A1 Readability

An automation readable mailpiece is defined as one that contains an accurate, correctly formatted, complete address or ZIP+4 Intelligent Mail barcode and is readable on an OCR and/or a barcode sorter (BCS). The Intelligent Mail barcode, whether preapplied or printed via an OCR, should reflect the ZIP+4 Code that permits the finest level of sort for each mailpiece.

The recommended address format is shown in the illustration below.

envelope diagram

Addresses should be typewritten or machine printed in dark ink on a light background using uppercase letters. Except for the hyphen in the primary or secondary street number (if needed) or the ZIP+4 Code, all punctuation may be omitted. All lines of the address should be formatted with a uniform left margin. When using a foreign address, always place the country name by itself on the last line. (See sample address types in section A2.)

Address characters must not touch and should be equally spaced. All lines of the address should be parallel to the bottom of the envelope. Be sure to include all pertinent information such as the directional code, apartment, floor, and suite number.

The entire address should be contained in an imaginary rectangle known as the OCR read area (see illustration in section A1) that extends from 5/8 inch to 2 3/4 inch from the bottom of the mailpiece, with 1/2 inch margins on each side.

The barcode clear area, 5/8 inch from the bottom, and 4 3/4 inch from the right edge of the mailpiece (see illustration in section A1), is the area where an Intelligent Mail barcode is preapplied or printed by an OCR.

Extraneous (nonaddress) printing that appears in the OCR read area should be positioned above the delivery address line and as far away from the address block as possible.