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Quick Service Guide 230c
Commercial Letters and Postcards
First-Class Mail Automation Letters and Postcards
201b, Using Tabs, Wafer Seals, and Glue Strips
602a, First-Class Mail Move Update
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 in 201.3.6.
For an overview of the physical standards for commercial letters and cards, see Quick Service Guide 201.
Prices and Fees (233.1.0)
For a complete listing of commercial First-Class Mail prices, see Notice 123–Price List.
Annual presort mailing fee applies.
First-Class Mail is required for personal correspondence, handwritten or typewritten material, and bills or statements of account. It also may be used for any mailable item including advertisements and lightweight merchandise.
Eligibility Standards (233.5.0)
Mailings of 500 or more addressed pieces, 100% delivery point or Intelligent Mail barcoded, sorted, and marked as described below. All pieces must be automation-compatible (201.3.0). Pieces mailed at card prices and pieces mailed at letter prices must meet separate 500-piece minimums.
Each piece must also include a complete delivery address with correct ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code.
For address standards, see 233.5.7; for barcode standards see 708.4.0; and for CASS/MASS standards see 708.3.0.
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). For an overview of the Move Update standards, see Quick Service Guide 602a.
Addresses must be matched using CASS/MASS-certified process within 180 days before mailing.
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 to letters 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 (235)
Mark each piece: “First-Class Mail,” and “AUTO” in the postage area. For optional marking location, see 202.3.0. Pieces bearing a delivery point POSTNET or Intelligent Mail barcode in the address block or on an insert visible through a window do not require the additional “AUTO” marking. Pieces not marked “AUTO” must bear both the “Presorted” or “PRSRT” and “First-Class Mail” markings. For price markings applied by MLOCRs, see 202.3.9. Pieces not claimed at an automation price must not be marked “AUTO” unless single-piece postage is affixed or a corrective single-piece price marking is applied under 126.96.36.199.
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 (235.4.0).
Trays sleeved and strapped (235.3.0). See 235.3.0 for exceptions to strapping for mixed AADC 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.
4. Use “5D BC” on 5-digit trays; on 5-digit scheme trays, use “BC 5D SCHEME.”
5. Use “3D BC” on 3-digit trays; on 3-digit scheme trays, use “BC 3D SCHEME” and, if applicable, as shown in L002, Column B, followed by the letter “A,” “B,” or “C.”