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Quick Service Guide 604b

Basic Standards for All Mailing Services

Precanceled Stamps

May 2007
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Overview (604.3.0)

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Use of precanceled stamps is an optional payment method for mailings at Presorted and automation First-Class Mail and all Standard Mail rates. Precanceled stamps may not be used with Package Services or Standard Mail with extra services. This payment method requires the stamps to be affixed to each piece.


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Mailer must complete Form 3615, Mailing Permit Application and Customer Profile, and submit it to the office of mailing. No permit application fee required.

Postage and Payment Methods

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Documentation: mailings of nonidentical-weight pieces and mailings that do not have full correct postage affixed to each piece must meet basic documentation standards in 708.8.0 unless excepted by standard in 604.3.1.

Return address: complete domestic return address required. If return address is outside delivery area of post office of mailing, mailer must follow one of the options in 604.3.1.

Amount of Postage

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The value of a precanceled stamp affixed to each piece in a mailing must be either the exact amount due or another amount permitted by standard. If the exact amount is not affixed to each piece, documentation meeting the basic standards in 708.8.0 and those applicable to the rate claimed must be submitted with the mailing unless excepted by 234.4.0 or 244.4.0.

Producing Precanceled Stamps

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Selection produced by USPS for specific users; other stamps may be precanceled by the USPS (604.3.1); other stamps may be precanceled by the mailer (604.3.4), as described below.

Precancellation by mailer:

  • Application: complete Form 3615 for authorization to preprint rate markings or use a precancel postmark on adhesive stamps, stamped cards, and stamped envelopes (604.3.4).
  • Authorization conditions: valid only for sample mailpieces accompanying application and approved for use. Approval is required for each additional precanceled postmark format or preprinted marking used (604.3.4.3).

Format of postmark and required content:

  • First-Class Mail: day, month, and year of mailing. Standard Mail: month and year of mailing.
  • Words "Mailer's Postmark" followed by permit number and cancellation bars to cancel postage stamps.
  • Either the city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code of the post office where the precancel permit is held and the mailing is deposited or the words "Mailed From ZIP Code" followed by the 5-digit ZIP Code of the office of mailing.

Mail Preparation

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Other markings and endorsements may be required on each piece under standards for the rate claimed or services requested (604.3.1).

Enter and Deposit

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Deposit: generally, at post office where permit is held. Mail with precanceled postage must not be deposited in collection boxes (604.3.1).

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.

Precanceled Stamp

This graphic shows a Precanceled stamp and return address.

Post Office Precanceled Postmarks

These graphics show Post Office Precanceled postmarks with return address.

Mailer's Precanceled Postmarks

These graphics show Post Office Precanceled postmarks with return address.


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