DMM Revision: Folded Self-Mailer Clarifications

Effective May 6, 2013, the Postal Service™ revised Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) 201.3.0 to clarify standards for folded self-mailers.

Effective January 5, 2013, the Postal Service revised mailing standards for folded self-mailers after a 2-year testing and research period. These standards were published in the January 27, 2013 version of the DMM. This article provides minor clarifications to these recent changes to allow mailers additional flexibility and remove obsolete language.

Although these revisions will not be published in the DMM until May 6, 2013, mailers may use these revised mailing standards immediately.

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

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200 Commercial Mail Letters and Cards

201 Physical Standards

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3.0 Physical Standards for Machinable and Automation Letters and Cards

3.1 Basic Standards for Automation Letters and Cards

[Revise the second sentence of 3.1 and add a new third sentence as follows:]

***Unless prepared as a folded self-mailer, booklet, or postcard under 3.14 through 3.17, each machinable or automation letter must be a sealed envelope (the preferred method) or unenveloped. If unenveloped, each letter must be sealed or glued completely along all four sides or prepared under 3.15.

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3.11 Tabs, Tape, and Glue

[Revise the second sentence of the introductory text of 3.11 as follows:]

***Cellophane tape may be used as a closure when the saw-toothed cut edge is placed parallel to the edge being sealed.***

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[Revise the second sentence of and add a new third sentence to item 3.11g as follows:]

g. ***When using glue as a sealing method, it must be placed along the entire length of the open edge and end no more than 3/4-inch from the open ends (see Exhibit 3.11g) unless standards require use of a continuous 1/8-inch wide glue line under 3.11h. For folded self-mailers, see 3.14.4b.

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3.14 Folded Self-Mailers

3.14.1 Definition

[Revise the first sentence and add parenthetical text after the second sentence to 3.14.1 as follows:]

A folded self-mailer is formed of two or more panels that are created when one or more unbound sheets of paper are folded together and sealed to make a letter-size mailpiece.*** (For double cards see 1.2.8.)

3.14.2 Physical Characteristics

Folded self-mailers have the following characteristics:

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[Revise the first sentence of item 3.14.2h as follows:]

h. Quarter-folded self-mailers made of a minimum of 70-pound book grade paper may have as few as 4 panels.

3.14.3 Panels

***The following conditions apply:

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[Revise item 3.14.3b by adding a third sentence as follows:]

b. ***For horizontal folded tri-fold or multi-fold pieces, the addressed panel may be the final folded panel if the leading edge is sealed according to 3.14.4a.

[Revise item 3.14.3d by adding a second sentence as follows:]

d. ***Optionally, internal shorter panels may be secured but must have only one edge that is shorter and be no further than one inch away from the edge of the external panel.

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[Revise the title of 3.14.4 as follows:]

3.14.4 General Sealing Methods

[Revise the introductory text of 3.14.4 as follows:]

Folded self-mailers must be sealed using tabs or glue under the following conditions (also see 14.5 for specific sealing standards):

a. Tabs must meet the standards for tabs in 3.11. The size and number of tabs required is determined by the weight of the mailpiece and optional design elements as follows:

[Revise item 3.14.4a1 as follows:]

1. To seal folded self-mailers that weigh up to 3 ounces created in bi-fold, tri-fold formats, pieces with multiple interior folds and a final fold on the bottom, and quarter-fold mailpieces that weigh up to one ounce; place two nonperforated tabs on the top edge, one within 1 inch from the leading edge and another within 1 inch from the trailing edge, or place one tab on the leading and another on the trailing edge, both placed within 1 inch from the top. Additionally, horizontal folded tri-fold and multi-fold pieces having the final folded panel as the addressed panel must include an additional 1-inch tab (1-1/2 inch preferred) for pieces weighing up to 1 ounce; or a 1-1/2 inch tab for pieces weighing over 1 ounce, placed 1/2 inch from the bottom of the leading edge. Instead of a tab, a 3/8-inch glue spot or 1/8-inch wide glue line placed 1/2 inch from the bottom and no more than 1/4 inch from the leading edge may be used. The glue spots or lines must be adhered from the addressed panel to the internal panel when the fold is completed.

[Revise the text of item 3.14.4a2 as follows:]

2. To seal quarter-fold mailpieces made with newsprint that weigh more than 1 ounce up to 3 ounces, affix two tabs, one on the leading edge and one on the trailing edge within 1 inch from the top, and affix a third tab on the lower leading edge, 1/2 inch from the bottom (see 3.14.5b).

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3.14.5 Paper Weight and Sealing Requirements

***Folded self-mailer paper weights and sealing methods are:

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b. Quarter fold self-mailers as described in 3.14.3e4:

[Revise the text of item 14.5b2 as follows:]

2. Over 1 ounce: 80-pound paper sealed with two
1-1/2-inch tabs.

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These revisions were incorporated into the May update of the online DMM, which is available via Postal Explorer® at

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