A Customers Guide to MailingSEPTEMBER 2014
This guide will explain your options for mailing and help you choose the services that are best for you.For more than 235 years our goal has been to serve all customers, and we will continue to connect people at home and abroad for generations to come.
What Are You Mailing? DomesticWhat Are You Mailing? InternationalChoosing a Service for MailingAdding Extra ServicesExamples of Smart ChoicesAddressing Your MailPreparing PackagesTips and Tools for Measuring Letters and Large EnvelopesTips and Tools for Measuring PackagesFlat Rate Quick Reference Sending and Receiving MailOther Products and ServicesTips for Frequent Mailers and Small Businesses Index456810121416 1819202223 24Welcome to the U.S. Postal Service
4What Are You Mailing?PostcardsPackagesLarge EnvelopesDomesticLettersMaximum thickness 0.016 inchMaximum thickness 1/4 inchMaximum length plus girth 108 inches (130 inches for Standard Post)Maximum thickness 3/4 inch
5Knowing the shape of your mail determines the price y* D E M O *. What Are You Mailing?PostcardsPackages5-1/2"Large EnvelopesInternationalLetters5-1/2"Maximum thickness 0.016 inchMaximum thickness 1/4 inchMaximum dimensions vary by CountryMaximum thickness 3/4 inch
6Shape + Speed + Cost = ServiceChoosing a Service for Mailing70lbs or less70lbs or less70lbs or less70lbs or lessPriority Mail ExpressPriority MailFirst-Class MailSt* D E M O ***Media Mail**1,2,3 dayson average1–3 days2–8 days*2–8 days*$$$ based on weight, and distance$$ based on weight, shape, and distance$ based on weight and shape$ based on weight, shape,* D E M O *ce$ based on weight1 or 2 days money-back guarantee* Except off shore locations** Not available for international shipping3.5oz or less13oz or less
8Protection in transitProof of mailingConfirmation at delivery*for packages onlyAdding Extra ServicesPriority Mail ExpressReceipt provided at time of mailingInsured Mail ($100 coverage included, more can be added)Date and time of delivery providedSignature of recipient availa* D E M O *questUSPS Tracking*Signature Confirmation*Standard PostMedia MailCertificate of MailingInsured MailForms and labels for extra services are available in your Post Office lobby or from your rural letter carrier.Most extra services provide proof of mailing.Certified MailUSPS TrackingSignature ConfirmationRegistered MailPriority MailCertificate of Mailing Insured Mail (May include up to $50 insurance at no charge, more can be added)Registered MailFirst-Class MailCertificate of MailingInsured MailRegistered MailCertified MailUSPS Tracking*Signatu* D E M O *tion*Registered Mail
10Example 1: Sending a Valuable ItemThese examples show how mailing services can be combined to meet your needs.Examples of Smart ChoicesJane’s DecisionJane’s niece is getting married next month, and Jane wants to send a piece of heirloom jewelry to the bride. The jewelry has a lot of sentimental value, so Jane wants to be sure that it will arrive safely. Jane identifies three possible options:Priority Mail Express automatically includes insurance up to $100 and guarantees delivery to Jane’s niece in 1 to 2 days. Additional insurance may be purchased. Jane will also receive a mailing receipt and confirmation that the package has been delivered and, if requested, has been signed for by her niece.First-Class Mail offers delivery at a low cost and can be combined with Registered Mail, a service that provides the highest level of mail security during transit. Insurance can be purchased for items up to $25,000 in material, but not sentimental value. Jane decides that speed is less of a priority than security. Jane chooses First-Class Mail and, because the jewelry has greater sentimental than monetary value, she decides to add Registered Mail service so she can feel confident that her heirloom will be as secure as possible during transit.First-Class Mail offers delivery at a low cost and can be combined with insurance for up to $5,000. Insured mail will cover the jewelry’s material value should the piece get lost or damaged, but it cannot cover its sentimental value. Option APriority Mail Express$$$Option BFirst-Class Mail Package w* D E M O *red Mail$$First-Class Mail Package with InsuranceOption C$
