4-5 Tabs, Tape, and Glue

Tabs may be made of paper, translucent paper, vinyl, or plastic. Cellophane tape may serve as a closure when the saw-toothed cut edge is parallel to the edge being sealed. Tabs must not contain perforations. For tab size and placement for folded self-mailers, see DMM 201.3.14. Tab placement is subject to 1/4" variance in either direction. The following standards also apply:

  1. The Postal Service recommends that translucent paper tabs be made with a minimum basis weight of 40-pound book-grade paper.
  2. The Postal Service recommends that opaque paper tabs be made with a minimum basis weight of 60-pound book-grade paper with a tear strength of at least 56 gf in either the machine direction or the cross direction.
  3. When a barcode clear zone is required (see DMM 202.5.1), tabs in the barcode clear zone must have a paper face meeting the standards for background reflectance and, if the mailer does not preprint the barcode, the standards for acceptance of water-based ink.
  4. Vinyl tabs and cellophane tape closures are not acceptable within the barcode clear zone.
  5. Tabs must be tight against the edge of the mailpiece. The Postal Service recommends a maximum overhang of 1/16".
  6. Glue spots may serve in lieu of tabs (as indicated in Exhibit 4-5f) and must be placed within 3/4" of the open edges.

Exhibit 4-5f

Glue Spot Placement

Glue spot placment

  1. Continuous glue lines may serve as cover-to-cover seals for specific designs (as indicated in Exhibit 4-5g). When glue serves as a sealing method, it must be placed along the length of the open edge and end no more than 3/4" from the open ends unless standards require use of a continuous 1/8" wide glue line under 4-5h. For folded self-mailers see 2-3.4b.

Exhibit 4-5g

Glue Line Placement

Glue line placement

  1. Continuous 1/8"-wide glue lines must be placed along the length of the open edge and end within 1/4" of the open ends. The selvage along the open edge must not exceed 1/4". The Postal Service prefers glue lines created with a permanent adhesive that is not tacky when dry.
  2. Die-cut flaps (i.e., those with irregular shapes) must be well sealed to the non-address side panel using tabs, glue spots, or elongated glue lines; however, the Postal Service highly recommends a 1/8" continuous glue line that follows and seals the contour of the shape.