1.0 All Mailpieces
2.0 Address Placement for Letters
3.0 Placement and Content of Mail Markings
4.0 Endorsement Placement
A clear space must be available on all mail for the address, postage (postmarks), endorsements, and other mail markings (i.e., extra service label or form).
The delivery address specifies the location to which the USPS is to deliver a mailpiece. The piece must have a legible delivery address, only on the side of the piece bearing postage. A return address is required in specific circumstances under 4.2 and 602.1.5. See 602 for additional information regarding addressing.
The mailer is responsible for proper payment of postage. Standards for postage payment are specified for each shape and class of mail.
On a letter-size piece, the recommended address placement is within the optical character reader (OCR) read area, which is a space on the address side of the mailpiece defined by these boundaries (see Exhibit 202.2.1):
- Left: 1/2 inch from the left edge of the piece.
- Right: 1/2 inch from the right edge of the piece.
- Top: 2-3/4 inches from the bottom edge of the piece.
- Bottom: 5/8 inch from the bottom edge of the piece.
The location of the delivery address on a letter-size mailpiece determines which dimensions are the length and height of the piece. Consequently, the placement of the address may render a piece nonmailable or nonmachinable, see 601.1.1.3.
Priority Mail Express pieces must be marked “Priority Mail Express,” by using a mailing label. See 115.2.0 for mailing label standards.
The marking “Priority Mail” must be placed prominently on the address side of each piece of Priority Mail. If shipping address labels are used, it is recommended that they contain the Priority Mail service indicator composed of two elements, the service icon and service banner (see Exhibit 3.2):
- The service icon should appear in a 1-inch square in the upper left corner of the shipping label. The letter “P” must be printed inside the 1-inch square and must be 0.75 inches (3/4 inch) or greater. A minimum 3/4-point line must border the 1-inch square.
- The service banner should appear directly below the postage payment area and the service icon, and it should extend across the shipping label. When the service banner is used, the text “USPS PRIORITY MAIL” must be printed in minimum 20-point bold sans serif typeface, uppercase letters, centered within the banner, and bordered above and below by minimum 1-point separator lines. There must be a 1/16-inch clearance above and below the text.
Exhibit 3.2 Priority Mail Service Indicator
Each single-piece price First-Class Mail and First-Class Package Service — Retail piece must have a delivery address but is not required to bear a price marking.
Mailers must print the basic required Package Services subclass marking—“Media Mail,” or “Library Mail”—or “USPS Retail Ground” on each piece claimed at the respective price. The basic required marking must be placed in the postage area (i.e., printed or produced as part of, or directly below or to the left of, the permit imprint indicia or meter stamp or impression). Optionally, the basic required marking may be printed on the shipping address label as service indicators composed of a service icon and service banner (see Exhibit 3.4):
- The service icon that will identify USPS Retail Ground and all Package Services subclasses will be a 1-inch solid black square. If the service icon is used, it must appear in the upper left corner of the shipping label.
- The service banner must appear directly below the postage payment area and the service icon, and it must extend across the shipping label. If the service banner is used, USPS Retail Ground or the appropriate Package Services subclass marking (e.g., “MEDIA MAIL,” “LIBRARY MAIL”) must be preceded by the text “USPS” and must be printed in minimum 20-point bold sans serif typeface, uppercase letters, centered within the banner, and bordered above and below by minimum 1-point separator lines. There must be a 1/16-inch clearance above and below the text.
Exhibit 3.4 USPS Retail Ground and Package Services Indicator Examples
Mailpieces bearing references to expedited handling or delivery (e.g., “Urgent,” “Rush Delivery,” “Time Sensitive”) meet the requirements under 604.5.3.5.
The mailer must place the correct endorsement on each mailpiece to provide delivery instructions (retention period under 507.4.3.4, or carrier release under 508.1.1.8) or to request an ancillary service (forwarding, return, or address correction under 507.1.0 and 507.1.8), subject to the corresponding standards for use and availability. See 202.4.0 for information regarding the placement and printing of endorsements.
When an ancillary service endorsement is used, a domestic return address must be placed in the upper left corner of the address side of the mailpiece or the upper left corner of the addressing area. If the return address is a multiple delivery address, it must show a unit designator (e.g., an apartment number).