It should be noted that any stamp/indicia partly concealed or otherwise obscured by an overlapping stamp/indicia may not be counted as valid postage.
Delivery Address (party receiving mail): The mail piece must have the address of the intended recipient, visible and legible, only on the side of the mail piece bearing postage. Sony VPCCW1S1R Battery
Generally, the name of the addressee should be included above the address itself. A ZIP+4 code will facilitate delivery.
Return Address (party sending mail): A return address tells the USPS where the sender wants the mail returned if it is undeliverable. Sony VPCCW1S1T Battery
Usage of a return address is required for some postal services (including Priority Mail, Express Mail, Periodicals in envelopes or wrappers, Insured Mail, Registered Mail, and parcel services).
Postage Payment: All mailpieces must include appropriate valid postage. Postage payment may be in the form of stamps, stamped stationery, precanceled stamps, Sony VPCCW1S1T/R Battery
postage meter imprints & PC Postage products ("Postage Evidencing Systems"), or permit imprint (indicia). Members of the U.S. Congress, among others, have franking privileges, which require only a signature.
Domestic first-class mail costs 46¢ for envelopes (33¢ for post cards) and upwards, depending on the weight and dimensions of the letter and the class. Sony VPCCW1S1T/W BatteryUndeliverable mail that cannot be readily returned, including mail without return addresses, is treated as dead mail at a Mail Recovery Center in Atlanta, Georgia or Saint Paul, Minnesota. The USPS maintains a list of proper abbreviations.
The formatting of a return address is identical. Sony VPCCW1Z4E Battery
Though some style manuals recommend using a comma between the city and state name when typesetting addresses in other contexts, for optimal automatic character recognition, the Post Office does not recommend this when addressing mail. The official recommendation is to use all upper case block letters with appropriate formats and abbreviations, Sony VPCCW12EN/BU Batteryand leave out all punctuation except for the hyphen in the ZIP+4 code. If the address is unusually formatted or illegible enough, it will require hand-processing, delaying that particular item. The USPS publishes the entirety of their postal addressing standards.
Customers can look up ZIP codes on usps.com as well as third-party sites. Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E Battery
All unused U.S. postage stamps issued since 1861 are still valid as postage at their indicated value. Stamps with no value shown or denominated by a letter are also still valid, although the value depends upon the particular stamp. For some stamps issued without a printed value, the current value is the original value. Sony VAIO VGN-FW139N Battery
But some stamps beginning in 1988 or earlier, including "Forever Stamps" that were issued beginning in April 2007, and all 1st class mail 1st ounce stamps beginning 2011-01-21, the value is the current value of a 1st class mail 1st ounce stamps. (The USPS calls these "Forever Stamps". The generic name is non-denominated postage.) Sony VAIO VGN-FW140E Battery
Forever stamps are sold at the first-class mail postage rate at the time of purchase, but will always be valid for first-class mail (1 oz and under), no matter how rates rise in the future. Britain has had a similar stamp since 1989. However, one of the tenets of the Universal Postal Union is having a single flat rate to mail a letter anywhere in the world, Sony VAIO VGN-FW145E Batterywhich is true for Britain (since 1995), but not the U.S. The cost of mailing a 1 oz (28 g) First-Class letter increased to 46 cents on January 27, 2013.
A postage meter is a mechanical device used to create and apply physical evidence of postage (or franking) to mailed matter. Sony VAIO VGN-FW160E Battery
Postage meters are regulated by a country's postal authority; for example, in the United States, the United States Postal Service specifies the rules for the creation, support, and use of postage meters. A postage meter imprints an amount of postage, functioning as a postage stamp, a cancellation and a dated postmark all in one. Sony VAIO VGN-FW180E BatteryThe meter stamp serves as proof of payment and eliminates the need for adhesive stamps.
