Mail Classifications and Standards

  1. Oversize / Underweight Mail
    1. First Class, Standard and International Letter Class Mail weighing one ounce or less is nonstandard if it exceeds any of the following size limits:
      1. 11 1/2 "in length, or
      2. 6 1/8 "in height, or
      3. 1/4 "in thickness
      4. length divided by height that is less than 1.3 or more than 2.5 In addition, pieces which are less than:
      5. 3 1/2 "in height, or
      6. 5 "in length (5 1/2 " for International), or
      7. .007 "in thickness (postcard) are non-mailable in the U.S. Postal Service and are subject to return
  2. The cost of mailing varies with each classification.
  3. First Class Mail
    1. Any mail able matter may be mailed as First Class Mail. The following materials are considered First Class matter and must carry postage at First Class or Priority Mail rates:
      1. Letters, postcards, and postal cards, and all matter wholly or partially in writing, computer printed, or typewritten, and all matter sealed or otherwise closed against inspection.  Whether the product of a computer is First Class matter depends on the content. Contact Postal Services at extension 7-2300 for additional information.
      2. Bills and statements of account, regardless of method of preparation or quantity of identical pieces mailed, except authorized enclosures in or attachments to Periodicals, Standard A, or Standard B Class Mail.
      3. Price lists with written-in figures changing items or prices.
      4. Any Business Reply Mail.
      5. Blank printed forms filled out in writing, including canceled or non-canceled checks.
  4. Priority Mail
    1. Priority Mail is First Class Mail weighing more than 13 ounces and, at the mailer's option, any other mail matter weighing 13 ounces or less.  The maximum weight limit is 70 pounds. Use it when 2-3 day service is desired.  The maximum size is 108 inches in length and girth combined.

      NOTE: Priority Mail is a 2-3 day service between major markets, but not guaranteed like Express Mail services.

  5. Standard A Mail
    1. The following is considered Standard A matter:
      • Booklets
      • Catalogs
      • Circulars
      • Merchandise
      • Newsletters
      • Photographs
      • Printed Matter
      • Product Samples
    2. Each piece of Standard A Mail must be less than 16 ounces.  Anything heavier must be mailed as Standard B or First Class Mail. 
  6. Standard B / Parcel Post
    1. The following is considered Standard B Matter: 
      • Books
      • Bounded Printed Matter
      • Films
      • Library Materials
      • Merchandise
      • Packages or Parcels
      • Sound Recordings
    2. Each piece of Standard B matter must not exceed 70 pounds in weight and a maximum size of 108 inches in length and girth combined.
    3. Departments sending parcels should indicate beneath the budget number which class the parcel is to be sent, otherwise it will be sent at First Class rates.
  7. Accountable Mail
    1. Referred to as such by the USPS, Accountable Mail will include all US Express, Delivery Confirmation, Signature Confirmation, Certified, Registered, and Insured Mail.
      1. Certified Mail provides a mailing receipt and a record of delivery is maintained at the recipient's post office. A return receipt to provide the sender with proof of delivery can be obtained for an additional fee. Certified Mail service is available only for First Class Mail. No insurance coverage is provided.  
      2. Delivery confirmation provides the date and time of delivery or attempted delivery.
      3. Signature confirmation provides the date and time of delivery or attempted delivery and the name of the person who signed for the item.
      4. Registered Mail is designed to provide added protection for valuable mail.  Postage insurance may be purchased to cover articles valued up to $25,000.  Registered Mail is the most secure mail the USPS offers. It incorporates a system of receipts to monitor registered articles from the point of acceptance to delivery. Return receipt and restricted delivery services are available for additional fees.  
      5. Insured Mail is available for merchandise mailed at Priority, First Class, and Standard B rates. Payment will be made for domestic mail that has been lost or damaged.
      6. Return receipt is your proof of delivery. It is available for Insured, Certified, Registered, and Express mail. The return receipt identifies the article number, who signed for it, and the date it was delivered.
    2. It is the mailer's responsibility to complete the appropriate forms for accountable mail and to deliver these items to Postal Services.
    3. Contact Postal Services at 837-2300 for current fees. 
  8. International Mail
    1. Most items are mailable to foreign countries; however, there are certain restrictions. Mailers are encouraged to contact Postal Services at extension 7-2300 to determine the proper classification and documentation that may be required for customs declarations.
    2. If customs regulations are not followed and documentation is not exact, the item will be impounded by customs until the addressee makes arrangements for clearance and the payment of whatever duties are required for the release of the item. To avoid this problem, Postal Services will attempt to contact the sender for proper preparation. 
    3. International mail manuals are available in Postal Services.
  9. Courier Service
    1. This is a high premium service and should be utilized only when there is a priority need for immediate delivery.
    2. As the customer, you are expected to provide a label for each piece showing the complete and correct street address for delivery by the courier.  A post office box number cannot be used in the address.  Couriers deliver directly to the addressee and will not deliver to a U.S. Post Office box number or Rural Route.
    3. The University currently has a contract with Airborne Express for overnight and second day service, therefore use of other overnight courier services should be avoided.   Please contact Postal Services, 837-2300, for labels or supplies.
    4. Items need to be hand delivered to Postal Services by 4:00 p.m. to ensure same-day processing.  Items may also be left with your outgoing mail, taken to the Contract Station by 2:45 p.m., or taken to Carrington Hall and put in the Express Mail slot by 3:00 p.m.