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Quick Service Guide 240f
Standard Mail Automation Flats
201d, Designing Flats for Automated Processing
703, Standard Mail Nonprofit Eligibility
Physical Standards (201)
Maximum weight: less than 16 ounces.
For an overview of the physical standards for commercial flats, see Quick Service Guide 201c.
Prices and Fees (243.1.0)
For a complete list of commercial Standard Mail prices, see Notice 123–Price List.
Destination discounts apply to mail prepared as prescribed by USPS and addressed for delivery within service area of destination NDC/ASF, SCF or delivery unit (DDU) (246.2.0).
Annual presort mailing fee applies.
Flats 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, flyers, and catalogs. Additional content restrictions must be met for authorized nonprofit mailers (703.1.0).
Eligibility Standards (243.8.0)
Mailings of 200 or more addressed pieces (or 50 pounds of addressed pieces) must be automation compatible (201.6.0), bear an Intelligent Mail barcode (708.4.0), and be sorted and marked as described below. 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 243.8.4; for barcode quality standards, see 708.4.0; and for CASS/MASS standards, see 708.3.0. Addresses must be matched using a 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.
Rigid, nonrectangular, and pieces that are not uniformly thick must be prepared as parcels pieces and pay parcel prices (243.3.2.1).
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)
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 (245.10.0)
Marking on each piece in the postage area (202.3.0):
Marking on each piece prepared to FSS zones (705.14.0)
Use of the “AUTO” marking is optional.
Barcoded sack labels required (245.4.0).
Palletization is preferred (see Quick Service Guide 705d).
Any mailing job that contains comailed bundles of Presorted flats and bundles of automation flats must be prepared using 705.9.0 or 705.11.0.
Mailpieces intended for delivery to FSS zones must be prepared under 705.14.0.
Enter and Deposit (246)
Mailing entered at an acceptance point designated by USPS.