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Quick Service Guide 240b

Commercial Letters and Postcards

Standard Mail Machinable Letters

May 31, 2015
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Related QSG

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703, Standard Mail Nonprofit Eligibility

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 (243.1.0)

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For a complete listing of commercial Standard Mail prices, see Notice 123Price List.

For pieces over 3.3 ounces, see Standard Mail nonmachinable letter prices in 243.1.3.

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.

Content (243.2.0)

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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 (243.5.0)

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Mailings of 200 or more addressed pieces, sorted and marked as described below. All pieces must be machinable under 201.1.0. 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 include a complete delivery address with correct ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code.

A certified process (243.3.8) must be used within 12 months before mailing to ensure accuracy of 5-digit ZIP Codes.

Mailers can apply Repositionable Notes for an additional charge. See 202.7.0.

Addresses on all pieces must be updated within 95 days before mailing through a USPS-approved address update method (e.g., ACS, NCOALink, 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 602a.

Postage Payment and Documentation (244)

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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.


Regular: PS Form 3602-R, PS Form 3602-EZ, or approved facsimile.
Nonprofit: PS Form 3602-N, PS Form 3602-NZ, or approved facsimile.

Mail Preparation (245)

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Marking on each piece in the postage area (202.3.0):

  • Regular: “Presorted Standard” or “PRSRT STD,” “Standard” or “STD.”
  • Nonprofit: “Nonprofit Organization” or “NONPROFIT ORG.” or “NONPROFIT.”

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 label (245.4.0) or barcoded tray label (recommended) (245.4.0).

Trays on pallets (705.8.5) are permitted and preferred.

Trays must be sleeved and strapped (245.3.0). See 245.3.0 for exceptions to strapping for mailings that originate and destinate in delivery area of same SCF and for trays not processed at a NDC.

Strapping not required on trays placed on SCF pallets that are secured with stretchwrap.

Enter and Deposit (246)

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Mailing entered at an acceptance point designated by USPS.


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Traying Sequence (245.5.3)

3-Digit Origin/Entry

Trays: Optional, trays may be prepared for each origin 3-digit tray; one less-than-full tray permitted.

Labels: For Line 1, use L002*, Column A, for destination facility. For Line 2, use “STD LTR 3D MACH.”

Price: Machinable AADC


Trays: Optional, but required for AADC price; 150-piece minimum to the same AADC, (see L801*); one less-than-full/overflow tray permitted.1

Labels: For Line 1, use L801*, Column B for destination facility. For Line 2, use “STD LTR AADC MACH.”

Price: Machinable AADC

Mixed AADC

Trays: Required for any remaining pieces placed in mixed AADC trays; one less-than-full/overflow tray permitted.

Labels: For Line 1, use L011*, Column B (for NDC/ASF entry, use L010*, Column B). For Line 2, use “STD LTR MACH WKG.”

Price: Machinable Mixed AADC

This graphic shows the traying sequence for Standard Mail Machinable Letters as described in the text

Bundling not permitted except for mailings of card-size pieces and for pieces placed in less-than-full 3-digit origin or mixed AADC trays.


Instead of preparing overflow trays, mailers may include pieces in the mixed AADC trays. Pieces placed in a mixed AADC tray in lieu of an AADC overflow tray are eligible for the AADC price. Pieces must be grouped by destination and placed in the front or back of the tray.

* (Click “Resources,” then “Labeling List File Download.”)


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