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Domestic Mail


Placement of Postage

Effective September 28, 2006, we are revising 604.4.3.3 of the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM). This revision clarifies the boundaries and placement of indicia, explains exceptions in clear zones, and defines ad plates and the language that must be included when using them.

Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM)

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600 Basic Standards for All Mailing Services

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604 Postage Payment Methods

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4.0 Postage Meters and PC Postage Products ("Postage Evidencing Systems")

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4.3 Postage Payment

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4.3.3 Placement of Postage

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[Reletter current items b through e as new items f through i. Add new items b through e to read as follows:]

b. Position indicia within the required boundaries. The boundaries of indicia are defined by the right edge of the envelope, the top edge of the envelope, and the bottom edge and the left edge of any USPS-required indicium element printed by the postage evidencing system.

c. Maintain the required 1/2-inch clear zone to the left of and below all elements of the indicium, within which nothing must be printed or placed, except as follows:

1. Indicia containing images obtained from a USPS- approved licensed vendor of customized PC Postage.

2. For letterpress indicia only, advertising matter or slogans may be printed with the indicia within space limitations. These advertising messages and slogans are known as ad plates. Customers must obtain the ad plates for printing this matter from their authorized postage meter provider. Ad plate messages must be distinguished by the inclusion of the name of the mailer or words such as "Mailer's Message."

d. For postage evidencing systems that print digital indicia, an approved indicium must include within its boundaries only postal markings and text required or recommended by USPS regulation, except that the indicium may identify the provider. Other matter may be printed only outside the boundaries of the clear zone identified in 4.3.3.c.

e. Any additional matter printed by a postage evidencing system in accordance with 4.3.3.c and 4.3.3.d must comply with the following requirements:

1. Must be consistent with the Postal Service's intent to maintain neutrality on religious, social, political, legal, moral, or other public issues.

2. Must not be obscene, deceptive, or defamatory of any person, entity, or group, nor advocate unlawful action.

3. Must not emulate any form of valid postage, government, or other official indicia or payment of postage.

4. Must not harm the public image, reputation, or goodwill of the Postal Service, nor be otherwise derogatory or detrimental to the Postal Service's interest.

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We will incorporate this revision into the monthly update of the online DMM on Postal Explorer at and into the next printed edition.

— Postage Technology Management,
Product Development, 9-28-06