|USPS Home | Postal Explorer Home|
Quick Service Guide 201b
Commercial Letters and Postcards
Using Tabs, Wafer Seals, and Glue Strips
April 17, 2011
Unenveloped letter-size mailpieces prepared for automation mailings must be secured (tabbed) to prevent an open edge from jamming high-speed processing equipment. Standards for tabbing are based on basis weight of paper stock used and the location of the folded or bound edge. As an alternative to tabs or wafer seals, the open edge of the length of the mailpiece may be continuously glued or spot glued. Continuous glue or spot glue is permissible with single-sheet self-mailers and postcards, and specific booklet designs.
Physical Standards (201.3.11)
Number and location of tabs or wafer seals are specified for particular types of letter-size mail. In all cases, additional tabs may be used.
Tabs, wafer seals, cellophane tape, or permanent glue (continuous or spot) must not interfere with recognition of the barcode, rate marking, postage identification, or required address information. In all cases additional tabs or seals may be used. Cellophane tape is not acceptable within the barcode clear zone. Tabs or wafer seals placed in the barcode clear zone must contain a paper face meeting the standards for background reflectance and, if the barcode is not preprinted by the mailer, the standards for water-based ink.
Adequate adhesion is required.
Basis weight: the minimum basis weight standards vary, depending on the construction of the mailpiece (see below) and the sheet size below.
Letter-Size Folded Self-Mailers (201.3.14)
Folded edge (bottom) must be parallel to the longest dimension (length) and address of the mailpiece. All references to paper weight are for book-grade paper unless otherwise noted. The conversion table in DMM Exhibit 201.3.2 provides a paper basis weight cross-reference.
With one tab or wafer seal: folded edge at bottom of mailpiece, tab or wafer seal in middle of top edge of mailpiece.
With two tabs or wafer seals: minimum basis weight 20 pounds (17 by 22 inches by 500 sheets) if folded edge is at top or bottom of the mailpiece. Tabs or wafer seals must be placed within 1 inch of the right and left edges of mailpiece (see reverse).
With folded edge on right (leading) edge: left (trailing) edge and other open edges must be secured with at least one tab or a glue line; additional tabs may be required based on trim size and basis weight.
Letter-Size Booklet-Type Mailpiece (201.3.15)
The mailpiece must be tabbed (secured) with nonperforated 1-1/2'' tabs, glue, or 1-1/2'' wide tape. See DMM 201.3.15 for illustrations and design details for booklets.
Minimum basis weight 75 pounds or greater. Double postcards must have folded edge at the top or bottom. The open edge must be secured with one tab in the middle.