11Examples of Smart ChoicesPriority Maill Express will arrive at many locations the day after it is mailed. Priority Mail Express also provides Maria with proof that she mailed the title, the ability to track it online or by phone, and notification that it was delivered. Maria can also request a copy of the recipient’s signature. Priority Mail will get the title to its destination in 1-3 days. Priority Mai* D E M O *king lets her obtain delivery information online or by phone. If Maria uses Signature Confirmation she gets the same delivery information, plus she can request a copy of the recipient’s signature. Maria’s DecisionMaria wants a copy of the signature returned to her to prove that the title was delivered, and she wants to get the lowest price she can. Maria decides that First-Class Mail with Certified Mail and Return Receipt is the best option.First-Class Mail will get the title to its destination in 1 to 3 days. Certified Mail with Return Receipt will give Maria proof that she mailed the title and will return a card to her with the date the title was delivered and the signature of the person who received it. Maria recently sold her car and needs to transfer the title to the new owner. Maria wants to be certain that the new owner gets the title to complete the sale. Maria considers these options:Example 2: Sending an Important DocumentOption APriority Mail Express$$$Option BPriority Mail with Confirmation Service$$First-Class Mail with Certified Mail and Return ReceiptOption C$
12Recipient NameName of OrganizationStreet AddressUse a Post Office box or street address, but not both. If the address also has a directional (for instance, NW for Northwest), be sure to use it. There may be more than one Main Street. The accuracy of the address affects the speed and handling of your mail.Addressing Your MailReturn AddressPrint or type your address in the upper left corner on the front of the envelope.Apartment or Suite NumberThe correct apartment or suite number helps to ensure delivery to the right location.City, State, and ZIP CodeTo find the correct spelling of a city name or to find a ZIP Code, visit www.usps.com or call 1·800·ASK·USPS. Using the correct ZIP Code helps to direct your mail more efficiently and accurately. * D E M O *cesPlace labels for extra services above the delivery address and to the right of the return address, or to the left of the postage.PostageUse stamps, a postage meter, or a PC Postage system to affix the correct amount. You can calculate postage online at pe.usps.com.
13AbbreviationsAddressing Your MailEnvelopesLetters, bills, greeting cards, and other documents can be sent in standard white, manila, or recycled paper envelopes. Items needing extra protection can be sent in bubble-lined, padded paper, or waterproof envelopes. These envelopes, along with stationery and prepaid First-Class Mail postcards and envelopes, can be purchased at the Post Office.Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail envelopes are available at your Post Office or visit www.usps.com/store. You must use the USPS-produced address label for Priority Mail Express.Online * D E M O *bels Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail postage prices may be lower when you pay for and print your postage online using Click-N-Ship. USPS Tracking is provided free for domestic Priority Mail. Most international postage may be purchased onl* D E M O *bal Express Guaranteed, Priority Mail Express International, Priority Mail International, and First-Class Package International Service. You may save on International shipments when printing and paying for postage * D E M O *-N-Ship. You can arrange for free Package Pickup online. Learn more about Click-N-Ship at www.usps.com/cns.AddressingPlacement Print the delivery and return addresses on the same side of your envelope or card. The addresses should be written para* D E M O * longest side.LegibleType or print clearly with a pen or permanent marker so the address is legible from an arm’s length away. Do not use commas or periods. Return AddressA return address is required on most mail.Priority Mail Express® For Priority Mail Express, you must use a USPS-produced address label provided by the Post Office. Military Mail Military addresses must show the full name with middle name or initial and the PSC number, unit number, or ship name. Replace the city name with APO, FPO or DPO, and the state with AA, AE, or AP, and include the ZIP + 4 Code.AL Alabama AK Alaska AS American Samoa AZ Arizona AR Arkansas CA California CO Colorado CT Connecticut DE Delaware DC District of Columbia FL Florida GA Georgia GU Guam HI Hawaii ID Idaho IL Illinois IN Indiana IA Iowa KS Kansas KY Kentucky LA Louisiana ME Maine MD Maryland MA Massachusetts MI Michigan MN Minnesota MS Mississippi MO Missouri MT Montana NE Nebraska NV Nevada NH New Hampshire NJ New Jersey NM New Mexico NY New York NC North Carolina ND North Dakota OH Ohio OK Oklahoma OR Oregon PA Pennsylvania PR Puerto Rico RI Rhode Island SC * D E M O *ina SD South Dakota TN Tennessee TX Texas UT Utah VT Vermont VI Virgin Islands VA Virginia WA Washington WV West Virginia WI Wisconsin WY Wyoming
