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Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service
Domestic Mail Manual Introduction
January 6, 2005


Transforming the Domestic Mail Manual

The Postal Service has transformed the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) into a series of documents that are easier for customers and employees to use.

Publications in the DMM Series

DMM 100
A Customer’s Guide to Mailing answers the most common questions of household mailers. It includes tips for addressing, preparing packages, choosing a class of mailing, and adding extra services. It is available at and most post offices in English, Spanish, and Chinese.


DMM 200

A Guide to Mailing for Businesses and Organizations provides an overview of mailing options for businesses and organizations. Mailers can use it to begin a business mailing program and make better-informed decisions about mailing. This document is available at, larger post offices, business mail entry units.


DMM 300

Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service contains all official rates and standards governing domestic mailing services and is mostly used by discount mailers and Postal Service employees. This document is available at


Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service
makes it easier to access information about postal services and standards.

The new DMM provides the following benefi ts
and features:

  • Increased ability to fi nd information.
  • Increased clarity of mailing standards.
  • Expanded and improved index.
  • Clearer graphics and rate charts.
  • Less need to consult with experts or peers for guidance.
  • Increased customer confi dence in the mail and in the USPS.
  • Information grouped by mailing method, shape, class of mail, and topic.
  • Less time spent cross-referencing and greater confi dence in fi nding all the information needed.

The Postal Service worked closely with customers and employees to reorganize the DMM. The new DMM will help customers make informed decisions about postal products and services to get the most value from the mail. Postal employees will fi nd it easier to help customers.

The mailing standards did not change as part of the redesign process. What is new is how the standards are organized and presented.


Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service is organized into color-coded modules that make it easy to locate information quickly.

The RETAIL section explains the services and standards for letters, flats, and parcels mailed at single-piece rates. The information in this section is intended for both household consumers and businesses.


The DISCOUNT sections explain the services and standards for “bulk,” presorted, and automation rate mail. The information in this section is intended for business mailers who are willing to do some extra work preparing their mail in exchange for discounted postage rates.

Standards in the retail section are organized into units represented by the available mailing services. Within each mailing service, the information is organized into chapters that follow the sequence of mailing tasks.


The GENERAL INFORMATION sections contain standards for all the additional services available to mailers, including extra services, mailer services, and recipient services. The general information sections also include standards that apply to all mailers, such as general mailability and addressing, and special standards, such as technical specifications and advanced preparation standards.



The modules for each method and shape of mail contain general design standards and topics relating to the preparation of each class of mail.

Design Standards
101 Physical Standards
102 Elements on the of a Mailpiece

110 Express Mail
113 Rates and Eligibility
114 Postage Payment
115 Mail Preparation
116 Deposit

120 Priority Mail
123 Rates and Eligibility
124 Postage Payment
125 Mail Preparation
126 Deposit

130 First-Class Mail
133 Rates and Eligibility
134 Postage Payment
135 Mail Preparation
136 Deposit

150 Parcel Post
153 Rates and Eligibility
154 Postage Payment Methods
155 Mail Preparation
156 Deposit

160 Bound Printed Matter
163 Rates and Eligibility
164 Postage Payment Methods
165 Mail Preparation
166 Deposit

170 Media Mail
173 Rates and Eligibility
174 Postage Payment Methods
175 Mail Preparation
176 Deposit

180 Library Mail
183 Rates and Eligibility
184 Postage Payment Methods
185 Mail Preparation
186 Deposit

Design Standards
201 Physical Standards
202 Elements on the Face of a Mailpiece

230 First-Class Mail
233 Rates and Eligibility
234 Postage Payment and Documentation
235 Mail Preparation
236 Enter and Deposit

240 Standard Mail
243 Rates and Eligibility
244 Postage Payment and Documentation
245 Mail Preparation
246 Enter and Deposit

Design Standards
301 Physical Standards
302 Elements on the Face of a Mailpiece

330 First-Class Mail
333 Rates and Eligibility
334 Postage Payment and Documentation
335 Mail Preparation
336 Enter and Deposit

340 Standard Mail
343 Rates and Eligibility
344 Postage Payment and Documentation
345 Mail Preparation
346 Enter and Deposit

