General Mail Information


First Class Mail

Any mailable matter may be mailed as First Class Mail. The following examples are considered First Class matter and must carry postage at First Class or Priority Mail rates.

1. Matter wholly or partially handwritten or typed, originals or carbons, invoices, (except when accompanying the matter to which they relate), postal cards, post cards.

2. Matter sealed and closed against postal inspection.

3. Bills and statements of account, regardless of method of preparation or quantity of identical pieces mailed, except authorized enclosures in or attachments to Parcel Post.

4. Price lists with written-in figures changing items or prices.

5. Any business reply mail.

6. Blank printed forms filled out in writing, including cancelled or un-cancelled checks.

7. A computer printout may or may not be First Class matter. It depends on the content. Contact Mail center for additional information.

8. If you are not sure if it is First Class, ask us!

9. Discounted rates are available for 500 or more letter-sized pieces.

Priority Mail

All First Class Mail exceeding 11 ounces and not exceeding 70 pounds are considered Priority Mail and at the option of the mailer, any mail weighing 11 ounces or less. There is no minimum weight limitation. There is a flat rate up to two pounds.

Note: Priority Mail is a 2 to 3 day service between 64 major markets; i.e. Atlanta to Dallas or Chicago to New York. Priority Mail delivery is not guaranteed. When using Priority Mail we recommend use of priority envelopes available at no charge from the Mail center or your local Post Office.

Discount rates are available for 300 or more pieces.

Express Mail

Express Mail is the fastest service for very important documents such as time-sensitive letters or merchandise. Guaranteed next-day and second-day delivery nationwide.

1. Next day delivery by noon or by 3:00 p.m. to many destinations.
2. Delivery to most addresses in the United States - including P.O. Boxes and military addresses.

Parcel Post

The following are considered Parcel Post matter:
Circulars Catalogs
Booklets Newsletters
Merchandise Product Samples
Photographs Printed Matter

Each piece of Standard B Mail must weigh less than 16 ounces. Anything heavier must be mailed as Periodical or Priority Mail. Reduced rates are available for mailing 200 or more pieces. The standards for size and surcharge for a single piece Third Class Mail weighing one ounce or less are the same as for First Class Mail.

Media Mail

The following are considered Fourth Class matter:
Packages / Parcels Sound Recordings Books
Library Materials Merchandise Films
Bound Printed Matter Computer Media Video Tapes

Each piece of Fourth Class matter must not exceed 70 pounds in weight and a maximum size of 108" in length and girth combined. A quantity discount is available for mailings of 200 or more pieces.

Certified Mail

Certified Mail provides you with a mailing receipt and a record of delivery. A return receipt to provide you with proof of delivery can be obtained for an additional fee. Certified Mail service is available only for First Class Mail. No insurance coverage is provided. A numbered label and completed receipt must be affixed. You can obtain labels from postal services.

Registered Mail

The Registered Mail system is designed to provide added protection for valuable mail. Postage insurance may be purchased to cover articles valued up to $25,000. Registered Mail is the most secure mail the Postal Service offers. It incorporates a system of receipts to monitor registered articles from the point of acceptance to delivery. Return receipt and restricted delivery services are available for additional fees. Added security may delay delivery by 24 - 48 hours. Additional fees for articles valued over $25,000 are for handling only.

Insured Mail

You can obtain payment for domestic mail that has been lost, rifled or damaged by having it insured. You can buy insurance up to $600 for Third and Fourth Class mail. It is also available for merchandise mailed at the Priority Mail or First Class Mail rates. Express Mail includes $500.00 insurance at no extra charge.

Courier Mail - FedEx, UPS, USPS Express

Records may be tracked by accessing the courier's website. Accountable by airbill number. We track inbound and outbound courier mail by department name and account index. We maintain internal delivery records for six months by individual name, department, account index, transaction date, airbill or courier. Visit the courier websites (in the Quicklinks menu on the right) for additional information.

International Mail

International Mail includes all mail sent from the United States to other countries.

Customers are required to print customer forms for electronic filing. This change means that if you fill out a PS Form 2976-A by hand, the information will need to be entered electronically when you bring your package to the Post Office. The easiest way to expedite this process and fulfill the electronic data transer requirement is to complete your PS 2967-A online and print it.

Oversize / Underweight Mail

First Class, Third Class and International Letter Class Mail weighing one ounce or less is non-standard* if it exceeds any of the following size standard limits:

- 11.5" in length OR 6.125" in height OR 0.25" in thickness OR
- Its aspect ratio (length divided by height) does not fall between 1 to 1.3 and 1 to 2.5 inclusive.

* There is an additional charge on each piece of mail that is found to be non-standard in size and/or weight.

In addition, pieces with dimensions less than 3.5" in height or 5" in length or 0.007" in thickness (the thickness of a postcard) are non-mailable in the US Postal Service and will be returned to you.

Standard Mail

Nonprofit organizations and businesses use Standard Mail the same way. The only difference is that authorized nonprofit organizations are eligible for additional savings on Standard Mail. Eligibility to use nonprofit rates is based both on the eligibility of the organization and the content of the mailpiece as established by federal statues. Authorized nonprofit organizations can use Standard Mail or Enhanced Carrier Route Mail. Standard Mail guidelines are located here for your viewing.

Endorsements

Undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) mail is forwarded, returned to sender, or treated as dead mail as authorized for the particular mail class. A mailer endorsement is used to instruct the Postal Service regarding the mailpiece's appropriate disposition upon determining that it is UAA. Guidelines on endorsements for First-Class Mail® service are located here for your viewing.

Flat Address Placement

The Postal Service has adopted new address placement and formatting requirements for periodicals, standard mail, bound printed matter, media mail, and library mail flat-size pieces sent at automation, presorted, or carrier route prices.

The new address placement and formatting requirements are located here for your viewing.