Summary of 4/30 Federal Register Notice

On April 30, 2008 the USPS released a Federal Register notice regarding Intelligent Mail Implementation of New Standards for Intelligent Mail Barcodes 

Here is a summary of the highlights of that document –


Comments: Comments must be received on or before May 30, 2008. Early comments are encouraged. Commenters may submit additional comments any time before May 30, 2008.

Visit our comment page for an easy way to comment electronically.


IMB Benefits

– ACS Address Change Service

– Confirm®

– Tracking

– Additional visibility will improve service and efficiency, and add value to the mail


Classes affected: all letters and flats mailed at automation prices


Parcels and Not Flat-Machinable pieces are NOT included in the current Intelligent Mail package. Standards for IM for these categories will come in the future.


Business Reply Mail®, Courtesy Reply Mail™, Meter Reply Mail, and Permit Reply Mail will need to be in the Intelligent Mail format and include a Mailer ID and BRM Service Type ID as of May 2010

intelligent mail 

Full Service
When mail owners elect to use their own 6-digit or 9-digit Mailer ID and unique serial numbers for mailpieces, mail preparers would be required to honor the 6-digit or 9-digit Mailer ID and unique numbering as architected by the mail owner.


Full Service Benefits

Free start-the-clock information – to notify mailers when the USPS takes possession of mailings

Free address correction information – for mailpieces that do not have the most current address or that are undeliverable for other reasons

May 2009 lowest postage prices available. All letters and flats requiring a barcode and mailed as First-Class Mail, Periodicals, Standard Mail, and Bound Printed Matter would be eligible for full-service prices


Basic Service

The USPS recognizes the benefit of Intelligent Mail barcodes, even when they are on mailpieces that are not part of full-service mailings. They plan to continue to offer the basic option indefinitely.


Comment Feedback and USPS Action


  • Prices for Intelligent Mail barcodes become effective in May 2009 concurrent with the implementation of the annual price change for Mailing Services.
  • POSTNET barcodes will be accepted on automation letters and flats until May 2010.



  • Separate prices for the two options, with full-service prices lower than the basic service (and POSTNET) prices.

Mailer ID Concerns

  • Alternative way to identify the mail owner through electronic documentation



  • NO new containerization standards or FAST appointment requirements for Origin and First Class Mail at this time


FAST Requirements

  • NO requirement for FAST appointments for First-Class Mail or for any origin-entered mailings.
  • FAST appointments will continue to be required for drop shipments


Zip+4 Barcodes

  • Requirement for delivery point barcodes on automation flats, effective May 2009.
  • Current standards in DMM 708.4 apply when mailpieces are addressed for delivery to an address with a unique 5-digit ZIP Code\TM\ or unique ZIP+4\TM\ Code


Rules for optional endorsement lines (OELs) and pressure-sensitive bundle labels
Top piece of a presort bundle of flats must either:

  • Include an OEL, with the information also in the barcode or
  • Contain a pressure-sensitive bundle label

Mailer ID uniqueness

  • A suggestion that “uniqueness” (in terms of unique numbering of mailpieces) be achieved by linking the delivery routing code with the serial number ID was denied.
  • For most full-service mailings, the serial number ID in combination with the Mailer ID and Service Type ID will be required for mailpiece uniqueness.
  • Mailers who separate trays and containers by price category for mailings of less than 10,000 pieces, mailpieces may have the same serial number on all pieces.


Mailing Documentation Exactly Matching Physical Mail Preparation

  • In most cases, the physical mail will match the nesting presented in the electronic documentation
  • In special situations such as MLOCR, a postage payment system agreement will govern the relationship between physical mail and electronic documentation.


Postage Statement Wizard® will meet the requirement for Full Service mailings

  • Less than 10,000 pieces that do not require accompanying documentation
  • Mailings will exact postage affixed. 

Free address correction notices

Will be provided for correctly formatted mailpieces (in a Full Service mailing) that have the
appropriate ancillary service request (either Address Service Requested or Change Service Requested) in their mailer profile and embedded in Intelligent Mail barcodes.


Intelligent Mail Tray Labels

  • 10/24 label can be used before May 2009
  • Option to migrate directly to the 24-digit label starting in May 2009
  • 24-digit label will be required May 2009
  • New Optional Pallet and container label alternate format designed to be affixed to the outside of shrinkwrap or plastic, at least 4 inches high by 7 inches long
  • Pallets will need to be labeled on THREE sides



USPS Resource References

Barcode placement standards DMM 202.5, 302.4, and 708.4

IMB with Confirm Service DMM 503.13.3

OneCode ACS™ DMM 507.4.2



Technical Guides will be posted at the USPS OneCode Solution page as soon as they become available. Check back often, or watch the Postal Affairs Blog here for notification.