Customer Support Ruling

Small Flat Odd-Shaped Items in Envelopes at Automation Letter Prices

UPDATED January 2017

PS-328 (201.3.10)

This Customer Support Ruling (CSR) describes the preparation of letter-size automation compatible envelopes that contain coins, tokens, or similar small flat odd-shaped items.  This ruling does not pertain to items thicker than a U.S. nickel.

Subject to Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) standards for automation, small flat odd-shaped items are permitted in automation-compatible letter-size envelopes when they are firmly affixed to a component in the mailpiece and wrapped within the contents so that the contour of the mailpiece is streamlined.

In addition, small flat odd-shaped items prepared in envelopes may be mailed at automation letter prices if the item is firmly affixed to one of the components and the mailpiece is prepared under the following conditions:

    • Sufficient additional material such as letters, response cards, envelopes, or advertising matter is included in the envelope to ensure that the mailpiece is streamlined for automated processing.
    • When a closed-panel window envelope is used and the item is visible through the window, a second wrapping may be used to cover the item. This second covering is in addition to the window panel material and may be made of cellophane or a similar see-through substance. The mailpiece must have sufficient additional contents that the entire mailpiece remains streamlined for automation processing.

The effect of including additional material or coverings to streamline the mailpiece meets the intent of wrapping the item within the contents.  Small flat odd-shaped items cannot be placed in a position that would obscure the address or barcode.

When any envelope contains loose coins, tokens or similar small flat odd-shaped items that are not affixed to a component within or if the inclusion of such items results in the mailpiece not being streamlined, the mailpiece does not qualify for automation letter prices. It may be mailed, but is subject to the nonmachinable surcharge for First-Class Mail letters or the nonmachinable prices for USPS Marketing Mail letters.


Sharon Daniel


Mailing Standards

Headquarters, US Postal Service

Washington, DC  20260-3436