9 Permit Reply Mail

9-1 Overview

Permit reply mail (PRM) enables a permit imprint permit holder to receive First-Class Mail and Priority Mail pieces back from customers by prepaying postage for reply mail pieces at the time of mailing. Mailers must distribute PRM pieces only as part of a First-Class Mail mailing using a permit imprint (not through any other means). PRM mailers must apply for authorization through the district manager of Business Mail Entry at the office that holds the permit imprint account, and they must submit preproduction samples of PRM pieces to the Postal Service for approval before distribution.

The following additional conditions apply:

  1. No extra services (e.g., Certified Mail, insurance, Registered Mail) are permitted with PRM.
  2. The PRM customer may not alter the delivery address on a PRM mailpiece to redirect it to any address other than the one preprinted on the piece.
  3. The PRM customer must not use PRM to mail any items except those intended by the permit holder, even when postage is affixed.
  4. A letter-size PRM piece containing one standard disc does not incur a nonmachinable surcharge if the piece meets the standards in DMM 233.2.8. A flat-size PRM piece containing one standard disc and weighing no more than 2 ounces incurs postage applicable for a 1–ounce First-Class Mail letter if the piece meets the standards in DMM 233.2.8.
  5. If the Postal Service discovers a PRM format error, the permit holder or authorized agent receives a written notification of the error. The permit holder must correct the error and ensure that all future PRM pieces meet appropriate specifications before reauthorization. The Postal Service may revoke a PRM authorization because of format errors or misuse.
  6. Each PRM piece must include the format elements shown in
    Exhibit 9-1.
  7. PRM mailers may print their pieces with any standard industrial printing method (offset lithography, digital printing, etc.) — however, the Postal Service prohibits handwriting, typewriting, or hand-stamping. If you have questions, contact your local Post Office.
  8. The imprint “NO POSTAGE NECESSARY IF MAILED IN THE UNITED STATES” must appear in the upper-right corner of the address side of the piece, and it must not extend more than 1-3/4" from the right edge of the piece.
  9. The legend “PERMIT REPLY MAIL” must appear on all pieces. The legend must appear above the address in capital letters at least 3/16" high and may be surrounded by a rule or border.
  10. Directly below the permit reply mail legend, the words “FIRST-CLASS MAIL PERMIT NO. [NO., CITY, STATE]” (representing the permit holder’s number and the Post Office that issued the permit) must appear in capital letters. The permit holder may replace the permit number and the Post Office with a company permit as described in
    9-2. Directly below that, the endorsement “POSTAGE HAS BEEN PREPAID BY ADDRESSEE” must appear in capital letters. At the permit holder’s discretion, the permit number and postage endorsement may be surrounded by a rule or border.
  11. The complete address (including the permit holder’s name, delivery address, city, state, and ZIP+4) must appear on the piece. PRM pieces must bear a delivery point barcode or an Intelligent Mail barcode.
  12. A FIM C must appear on all letter-size PRM. The FIM C must meet the physical standards in DMM 202.8.0.
  13. A company logo is permitted as follows:
    1. On letter-size PRM, if the logo is placed no lower than 5/8" from the bottom edge of the piece.
    2. On any piece, if the logo does not interfere with any required format element.

Mailers may distribute PRM as part of the contents of an outgoing mailing only by using a valid permit imprint account. See DMM 604.5.0 for the standards for using permit imprints.

Exhibit 9-1 

Permit Reply Mail Format Elements

Permit reply mail piece