In addition to using standard stamps, postage can now be printed in the form of an electronic stamp, or e-stamp, from a personal computer using a system calledInformation Based Indicia. Sony VAIO VGN-FW190E BatteryThis online PC Postage method relies upon application software on the customer's computer contacting a postal security device at the office of the postal service.
Electronic Verification System (eVS) is the Postal Service's integrated mail management technology that centralizes payment processing and electronic postage reports. Sony VAIO VPCS11B7E Battery
Part of an evolving suite of USPS electronic payment services called PostalOne!, eVS allows mailers shipping large volumes of parcels through the Postal Service a way to circumvent use of hard-copy manifests, postage statements and drop-shipment verification forms. Instead, mailers can pay postage automatically through a centralized account and track payments online. Sony VAIO VPCS11M1E/W BatteryBeginning in August 2007, the Postal Service began requiring mailers shipping Parcel Select packages using a permit imprint to use eVS for manifesting their packages.
All U.S. postage stamps issued under the former United States Post Office Department and other postage items that were released before 1978 are not subject to copyright, Sony VAIO VPCS11M9R/B Battery
but stamp designs since 1978 are copyrighted. Following the creation of the United States Postal Service, the United States Copyright Office in section 206.02(b) of the Compendium II: Copyright Office Practices holds that "Works of the U.S. Postal Service, as now constituted, are not considered U.S. Government works." Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E/B Battery
Here, the U.S. Copyright Office has clarified that works of the U.S. Postal Service, of the government of the District of Columbia, or of the government of Puerto Rico are not "works of the U.S. government" and thus are subject to copyright. Thus, the USPS holds copyright to such materials released since 1978 under Title 17 of the United States Code. Sony VAIO VPCS12A7E Battery
Written permission is required for use of copyrighted postage stamp images, although under USPS rules, permission is "generally" not required for "educational use", "news reporting" or "philatelic advertising use," but users must cite USPS as the source of the image and include language such as "© United States Postal Service. All rights reserved." Sony VAIO VPCS12A7R BatteryDomestic postage includes Monday through Saturday delivery (excepting federal holidays) to any address, Post Office Box, or general delivery Post Office in the United States, or any U.S. military mail destination.
The Post Office will not deliver packages heavier than 70 pounds (32 kg) or if the lengthSony VAIO VPCS12B7E Battery
(the package's longest dimension) plus the girth (the measurement around the package at its largest point in the two shorter dimensions) is greater than 108 inches (270 cm) combined (130 inches [330 cm] for Parcel Post). Other carriers handle packages that exceed these limits. Sony VAIO VPCS12C5E BatteryDeliveries outside the contiguous United States may take longer than those listed below.
Postal money orders provide a safe alternative to sending cash through the mail, and are available in any amount up to $1000. Like a bank check money orders are cashable only by the recipient. Sony VAIO VPCS12D7E Battery
Unlike a personal bank check, they are prepaid and therefore cannot be returned because of insufficient funds. Money orders are a declining business for the USPS, as companies like PayPal, PaidByCash and others are offering electronic replacements. Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E BatteryFrom 1911 to 1967, the Postal Service also operated the United States Postal Savings System, not unlike a savings and loan association with the amount of the deposit limited.
