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Quick Service Guide 240c
Commercial Letters and Postcards
Standard Mail Automation Letters
November 7, 2011
703, Standard Mail Nonprofit Eligibility
Physical Standards (201)
Heavy letter mail weighing more than 3 ounces must have a barcode in the address block and be prepared in a sealed envelope under 201.3.6.
For an overview of the physical standards for commercial letters and cards, see Quick Service Guide 201.
Prices and Fees (243.1.0)
For a complete listing of commercial Standard Mail prices, see Notice 123–Price List.
Letters that weigh more than 3.3 ounces but not more than 3.5 ounces pay piece/pound postage but receive a discount (see 243.7.7).
There are no Standard Mail card prices; cards may be mailed at letter prices.
Destination discounts apply to mail prepared as prescribed by USPS and addressed for delivery within service area of destination NDC/ASF or SCF (246.2.0).
Annual presort mailing fee applies.
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 (703.1.0).
Eligibility Standards (243.7.0)
Mailings of 200 or more addressed pieces must be 100% delivery point POSTNET, or Intelligent Mail barcoded (708.4.0), sorted, and marked as described below. All pieces must be automation compatible (201.3.0). Pieces are eligible if not required to be mailed at First-Class Mail prices or not eligible for Periodicals prices. Nonprofit prices require specific authorization (703.1.0).
Each piece must also include a complete delivery address with correct ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code.
For address standards, see 243.7.5; for barcode quality standards, see 708.4.0 and CASS/MASS standards in 708.3.0.
Addresses matched using CASS/MASS-certified process within 180 days before mailing date.
All letter-size reply cards and envelopes (Business Reply Mail, Courtesy Reply Mail, and metered reply mail) provided as enclosures must meet the standards in 201.3.17.
Mailers can apply Repositionable Notes for an additional charge. See 705.22.0.
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 507.1.5.3). For an overview of the Move Update standards, see Quick Service Guide 230a.
Postage Payment and Documentation (244)
Precanceled stamp (604.3.0), meter (604.4.0), or permit imprint (604.5.0).
Additional standards apply to mailings of nonidentical-weight pieces.
Regular: PS Form 3602-R, or approved facsimile.
Nonprofit: PS Form 3602-N, or approved facsimile.
Mail Preparation (245.7.0)
Marking on each piece in the postage area (202.3.0):
Pieces with a delivery point POSTNET or Intelligent Mail barcode printed in the barcode clear zone must also bear an “AUTO” marking. For price markings applied by a MLOCR, see 202.3.6. Pieces not claimed at an automation price must not bear an “AUTO” marking unless First-Class Mail single-piece postage is affixed or a corrective single-piece price marking is applied.
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.
Barcoded tray labels required (245.4.9).
Trays on pallets (705.8.5) are permitted and preferred.
Trays must be sleeved and strapped (246.3.4). See 245.3.5 for exceptions to strapping for mailings that originate and destinate in delivery area of same SCF. Strapping not required on trays placed on 5-digit, 3-digit, and SCF pallets that are secured with stretchwrap.
4. Use “5D BC” on 5-digit trays; use “BC 5D SCHEME” on 5-digit scheme trays.
5. Use “3D BC” on 3-digit trays; use “BC 3D SCHEME” on 3-digit scheme trays and, if applicable, as shown in L002, Column B, followed by the letter “A,” “B,” or “C.”