230b Quick Service Guide

Commercial - First-Class Mail Machinable Letters and Postcards

Physical Standards (201)

Maximum weight: 3.5 ounces.

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.

Content (233.2.0)

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 (233.4.0)

Mailings of 500 or more addressed pieces, sorted and marked as described below. All pieces must be machinable; see 201.1.0. 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 230a.

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 to letters. 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: “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 mail remains 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) or barcoded tray label (recommended).

Trays sleeved and strapped (203.5.0). See 203.5.5 for exceptions to strapping for mixed AADC or ADC trays and mailings that originate and destinate in delivery areas of same SCF or ADC (mail processing plant) service areas.

Enter and Deposit (236)

Mailing entered at an acceptance point designated by USPS.


Traying Sequence (235.5.2)

AADC Origin

Trays: Required, trays must be prepared with pieces grouped by 3-digit ZIP Code; one less-than-full tray permitted.

Labels: For Line 1, use L801. For Line 2, use “FCM LTR AADC MACH.”

Price: AADC


Trays: Required, full trays for pieces to same AADC (see L801); pieces grouped by 3-digit ZIP Code; less-than-full trays not permitted.

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

Price: AADC

Mixed AADC

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

Labels: For Line 1, use L201. For mail originating in 3-digit ZIP Codes in Column A, use “MXD” followed by city/state/3-digit ZIP Code in Column C. For Line 2, use “FCM LTR MACH WKG.”

Price: Mixed AADC

Traying sequence for first-class mail machinable letters and postcards.

Bundling not permitted in full trays. Bundling required for mailings entirely of card-size pieces less than 7 inches long and for pieces placed in less-than-full AADC and mixed AADC trays.