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Proposed Rule

Simplified Address Format for Letter-Size and Flat-Size Standard Mail and Periodicals

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Postal Service.


Proposed rule.


This proposal would amend some of the standards and identification procedures for Standard Mail and Periodicals letter-size and flat-size mail using the simplified address format as provided in Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) A040.4.0. This proposal would improve the processing and distribution of such mail and would also clarify and expand the standards for identifying this mail that does not bear a specific delivery address.


Comments must be received on or before September 23, 2002.


Mail or deliver written comments to the manager, Mail Preparation and Standards, Postal Service Headquarters, 1735 N Lynn Street, Suite 3025, Arlington, Virginia 22209-6038. Copies of all written comments will be available for inspection and photocopying between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, at Postal Service Headquarters Library, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW., 11th Floor North, Washington, DC. Comments may also be submitted via fax to 703-292-4058, ATTN: O.B. Akinwole.

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OB Akinwole at (703) 292-3643.

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Some mailers elect to use the simplified form of address for their mass mailings. Simplified address is an alternate-addressing format that allows mailers to prepare mailpieces without using individual names and addresses within very specific requirements. Instead of using individual addresses, the mailpieces are simply addressed as “Postal Customer” (or a similar designation as permitted). Eligibility to use the simplified address format is determined by the type of route selected for distribution, and in some instances by the type of mailer, as follows:

  • Rural Routes, Highway Contract Routes, and Post Office Boxes. Any mailer may use simplified address format for the distribution of mail to rural routes, highway contract routes, and Post Office boxes at offices without city carrier service. Distribution of such mail is made to each boxholder on a rural route or highway contract route, each family on a rural route or highway contract route (at any Post Office), or all Post Office boxholders at a Post Office without city carrier service.
  • City Routes and Post Office Boxes. Only certain authorized governmental entities may use the simplified address format for the distribution of mail to city routes or to Post Office boxes at Post Offices with city carrier service. Authorized governmental entities include U.S. Congress and Federal Government agencies or state, county, or municipal governments, and the governments of the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any U.S. territory or possession listed in Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) G010. Start Printed Page 54398Distribution of such mail must be made to each stop or possible delivery on city carrier routes, or to each Post Office box at Post Offices with city carrier service.

Under this proposal, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) A040 would be revised to clarify the preparation requirements for letters and flats that use the simplified address format. Additionally, all congressional mailings using the simplified address format would use PS Tag 11, Congressional Mail, “Postmaster—Open and Distribute” on all containers to ensure appropriate handling through downstream postal processes. This tag, which would help identify congressional mail as it moves through the mailstream, would be firmly attached to the mailing container.

These proposed clarifications are a result of recommendations and suggestions from mailers and Postal Service personnel. The proposal would ensure that customer expectations for accurate processing and timely delivery are met. This would be achieved by clarifying and reinforcing procedures that would increase the identification of containers used in preparation of this type of mail. The Postal Service and mailers who use this mail format believe that clarifying and reinforcing the preparation and container labeling requirements would enable more accurate processing of the mail. It would also help maintain the integrity of mail using the simplified address format and prevent potential service breakdowns that may occur when such mail is inadvertently separated from the container identifying its destination as a result of inadequate preparation and container labeling. These discrepancies can cause unnecessary delays during postal handling and may increase postal processing costs.

Although exempt from the notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553(b), (c)) regarding proposed rulemaking by 39 U.S.C. 410(a), the Postal Service invites comments on the following proposed revisions to the DMM, incorporated by reference in the Code of Federal Regulations (See CFR part 111).

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List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 111

  • Administrative practice and procedure
  • Postal Service
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1. The authority citation for 39 CFR part 111 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a); 39 U.S.C. 101, 401, 403, 404, 3001-3011, 3201-3219, 3403-3406, 3621, 3626, 5001.

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2. Amend Domestic Mail Manual A040, E200, and M200 as follows:

Domestic Mail Manual (DMM)

A Addressing

A000 Basic Addressing

* * * * *

A040 Alternative Addressing Formats


* * * * *

1.2 Use—City Routes, P.O. Boxholders

[Revise 1.2 by deleting the last sentence in the first paragraph and replacing it with the following sentence:]

* * * The following also applies: * * *

* * * * *

1.3 Mail Preparation

[Revise 1.3 as follows:]

All pieces must be prepared in carrier route or 5-digit carrier route or carrier routes containers; 3-digit carrier route or carrier routes containers are not allowed. All flat-size pieces must be prepared in carrier route or 5-digit carrier sacks. All pieces for the same carrier route must be tied in packages of 50, so far as practicable, and each package must bear a facing slip showing desired distribution (e.g., 5-digit ZIP Code and route number). If the pieces are tied in quantities other than 50 each, the actual number must be shown on the facing slip. Delivery statistics for routes may be obtained as described in A930. Pieces in such mailings must also meet the following standards:

a. All pieces must be in the same processing category.

b. Pieces must be marked according to M012.

c. Letter-size pieces must be prepared in trays, and flat-size pieces must be prepared in sacks under M220 or M620, as applicable.

d. If selective distribution is desired, enough pieces must be presented to cover the route or routes selected.

[Delete 1.4. Redesignate 1.5, 1.6, and 1.7 as 1.4, 1.5 and 1.6, respectively.]

* * * * *


* * * * *

[Redesignate current 4.3 and 4.4 as 4.4 and 4.5, and add new 4.3 to read as follows:]

4.3 Mail Preparation

Mailers must prepare containers of mail using the simplified address format in the manner listed below:

a. Containers of congressional frank mailpieces using the simplified address format must be prepared under A040.

b. PS Tag 11, Congressional Mail, “Postmaster—Open and Distribute” must be securely affixed to each sack or tray of congressional mail to ensure adequate identification of the mail. On trays, the tag must be affixed to the end that bears the tray label.

[Redesignate current 4.3 and 4.4 as 4.4 and 4.5, and add new 4.3 to read as follows:]

* * * * *

E Eligibility

* * * * *

E200 Periodicals

E230 Carrier Route Rates

* * * * *


* * * * *

3.3 Addressing Standards

[Revise 3.3b as follows:]

b. Official matter, whether mailed under congressional frank or by certain government entities for delivery on a city route, may use the appropriate simplified address format described in A040.

* * * * *

M Mail Preparation and Sortation

* * * * *

M200 Periodicals (Nonautomation)

* * * * *

M220 Carrier Route Rates


1.1 General Preparation Standards

[Add new item h to read as follows:]

* * * h. Pieces with a simplified address must meet the corresponding preparation standards in A040 and the eligibility standards in E215.

* * * * *

[Revise the heading of 3.0 to read as follows:]


[Designate 3.0 as 3.1 and add new 3.2 to read as follows:]

3.2 Tray Line 2 for Pieces With Simplified Address

For trays that contain letter-size pieces with a simplified address prepared under A040, use “MAN” on Line 2 in place of “BC.”

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An appropriate amendment to 39 CFR part 111 to reflect these changes will be published if the proposal is adopted.

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Stanley F. Mires,

Chief Counsel, Legislative.

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[FR Doc. 02-21461 Filed 8-21-02; 8:45 am]