Customer Support Ruling

Old Letters

UPDATED January 2017

PS-091 (233.2.4)

This Customer Support Ruling discusses whether the age of documents affects their status as handwritten or typewritten matter that is mailable only at First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, or Priority Mail Express prices.

At issue is a parcel sent through the mail that contained handwritten letters. The letters varied in age, but none had been written recently.

Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 233.2.4* prescribes that matter wholly or partially in handwriting or typewriting must be mailed as First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, or Priority Mail Express, except authorized written additions to Periodicals, USPS Marketing Mail, USPS Retail Ground, and Package Services.

The classification of handwritten and typewritten documents under section is contingent upon neither the age of the documents, nor on whether they have previously passed through the mails, or are sent individually or in parcels. Handwritten or typewritten letters and other documents are mailable only at the First-Class, Priority Mail, or Priority Mail Express prices regardless of when they were produced. Thus, the package of old handwritten letters was required to be mailed as First-Class Mail.

*See also DMM 133.3.


Sherry Suggs


Mailing Standards

Headquarters, US Postal Service

Washington, DC  20260-3436