Customer Support Ruling

Business Reply Mail

UPDATED January 2017

PS-243 (505.1.3.2)

This CSR discusses why Business Reply Mail is not eligible to be sent as Certified Mail.

Under the provisions of the postal regulations that govern Business Reply Mail, the permit holder guarantees payment of the appropriate First-Class Mail postage, plus a per piece fee, on all returned business reply mail distributed under the permit holder's permit number.

Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 505.1.3.2, provides that special services (e.g., insurance, registration, certified, COD, return receipts) cannot be used with Business Reply Mail.

Business Reply Mail and mailpieces being accorded a special service such as certified mail are handled differently in the mails. Business Reply Mail is sorted out of the general mailstream by automated equipment and is forwarded to the postage due section of the permit holder's post office so the appropriate postage and handling charges can be collected. Certified Mail is culled out of the general mailstream at the addressee post office and is routed to an accountable mail clerk so a record of delivery is obtained. The cost of handling a piece of Business Reply Mail as both business reply and Certified Mail would be prohibitive. It would also increase the possibility of delay, of postage and fees not being collected, and of certified service not being rendered. For these reasons, sending Business Reply Mail as Certified Mail is not permitted.


Anita J. Bizzotto


Mailing Standards

Headquarters, US Postal Service

Washington, DC  20260-3436