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Qualifications for Automation Rates

The Postal Service gives discounts to those who automate their mailings. To qualify for such savings, the Post Office does have certain requirements. While many of these requirements will be handled by your mailhouse (sorting documentation by PAVE certified software, CASS certification of barcodes, and bar coded tray or sack tags), there are some things that businesses should be aware of before designing their mail piece.

First Class mailers must demonstrate that they have updated the addresses in their mailing lists within 180 days or 6 months prior to the mailing date. The four U.S.P.S.-approved updating methods include:

Address Change Service (ACS)
National Change of Address (NCOA)
Ancillary Service Endorsements

  • Automated selfmailers may have to be tabbed or sealed shut depending on the design and class of the piece.
  • Any letter-size reply cards and envelopes (including business reply, courtesy reply, and metered reply mail) provided as enclosures must be automation-compatible and bear a Facing Identifcation Mark (FIM) and correct barcode for the address to which the piece is returned. To view the exact specs of a courtesy reply, click here. To view the exact spec of a business reply, click here.
  • Mailpieces must be flexible. Generally, small coins or credit cards firmly affixed to the contents of the mailpiece are acceptable if the mailpiece and its contents can bend easily around an 11-inch drum. Rigid items, such as pencils, keys, large coins, etc, cannot be sent with automation mail.

Neither this site nor the U.S. Postal Service is responsible for the accuracy of this information.
For the most up-to-date information available, go to the U.S. Postal Service website at www.usps.com.

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