Contents Index
P000 Basic Information
P020 Postage Stamps and Stationery

P021 Stamped Stationery


P021 describes the two types of stamped envelopes–plain and personalized–and describes their specifications and validity. There are also two types of other stationary–stamped card and aerogramme. These are used for customer imprinting or international mail.

1.0 Plain Stamped Envelope


Plain stamped envelopes are available at all post offices, except that:

a. Only sizes 6-3/4 and 10 regular and window envelopes are sold in less than full box lots (a full box contains 500 envelopes).

b. Only nonprofit organizations and political committees authorized to use the Nonprofit Standard Mail rates may buy Nonprofit (precanceled) envelopes. Only full boxes are sold at post offices; only less than box lots are sold at philatelic outlets.

1.2Window Sizes

Window envelopes are available with these window sizes:

a. The standard window is 1-1/8 inches high and 4-3/4 inches wide, and is placed 5/8 inch from the bottom edge of the envelope.

b. In size 6-3/4 envelopes, the window is 7/8 inch from the left edge; in size 10 envelopes, 1 inch from the left edge.

c. On double window envelopes, the second window (designed for a return address) is 1/2 inch from the top and left edges, and measures 3/4 inch high and 2-1/2 inches wide.

d. Other window sizes and locations can be produced, if the window size is not more than 1-1/2 inches high and 5 inches wide, and the window is not less than 3/8 inch from any envelope edge. Windows must allow compliance with general USPS addressing guidelines.

1.3Envelope Dimensions

Envelope dimensions, which can vary 1/16 inch, are as follows:

a. Size 6-3/4: 3-5/8 by 6-1/2 inches.

b. Size 10: 4-1/8 by 9-1/2 inches.

c. Intermediate sizes (between 6-3/4 and 10, as determined by surface area in square inches) are not less than 6-1/2 or more than 9-1/2 inches long, not less than 3-5/8 or more than 5 inches high, have a surface area of not more than 39 square inches, and have an aspect ratio (length divided by height) not less than 1.3 or more than 2.5.


Stamped envelopes may be privately imprinted in any style, if at least 3-1/2 inches of clear space remains at the right end of the address side.

2.0 Personalized Stamped Envelope


Personalized envelopes (stamped envelopes imprinted with a return address) are available by mail order only. Customers mail Form 3203, with the full payment (by check or money order) for the envelopes ordered, to Stamp Fulfillment Services (see G043 for address).

2.2Printing Specifications

All printing on personalized envelopes is subject to these specifications:

a. Any line of printing is limited to 47 characters and spaces.

b. The total number of lines is limited to seven.

c. The last two lines of printing must be reserved for the street address or post office box number where mail is to be delivered, and the city, state, and ZIP Code.

d. Stamp Development, USPS Headquarters, must approve any printing not permitted under 2.3 through 2.5. Requests for nonstandard printing are considered on orders of one million or more identical envelopes. Stamp Development’s decision is final.

e. Each envelope must bear a return address printed in uppercase and lowercase letters, with flush left margin, using 8-point Helvetica type. The firm name or main lines are in bold type.

2.3Printed Return Address Standards

The printed return address must include the local address that includes a street address; a post office box number; a rural route and box number; a building name, room number, and street address; or both a street address and post office box number; and the name of the post office or branch post office, state, and either the ZIP+4 or the 5-digit ZIP Code. The ZIP Code must be correct for the address on the line immediately preceding the city and state. The postmaster determines whether the address is adequate to ensure return of undeliverable mail.

2.4Printed Return Address Options

The printed return address may include:

a. The name and title of an individual, or the name of a firm, corporation, institution, association, or society.

b. Descriptive words that represent business or professional names.

c. The branch or department name of a business if necessary to ensure return of undeliverable mail.

d. The telephone number of an individual or group if printed immediately preceding the local address.

e. A brief advertising statement or descriptive phrase following the name or on up to two separate lines. Indecent matter may not appear on wrappers or envelopes (18 USC 1463).

2.5Optional Information

The following endorsements and instructions printed in at least 8-point type may be included as part of the return address:

a. Any ancillary service endorsement under F010 that requests address correction, forwarding, or return appropriate for the intended class of mail (e.g., “Address Service Requested”). The endorsement must appear directly below the return address, separated with a minimum clear space of 1/4 inch.

b. Any sender instruction under F030 that specifies a period for holding mail, not fewer than 3 and not more than 30 days (e.g., “AFTER 5 DAYS RETURN TO”). The instruction must appear directly above the return address. If such an instruction is printed on envelopes at Standard Mail rates, those envelopes must also bear an authorized ancillary service endorsement that provides for return postage.

2.6Rejected Envelopes

A customer may reject personalized envelope orders for defective manufacture or mistakes in printing, denomination, size, etc.:

a. If the purchaser’s error, only the value of the postage is refunded. Such a refund may be made at a post office or by returning the envelopes to Stamp Fulfillment Services (see G043 for address). If the customer wants the envelopes replaced instead, the customer must pay the difference between the full selling price of the envelopes and the postage value. The customer must include an explanation for rejecting the envelopes in a request for replacement or refund.

b. If an error is made by the USPS, Stamp Fulfillment Services refunds the total cost of the envelopes. The envelopes must be returned to Stamp Fulfillment Services (see G043 for address) with an explanation of the error. Only the customer whose name is in the return address, or the customer’s representative, may submit rejected personalized envelopes for a refund. Rather than seeking a refund, the customer may request that the envelopes be replaced.

3.0 Other Stationery

3.1Stamped Cards

Stamped cards are available as single stamped cards, double (reply) stamped cards, and in sheets of 40 for customer imprinting. Single and double stamped cards are 3-1/2 inches high by 5-1/2 inches long. Sheets must be cut to this size so that the stamp is in the upper right corner of each card. The USPS does not offer personalized stamped cards (cards imprinted with a return address).


Aerogrammes (airletter sheets) are available for use in international mail.

4.0 Validity of Postal Stationery

All stamped envelopes, stamped cards (formerly called postal cards), and aerogrammes issued by the United States since 1873 are valid for postage from any point in the United States or from any other place where U.S. domestic mail service operates, under the same conditions as for postage stamps in P022.

DMM Issue 58 (8-10-03)