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Quick Service Guide 604c
Basic Standards for All Mailing Services
Postage Meters and PC Postage Systems
January 2, 2011
Postage meters and PC Postage products are collectively identified as "postage evidencing systems." A postage evidencing system is a device or system of components a customer uses to print evidence that postage required for mailing has been paid. Postage evidencing systems print indicia, such as meter imprints or information-based indicia (IBI), to indicate postage payment. Mailers print indicia directly on a mailpiece or on a label that is affixed to a mailpiece.
Authorized Providers (604.4.1.3)
Customer Agreement (604.4.2)
Customers must enter into an agreement with the USPS for authorization to use postage evidencing systems. By entering into the agreement, the customer accepts responsibility for control and use of the system and agrees to abide by all rules and regulations governing its use.
Postage Payment (604.4.3)
The value of the indicia on each mailpiece must be the exact amount due for the applicable price category and associated criteria such as weight, shape, and zone or another amount permitted by mailing standards to qualify for worksharing or volume discounts. Refunds for overpayment are considered only under standards in 604.9.0.
Metered postage must be legible and not overlap each other if more than one impression is applied to the same piece. Metered postage must be printed or applied in the upper right corner of the envelope or address label. Indicia must be printed with USPS-approved fluorescent ink or use another USPS-approved method to ensure that the mail is faced during processing. Approved methods include the use of a facing identification mark (FIM) for indicia printed directly on letter-size First-Class Mail or printing indicia on USPS-approved label or tape. USPS-approved labels or tapes must be used when meter stamps are printed on tape (604.4.4).
Meter Date (604.4.5)
The date format used in the indicia is subject to the following conditions.
1. All First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, and Express Mail pieces.
2. All mailpieces with Insured Mail, COD, or Special Handling service.
3. All mailpieces prepared with the indicia printed on nonadhesive paper (e.g., computer printer paper) and affixed to the mailpiece or used as part of an insert in a window envelope.
Enter and Deposit (604.4.5.3)
Generally, metered mail must be deposited at locations designated by the postmaster of the licensing post office (i.e., the Post Office shown in the meter stamp). Exceptions include:
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.