Policies, Procedures, and Forms Updates


DMM Revision: New Option for Mailers Using a Mailer’s Postmark

Effective December 4, 2008, the Postal Service™ is revising Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) 202.4.2, 302.3.2, 402.3.2, 602.1.5.3, and 604.3.1.8 to provide mail­ers that precancel stamps on some Standard Mail® pieces (weighing 13 ounces or less), through the use of a mailer’s precancel postmark, the option to omit a return address from their mailpieces. Additionally, we provide clarification that, for the purposes of requiring a return address on mailpieces, ancillary service requests embed­ded into Intelligent Mail® barcodes are treated similarly to their corresponding physical endorsements.

Currently, all mailers using precanceled stamps are required to place a complete domestic return address on their mailpieces. This enables postal employees to contact the Post Office™ of mailing (or the Post Office serving the mailer) if there are issues pertaining to a particular mail­piece. Mailers that precancel adhesive stamps, stamped cards, and stamped envelopes with a mailer’s postmark are required to request an authorization through the Post Office of mailing. Current standards further require that mailer’s postmarks include the Post Office name or ZIP™ Code of the acceptance office and the mailer’s postmark permit number of the authorized mailer. These records provide adequate documentation that allows mail­pieces to be associated with their respective mailers with­out the need to require a return address on each mailpiece.

This revision allows mailers using a mailer’s postmark on Standard Mail pieces (weighing 13 ounces or less) not otherwise requiring a return address to have the option to omit the return address, and it will continue to provide ade­quate tracking and accountability in the event of a USPS® inquiry.

We will incorporate these revisions into the next printed version of the DMM and into the December update of the online DMM. The DMM revisions referenced in this article may be viewed via Postal Explorer® at http://pe.usps.com.