Effective March 29, 2009 the Postal Service will enact new requirements for flats.
These new requirements are necessary for the implementation of the new FSS ( Flats Sequencing System) that will enable postal employees sort flats into delivery sequence.
The new requirements affect address characteristics (how the address looks) and address placement (where the address is located). Here are the new requirements:
1) Mailers must address each piece using a minimum of 8-point type. Each character must be at least 0.080 inch high.
2) If the mailpiece bears a POSTNET or Intelligent Mail barcode with a delivery point routing code, mailers may use a 6-point type in all capital letters. Each character must be at least 0.065 inch high.
3) On all automation flat pieces, the characters in the address must not overlap, the address lines must not touch or overlap, and each address element may be separated by no more than five blank character spaces. (A blank character space can equal the width of the widest letter used in the type.)
4) Mailers must place the delivery address in the “top half” of the mailpiece.
The “top half” of the mail piece is described as follows:
For pieces in an envelope, the top of the mailpiece is either of the shorter edges. For self mailers or booklets, the top is the upper edge when the bound edge or final fold is vertical and on the right side of the mailpiece.
Simply put, if your flat is an envelope, the address can not be in the dead center of the piece. It must be adjusted so as to be fully contained either in the right ½ or the left ½ of the mailpiece. If your flat is a booklet or self mailer, it must be fully contained within the upper ½ of your piece when positioned so that the bound edge or final fold is on the right side of your flat.