Contents Index


P900 Special Postage Payment Systems

P930 Alternate Mailing Systems (AMS)


P930 describes basic information and authorization requirements for alternate mailing systems.

1.0 Basic Information


An Alternate Mailing System (AMS) provides for other methods of accepting permit imprint mail, not established in P910 or P920, that show proper postage payment and mail preparation without verification by weight.

1.2Postage Adjustment

Overpayments or underpayments identified during USPS verification require a postage adjustment. Verification samples are deemed to be representative of the entire mailing and postage adjustment calculations are based on the total mailing. The mailer must pay a penalty when the sampling verification shows that the postage error exceeds 1.5% of the corrected postage. The total corrected postage for the entire mailing is deducted from the permit imprint advance deposit account.

2.0 Authorization


A mailer may request authorization to pay postage by an AMS by submitting a written request to the postmaster at the office of mailing. The request must include a complete description of the types of matter to be mailed, the proposed method of paying postage, the proposed method to determine correct mail preparation, and a statement of the reasons for requesting the alternate system. The USPS may review the mailer’s operation before ruling on the application.


The conditions of authorization are:

a. Authorization to use AMS must benefit the USPS.

b. Authorization to use AMS must include a signed AMS agreement.

c. An AMS agreement must specify the terms and conditions of the AMS.

d. All postage must be paid by permit imprint unless otherwise permitted in writing by the BMS manager.

e. There must be no additional cost to the USPS for an AMS agreement beyond the costs of current mail acceptance procedures for the mail in question.

f. The mailer must implement a quality control program that ensures proper mail preparation and accurate documentation, subject to USPS approval. The service agreement must include details of this program. Each AMS mailing must include a statement from the mailer certifying that the approved quality control verification is done.

g. Authorization must not exceed 2 years.

2.3BMS Action

The BMS manager approves or denies a written request for AMS.


If the application is approved, a service agreement must be signed by the USPS and the mailer.


If the application is denied, the mailer may file a written appeal, within 15 days from the receipt of the notice, containing additional evidence explaining why the AMS request should be approved, with the Business Mail Acceptance manager, USPS Headquarters, who reviews the appeal and issues the final agency decision.


The BMS manager may revoke an AMS authorization if the mailer:

a. Provides incorrect data for mailings and appears unable or unwilling to correct all problems.

b. Is not conducting required quality control procedures.

c. No longer meets the criteria established by standard or the AMS agreement.

d. Does not present mailings under AMS for more than 6 months (except under the service agreement).

e. Continues to present mailings improperly prepared or mailings without correct postage.

2.7Notice of Revocation

After a revocation notice is issued, the mailer and the USPS decide on the corrective actions and set up an implementation schedule, after which the USPS reexamines the mailer’s system. Failure to correct identified problems is sufficient grounds to revoke a mailer’s AMS authorization.


Revocation proceeds if the mailer is unable or unwilling to correct the discrepancies found. The mailer may file a written appeal within 15 days from the date of receipt of the notice, which includes evidence explaining why the AMS authorization should not be revoked. The appeal must be filed with the BMS manager for transmission to the Business Mail Acceptance manager, USPS Headquarters, who issues the final agency decision. The mailer may continue to present mail under the AMS pending a decision on appeal. The revocation decision takes effect 15 days after receipt by the mailer.

DMM Issue 58 (8-10-03)