 3-digit ZIP Code prefix of bundles. For Line 2, use "STD LTR 3D CR-RT BC" (245.7.8).

Rate: Enhanced Carrier Route automation basic

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

Carrier Route rates limited to 5-digit ZIP Codes identified in the City State File.

Bundling required in mailings consisting entirely of postcard-size pieces and for pieces in overflow, less-than-full, and 3-digit carrier routes trays.


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