Customer Support Ruling
Sealing of Double Post Cards
UPDATED June 2014
This CSR discusses the standards for sealing a double postcard at the First-Class Mail card prices.
The issue is double postcards and the standards set forth in Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 201.1.2*.
A double card (i.e., a double stamped card or double postcard) consists of two attached cards, one of which is designed to be detached by the recipient and returned by mail as a single card. Double cards are subject to these standards:
- The reply half of the card must be used for reply only and may not be used to convey a message to the original addressee or to send statements of account. The reply half may be formatted for response purposes (e.g., contain blocks for completion by the addressee).
- A double card must be folded before mailing and prepared so that the address on the reply half is on the inside when the double card is originally mailed. The address side of the reply half may be prepared as business reply mail, courtesy reply mail, or as merchandise return service label.
- Plain stickers, seals, or a single wire stitch (staple) may be used to fasten the open edge at the top or bottom once the card is folded if affixed so that the inner surfaces of the cards can be readily examined. Fasteners must be affixed according to the applicable preparation requirements for the rate claimed.
- The first half of a double card must be detached when the reply half is mailed for return.
The lower First-Class price for postal and post cards was established to accommodate mailers that desire to send a “visible” message without an envelope. Eligibility for the card price is limited to cards meeting prescribed size limits and to messages fitting within that space. Thus, the “second portion” of a double post card may not be used to convey a message to the original addressee or to send statements of account. It must be designed solely for reply purposes. When mailers use the second or reply half of a double post card to convey a message to the original addressee, whether advertising or matter other than advertising, the card is properly chargeable at the First-Class Mail letter price. The First-Class Mail letter price also must be paid if the card is sealed in a manner such that prevents examination of the two cards and may only be sealed at the top (or the bottom if folded at the top) once the card is folded.
The card reviewed corrected the content deficiencies from earlier versions (i.e. the reply half no longer includes a message as earlier submissions did), but remained sealed in a manner not meeting postal requirements. The cards are folded and sealed at the top and also partially on the left and right sides with a permanent spot of glue on each side (not permitted by postal standards). In the most recent example, a message on the message side of the outgoing card portion was not visible until defacing the card by tearing the glue strips on the sides. As explained above, the card may be sealed only at the top or bottom once folded. Any sealing on the left and right sides of the cards, no matter the sealing process used, is not permitted by postal standards.
It was concluded the cards are not eligible for the card prices.
*See also DMM 101.6.2.
Headquarters, US Postal Service
Washington DC 20260-3436