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Quick Service Guide 230a
Commercial Letters and Postcards
First-Class Mail Nonmachinable Letters
January 17, 2016
Physical Standards (201)
Maximum weight: 3.5 ounces. All letter-size pieces over 3.5 ounces are prepared as letters and charged the flat-size prices.
For an overview of the physical standards for commercial letters and postcards, see Quick Service Guide 201.
Prices and Fees (233.1.0)
Postage is based on the weight of each addressed piece. First-Class Mail letters are charged per ounce or fraction thereof; any fraction of an ounce is considered a whole ounce.
Letters are subject to a nonmachinable surcharge if they meet any of the characteristics in 201.2.1. The nonmachinable characteristics do not apply to pieces mailed at postcard prices.
Annual presort mailing fee applies.
First-Class Mail is required for personal correspondence, handwritten or typewritten material, and bills or statements of account. First-Class Mail may also be used for most mailable items, including advertisements and lightweight merchandise.
Eligibility Standards (233.4.0)
Mailings of 500 or more addressed pieces, sorted and marked as described below. All pieces must be letter-size and meet one of the nonmachinable criteria in 201.2.0. 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, 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 505b.
A certified process (233.3.5) 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.
Postage Payment and Documentation (234)
Precanceled stamp (604.3.0), meter (604.4.0), or permit imprint (604.5.0).
Additional standards apply to mailings of nonidentical-weight pieces.
Mail Preparation (18.104.22.168)
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).
Trays sleeved and strapped (235.3.0). See 235.3.0 for exceptions to strapping for mixed ADC trays and mailings that originate and destinate in delivery area of same SCF.
Enter and Deposit (236)
Mailing entered at an acceptance point designated by USPS.