In May 2007, the USPS restructured international service names to correspond with domestic shipping options. Sony VAIO VPCS11X9E BatteryFormerly, USPS International services were categorized as Airmail (Letter Post), Economy (Surface) Parcel Post, Airmail Parcel Post, Global Priority, Global Express, and Global Express Guaranteed Mail. The former Airmail (Letter Post) is now First-Class Mail International,and includes small packages weighing up to four pounds (1.8 kg).Sony VGP-BPS13 Battery Economy Parcel Post was discontinued for international service, while Airmail Parcel Post was replaced by Priority Mail International. Priority Mail International Flat-Rate packaging in various sizes was introduced, with the same conditions of service previously used for Global Priority. Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13A/B Battery Global Express is now Express Mail International, while Global Express Guaranteed is unchanged. The international mailing classes with a tracking ability are Express, Express Guaranteed, and Priority (except that tracking is not available for Priority Mail International Flat Rate Envelopes or Priority Mail International Small Flat Rate Boxes). Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13B/B Battery One of the major changes in the new naming and services definitions is that USPS-supplied mailing boxes for Priority and Express mail are now allowed for international use. These services are offered to ship letters and packages to almost every country and territory on the globe. Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13/S Battery Ironically, the USPS provides much of this service by contracting with a private parcel service, FedEx.On May 14, 2007, the USPS canceled all outgoing international surface mail (sometimes known as "sea mail") from the United States, citing increased costs and reduced demand due to competition from airmail services such as FedEx and UPS. Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13A/S Battery The decision has been criticized by the Peace Corps and military personnel overseas, as well as independent booksellers and other small businesses who rely on international deliveries. The USPS provides an M-bag service for international shipment of printed matter; Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13B/S Battery previously surface M-bags existed, but with the 2007 elimination of surface mail, only airmail M-bags remain. The term "M-bag" is not expanded in USPS publications; M-bags are simply defined as "direct sacks of printed matter ... sent to a single foreign addressee at a single address"; Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13/Q Battery however, the term is sometimes referred to informally as "media bag", as the bag can also contain "discs, tapes, and cassettes", in addition to books, for which the usual umbrella term is "media"; some also refer to them as "mail bags".Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery Military mail is billed at domestic rates when being sent from the United States to a military outpost, and is free when sent by deployed military personnel. The overseas logistics are handled by the Military Postal Service Agency in the Department of Defense. Outside of forward areas and active operations, Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13B/Q Battery military mail First-Class takes 7–10 days, Priority 10–15 days, and Parcel Post about 24 days. The United States Postal Service does not directly own or operate any aircraft or trains. The mail and packages are flown on airlines with which the Postal Service has a contractual agreement. The contracts change periodically. Sony VGP-BPS21 Battery Depending on the contract, aircraft may be painted with the USPS paint scheme. Contract airlines have included: UPS, Emery Worldwide, Ryan International Airlines, FedEx Express, American Airlines, United Airlines, andExpress One International. Sony VGP-BPS21A Battery The Postal Service also contracts with Amtrak to carry some mail between certain cities such as Chicago and Minneapolis – Saint Paul. The last air delivery route in the continental U.S., to residents in the Frank Church—River of No Return Wilderness, was scheduled to be ended in June 2009. Sony VGP-BPS21B Battery The weekly bush plane route, contracted out to an air taxi company, had in its final year an annual cost of $46,000, or $2400/year per residence, over ten times the average cost of delivering mail to a residence in the United States. This decision has been reversed by the U.S. Postmaster General. Sony VGP-BPS21/S Battery IN DECEMBER 2012, THE USPS BEGAN A LIMITED ONE-YEAR TRIAL OF SAME-DAY DELIVERIES DIRECTLY FROM RETAILERS OR DISTRIBUTION HUBS TO RESIDENTIAL ADDRESSES IN THE SAME LOCAL AREA, A SERVICE IT DUBBED "METRO POST".THE TRIAL WAS INITIALLY LIMITED TO SAN FRANCISCO AND THE ONLY RETAILER TO PARTICIPATE IN THE FIRST FEW WEEKS WAS 1-800-FLOWERS. Sony VGP-BPS21A/b Battery Processing of standard sized envelopes and cards is highly automated, including reading of handwritten addresses. Mail from individual customers and public postboxes is collected by mail carriers into plastic tubs. The tubs are taken to a Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC). Sony VGP-BPS26 Battery There are approximately 275 such centers across the United States, which sort mail for a given region (typically a radius of around 200 miles) and connect with the national network for interregional mail. At the P&DC, mail is emptied into hampers which are then automatically dumped into a Dual Pass Rough Cull System (DPRCS). Sony VGP-BPL26 Battery