360 Bound Printed Matter
363 Rates and Eligibility
364 Postage Payment and Documentation
365 Mail Preparation
366 Enter and Deposit

370 Media Mail
373 Rates and Eligibility
374 Postage Payment and Documentation
375 Mail Preparation
376 Enter and Deposit

380 Library Mail
383 Rates and Eligibility
384 Postage Payment and Documentation
385 Mail Preparation
386 Enter and Deposit

Design Standards
401 Physical Standards
402 Elements on the Face of a Mailpiece

430 First-Class Mail
433 Rates and Eligibility
434 Postage Payment and Documentation
435 Mail Preparation
436 Enter and Deposit

440 Standard Mail
443 Rates and Eligibility
444 Postage Payment and Documentation
445 Mail Preparation
446 Enter and Deposit

450 Parcel Post
453 Rates and Eligibility
454 Postage Payment and Documentation
455 Mail Preparation
456 Enter and Deposit

460 Bound Printed Matter
463 Rates and Eligibility
464 Postage Payment and Documentation
465 Mail Preparation
466 Enter and Deposit

470 Media Mail
473 Rates and Eligibility
474 Postage Payment and Documentation
475 Mail Preparation
476 Enter and Deposit

480 Library Mail
483 Rates and Eligibility
484 Postage Payment and Documentation
485 Mail Preparation
486 Enter and Deposit


Services and standards that apply generally to all customers are organized into three tabbed sections.

503 Extra Services
Extra Services for Express
Registered Mail
Certified Mail
Insured Mail
Certificate of Mailing
Return Receipt
Restricted Delivery
Return Receipt for Merchandise
Delivery Confirmation
Signature Confirmation
Collect on Delivery (COD)
Special Handling
Money Orders

507 Mailer Services
Treatment of Mail
Address Correction Services
Recall of Mail
Pickup Service
Mailing List Services
Address Sequencing Services
Business Reply Mail (BRM)
Merchandise Return Service
Bulk Parcel Return Service

508 Recipient Services
Recipient Options
Conditions of Delivery
Customer Mail Receptacles
Post Office Box Service
Caller Service
General Delivery
Firm Holdout
Pandering Advertisements
Sexually Oriented Advertisements

509 Other Services
Address Information System
Nonpostal Services

Numbering System
The numbering system can serve as a navigational tool for locating standards quickly.


Page Layout
The new layout includes new graphic features and navigation elements that help you find the information you need.

A. Chapter Title
The DMM is divided into chapters based on mailing topics.

B. Overview
Each chapter begins with a table of contents.

C. Reference Number
Each section, subsection, and standard has its own reference number.

D. Change Bar
Change bars next to standards indicate that the text has changed since the last printed edition.

E. Change Date
The change date indicates the date a change is effective.

F. DMM 58 Reference
Reference numbers corresponding to the old DMM system (DMM 58) are provided to help the transition to the new numbering system.



G. Chapter Header
The header lists the module, unit, and chapter.

H. Chapter Number
This number shows the current chapter for easy navigation.

I. Page-level Navigation
This element shows the number of the first or last reference on each page.

J. Shape Icon
Icons provide a visual point of reference.

K. Exhibit
Illustrations and diagrams provide clear visual explanations and examples.

L. Cross-reference
Cross-references point to other required or related standards. They are hyperlinked in the online DMM for quick access.

M. Rate Table
New table designs aid in locating and reading rates easily.

N. DMM Issue and Date
The DMM is updated monthly.


Postal Explorer
Postal Explorer is an easy-to-use website that provides a comprehensive collection of business mailing tools, including Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service.

With Postal Explorer you can:

  • Get the most up-to-date information.
  • Access the Quick Service Guides.
  • Enter a word or phrase and instantly fi nd all references.
  • Access postage statements and forms.
  • Search one publication or a whole collection.
  • Calculate domestic and international retail and discount postage rates.
  • Print all or part of the DMM.
  • Access postal zone charts.

You will find the most up-to-date version of Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service: Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) in HTML and PDF formats. The online DMM features new interactive menus and enhanced search options.


Domestic Mail Manual Introduction
PSN: 7610-07-000-5420
January 2005


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