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Quick Service Guide 230c

Commercial Letters and Postcards

First-Class Mail Machinable Letters and PostCards

June 7, 2010
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Physical Standards (201)

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Maximum weight: 3.3 ounces.

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

Prices and Fees (233.1.0)

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For a complete listing of commercial First-Class Mail prices, see Notice 123-Price List.

Annual presort mailing fee applies.

Content (233.2.0)

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First-Class Mail is required for personal correspondence, handwritten or typewritten material, and bills or statements of account. It also may be used for any mailable item including advertisements and lightweight merchandise.

Eligibility Standards (233.4.0)

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Mailings of 500 or more addressed pieces, sorted and marked as described below. All pieces must be machinable; see 201.1.0. Pieces mailed at card prices and pieces mailed at letter prices must meet separate 500-piece minimums.

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

Addresses on all pieces must be updated within 95 days before mailing through a USPS-approved address update method (e.g., ACS, NCOALink, FASTforward, or the appropriate ancillary service endorsement except Forwarding Service Requested. under 507.1.5). For an overview of the Move Update standards, see Quick Service Guide 230a.

A certified process ( must be used within 12 months before mailing to ensure accuracy of 5-digit ZIP Codes.

Mailers can apply Repositionable Notes to letters for an additional charge. See 705.21.0.

Postage Payment and Documentation (234)

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Precanceled stamp (604.3.0), meter (604.4.0), or permit imprint (604.5.0).

Additional standards apply to mailings of nonidentical-weight pieces.


  • Postage statement: PS Form 3600-R, PS Form 3600-EZ, or approved facsimile.
  • Supporting documentation: required unless correct price affixed to each piece or unless each piece is of identical weight and separated by price when presented for acceptance; documentation generated by PAVE-certified software (or printed in standardized format).

Mail Preparation (235)

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Mark each piece: "Presorted" or "PRSRT" and "First-Class Mail" in the postage area. For optional marking location, see 202.3.0.

When preparing full trays, mailers must fill all possible 2-foot trays first; if there is mail remaining for the presort destination, mailers must use a combination of 1-foot and 2-foot trays that result in the fewest total number of trays for that presort level.

Use 2-inch tray labels (245.4.0) or barcoded tray label (recommended) (235.4.1).

Trays sleeved and strapped (235.3.4). See 235.3.5 for exceptions to strapping for mixed AADC trays and mailings that originate and destinate in delivery area of same SCF.

Enter and Deposit (236)

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Mailing entered at an acceptance point designated by USPS.


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Traying Sequence (235.5.2)
3-Digit Origin
Trays: Required, trays must be prepared for any pieces to each origin 3-digit ZIP Code; one less-than-full tray permitted for each origin ZIP Code.
Labels: For Line 1, use L002, Column A. For Line 2, use "FCM LTR 3D MACH."
Price: Presorted
Trays: Required, full trays for pieces to same AADC (see L801); pieces grouped by 3-digit ZIP Code; less-than-full trays not permitted.
Labels: For Line 1, use L801, Column B, for destination facility. For Line 2, use "FCM LTR AADC MACH."
Price: Presorted
Mixed AADC
Trays: Required for any remaining pieces placed in mixed AADC trays; pieces grouped by AADC; only one less-than-full tray permitted.
Labels: For Line 1, use L201. For mail originating in 3-digit ZIP Codes in Column A, use "MXD" followed by city/state/3-digit ZIP Code in Column C. For Line 2, use "FCM LTR MACH WKG."
Price: Presorted

This graphic describes the traying, labeling and sortation standards for machinable First-Class Mail Letters and Cards as described in the text.

Bundling not permitted in full trays. Bundling required in mailings consisting entirely of card-size pieces and for pieces placed in less-than-full
3-digit and mixed AADC trays.


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