DMM TOC > 200 Commercial Letters and Cards > 220 Priority Mail

225 Mail Preparation

1.0 General Information for Mail Preparation

1.1 Priority Mail Packaging Provided by the USPS

Priority Mail packaging provided by the USPS must be used only for Priority Mail. Regardless of how the packaging is reconfigured or how markings may be obliterated, any matter mailed in USPS-provided Priority Mail packaging is charged the appropriate Priority Mail price. Any matter mailed in USPS-produced Critical Mail letter packaging will be charged Critical Mail letter prices only if all applicable standards in 223 are met; otherwise such matter will be charged the Priority Mail Commercial Plus Flat Rate Envelope price.

1.2 Required Use of Return Address

The sender's domestic return address must appear legibly on Priority Mail pieces.

Back to Top

2.0 Markings

The marking “Priority Mail” must be placed prominently on the address side of each piece of Priority Mail. USPS-produced Critical Mail letter envelopes bear the marking “Critical Mail” and must be used for Critical Mail letters. See 202.3.3.

Back to Top

3.0 Preparation of Permit Imprint Mailings

3.1 Identical Weight Pieces

To use a permit imprint, the pieces must be of identical weight and, unless all the pieces are in a weight category for which the price does not vary by zone, the pieces must be separated by zone when presented to the Post Office, except under 3.2.

3.2 Nonidentical Weight Pieces

A permit imprint may be used for mailings of nonidentical-weight pieces only if authorized by Business Mailer Support at USPS Headquarters.

Back to Top

4.0 Additional Standards for Preparing Critical Mail Letters

4.1 Preparing Critical Mail Letters in Trays

When mailing 200 or more Critical Mail letters in one mailing, prepare the letters in USPS-provided letter trays with the letters “faced” (oriented with all addresses in the same direction with the postage area in the upper right). Secure and strap letter trays using USPS-provided sleeves. Label trays under the applicable letter tray label standards in 235.4.0 and as follows:

a. Line 1: Use L201; for mail originating in ZIP Code areas in Column A, use “MXD” followed by city, state, and 3-digit ZIP Code prefix in Column C (use “MXD” instead of “OMX” in the destination line and ignore Column B).


c. Line 3: Office of mailing or mailer information.

4.2 Postage for Critical Mail and Priority Mail

When a manifest mailing system is used, Critical Mail and Priority Mail may be entered on the same postage statement, but mailpieces must be presented separately and may not be combined or commingled in the same container.