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Today’s Postal Bulletin can be found here: http://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2012/pb22335/pdf/pb22335.pdf

     In addition to the “normal” things listing minor PO changes and other such minutiae, there is just one DMM revision. It changes the size limits for pieces allowed to be mailed as saturation flats when using simplified addresses. In short, it allows claiming a piece that qualifies today as a letter as a flat instead, as long as it is at least 3.5 inches high, at least 10.5 inches long, and it bears a simplified address as part of a saturation mailing.

     If you’re in the target audience for this change, you probably understand right away why this change would be useful, but if you’re like me (and I know *I* am 😉 it might not be so clear. Asking a couple questions, I got some very helpful information from USPS headquarters about why someone might want such a change, and it’s pretty simple: Current regulations (in DMM 602.3.2) do not allow a letter-sized piece to be mailed with simplified carriers via city route deliveries, so they have to be at least 11.5 inches long to be considered a flat and eligible for such delivery. The change makes it a little easier to get pieces eligible for city route delivery in a saturation mailing. (Somehow I’m thinking it’s a little like allowing people to claim they’re Irish on St. Patrick’s Day even if they’re not really, but in this case you’re allowed to claim your letter is a flat as long as it’s in a saturation mailing and bears a simplified address and is fairly close to being a real flat anyway. OK, that comparison breaks down quickly because your re-classified letter is not likely to spend the night at an Irish pub with Flat Stanley getting “saturated” with something green to celebrate its “flatness,” but work with me here….) “And now back to our regularly scheduled blog entry!”

     Ahem…where was I? Oh yes – for example, under that current standard an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper folded in half lengthwise (which the helpful USPS contact suggests might be something like a menu from a local pub) would not currently qualify for a saturation mailing with simplified addresses _if it is destined for city routes_ because it is not at least 11.5 inches long; with the rule change, that type of piece would now qualify when using simplified addresses. The language in the rule calling out rural deliveries is there because there is no similar prohibition on mailing with simplified addresses for rural carriers, so the allowance for a smaller size is not really needed there.

     The changes also allow for the term “Business Customer” (instead of “Resident” for example) when the delivery is to city routes with 100% business deliveries, and they also remove the requirement to print the city, state and ZIP on these saturation flats with simplified addresses that are not entered directly at DDUs.

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