14The BoxChoose a box with enough room for cushioning material around the contents. Sturdy paperboard or corrugated fiberboard boxes are best for weights up to 10 pounds. If you are reusing a box, totally remove or obliterate all previous labels and markings with heavy black marker.Wh* D E M O * BoxesYou can purchase boxes and tubes of* D E M O *zes at most Post Offices. Select Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail boxes are available free at the* D E M O *e for items sent using either of these services. While you are not required to use the free packaging for these services, you must use the USPS-produced address label provided by the Post Office for Priority Mail Express. To order Priority * D E M O *s or Priority Mail boxes at no extra charge, call 1·800·222·1811 or visit www.usps.com/store.Careful preparation of your package helps to ensure safe delivery.Preparing PackagesCushioning Place the cushioning all around your item or items. You can use newspaper, “foam peanuts,” or shredded paper. Close and shake t* D E M O *ee if you have enough cushioning. If you hear items shifting, add more cushioning.Placing an extr* D E M O *abel with the delivery and return addresses inside the package will ensure that the item can be delivered in case the outside label becomes damaged or falls off.Mailing Fragile ItemsUse foame* D E M O *r padding to protec* D E M O *s, placing the cushioning inside hollow items as well. Mark the package “Fragile” or mark “Perishable” on packages that contain food or other items that can spoil. Careful pa* D E M O *the best way to safeguard your valuable items against damage.Mailing Heavy ItemsIf you are mailing a very heavy or very dense item, start with a sturdy box, pack the contents securely with a strong material for bracing to prevent shifting, and tape all the edges with reinforced tape. Packages heavier than 70 pounds cannot be mailed.SealingTape the opening of your box and reinforce all seams with 2-inch-wide tape. Use clear or brown packaging tape, reinforced packing tape, or paper tape. Do not use cord, string, twine, masking or cellophane tape.Place a strip of clear packaging tape over your labe* D E M O *t the address from smearing.
15Delivery AddressPrint or type the delivery address parallel to the longest side of the package. Type or print clearly with a pen or permanent marker so that your address is legible from an arm’s length away. Do not use commas or periods.City, State, and ZIP CodeTo find the correct spelling of a city name and state abbrevia* D E M O *find a ZIP Code, visit www.usps.com or call 1·800·ASK·USPS. Using the correct ZIP Code helps direct your mail more efficiently and accurately.Drop OffIf your mail item weighs 13 ounces or less, and you have affixed correct postage, you can drop it into a blue collection box. If your item weighs more than 13 ounces, and you have affixed postage stamps, you must take it to an employee at the retail counter of a Post Office.Confirmation ServicesLabels for USPS Tracking or Signature Confirmation are placed to the left of or above the address label.* D E M O *essPrint or type your address in the upper left corner on the same side of the package as the delivery address. PostageUse stamps, a postage meter, or a PC Postage system to affix the correct amount. You can calculate and purchase postage online at www.usps.com.Extra ServicesPlace labels for extra services above the delivery address and to the right of the return address, or to the left of the delivery address.
Use these rulers and guide boxes to measure letters and large envelopes.Tips and Tools for Measuringmaximum size for Postcards 6" long x 4-1/4" high minimum size for Postcards and Letters 5" long x 3-1/2" highmaximum thickness for Large Envelopes 3/4" thick3/4"maximum thickness for Letters 1/4" thick1/4"1234567812345616
17Tips and T* D E M O *asuringmaximum size for Letters 11-1/2" long x 6-1/8" high Large Envelopes exceed one of the letter size maximum dimensions.Once a piece of mail exceeds the maximum length, height, or thickness of one shape, it automatically gets classified as the next largest shape.89101112Unusual Shapes and SizesSometimes a piece of mail requires additional postage because it is a certain shape or size that is difficult to process on mail sorting machines. To make sure you’re paying the correct postage, visit pe.usps.com. These are examples of mail that could require additional postage:· Square envelopes· Envelopes on which the address is written parallel to the shorter edgesquare
18Use these guides for measuring packagesTips and Tools for Measuring