Effective October 1, 2019, the Postal Service™ revised Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) in various sections to update the provision for stamped mail weighing more than 13 ounces, and extend that provision to physical characteristics.
To enhance the safety and security of Postal Service employees and customers, the Postal Service is updating the Aviation Security Program (also known as the Anonymous Mail Program) to restrict the deposit method for all mailpieces bearing stamps as the only postage payment method and weighing more than 10 ounces or measuring more than one half-inch in thickness. Under the revised standards, domestic and international mailpieces that weigh more than 10 ounces or measure more than one half-inch in thickness, and bear only postage stamps as the postage payment method, may not be deposited into collection receptacles, including street, lobby, and apartment boxes, or other unattended locations.
These stamped mailpieces also may not be picked up by city, rural, or highway contract letter carriers for delivery, either from an individual or through Pickup on Demand® service. Instead, a mailer must present such a mailpiece to an employee at a Post Office™ retail service counter.
These restrictions do not apply to any mailpiece that weighs 10 ounces or less and measures one half-inch or less in thickness, nor do they affect any mailpieces, regardless of weight or thickness, for which postage is paid with a method other than stamps, such as a permit imprint or a postage evidencing system (a meter or PC Postage® product).
In addition, the Postal Service will update Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, International Mail Manual (IMM®), Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail, and applicable Quick Service Guides (QSGs) under separate cover.
To provide customers with greater security, the Postal Service is making changes to the online USPS® Hold Mail process. Customers who submit their Hold Mail request online will be required to prove their identity through an online verification process. To place their mail on hold, customers will need to sign in to their USPS.com® account or create an account. To complete the process, they must verify their identity using a mobile phone and a passcode that will be sent to their phone.
Customers who attempt to place a Hold Mail request online and do not successfully complete the identity verification process will have the option to request that the Postal Service send a “code by mail” letter to their address of record. The letter will contain a unique code as well as a URL for customers to enter the code to verify their identity.
Hold Mail requests submitted before the changes are implemented will not be affected. In addition, customers will still be able to initiate a Hold Mail request through the other channels — in person at a Post Office location or by contacting the Customer Care Center at 1-800-ASK-USPS.
The Postal Service issued an email notification about these upcoming changes to existing users of the online Hold Mail application in mid-September. The email also notified customers about the option to sign up for Informed Delivery® to complete account creation and satisfy the identity verification requirement ahead of the changes to the online Hold Mail application. Once their identity is verified, customers will not have to complete this step again for their current address and will be able to place their Hold Mail request online any time.