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26 Jan 2012 – Label List Changes

On first glance at this bulletin I was relieved to see no DMM revisions, but this one does include the Label List updates in the “Organization Information” section under “Mailing and Shipping Services.” The changes were (supposedly) effective 14 Jan, meaning you could use them then, but you do not need to use them until the required-by date of 30 Mar 2012. There are five (5) pages of changes across more than a dozen tables, but mostly you should just need to be aware that they have changed and you can find the info in the Postal Bulletin now.

I said “supposedly” above because there is at least one of these changes that has already caused headaches for some mailers, specifically the change in L005 for ZIPs in the Omaha or Lincoln NE area. According to the info in the Bulletin for L005, ZIPs 683-685 will be directed to SCF Lincoln NE 683 instead of to SCF Omaha NE 680. Since these changes were effective 14 Jan, in theory you could prepare your mail that way for almost 2 weeks now, IF you wanted to.

But there were at least two issues with this: 1) In some cases, mailers were told they HAD to prepare mail for Lincoln, not Omaha (even though this is not supposed to be required until almost April and, as is now the norm, had not yet appeared in print anywhere except in the Label List “Change File” that goes out to directory data subscribers); and 2) the online USPS FAST data was still showing those ZIPs as belonging to Omaha as of yesterday (25 Jan).

My suspicion, based on what has happened in the past (and what I have written about previously), is that these changes manage to confuse even the Postal employees. They know they should look at the online tables to see what the correct sort is, but the online tables are no longer included in the main online DMM – they’re in a separate section accessible from the front page of Postal Explorer but not from within the DMM. In that separate location, they no longer have a “last modified” date appearing beside them like other changes to the DMM, so it appears this is the “only” way things should be prepared and there’s no way to see when the table last changed! When the recent changes are not yet in print, there’s nowhere to look except the privately distributed “Change File” PDF.

So my guess in this Omaha/Lincoln case is that the online Label List was changed, mail was subsequently presented and then checked against the current online L005, and when mail was prepared for Omaha that looked like it should have been prepped for Lincoln, there was a problem with no obvious place to cross-verify the answer.

For anyone reading this, my advice when the prep from your software is questioned as not matching the current Label List and there has not been a Label List change announced in the Postal Bulletin is to ask about the “Change File” PDF. If your post office doesn’t know about it, we should have it. You can also check out the Labeling Lists info on ( to see if there has been any recent Label List changing, and to check the future schedule.

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