UCR Mail Services

Mail Classification

First-Class Mail

All mailable matter may be sent as First-Class mail. Examples of First-Class mail are handwritten or typewritten matter, including identical copies, carbon copies, and photocopies; blank printed forms writing such as notices, certificates and checks or printed price lists containing written figures charging individual items. Certain items may only be mailed as First-Class, Priority, or Expedited mail. These items include matter that is written or typewritten, matter closed against postal inspection, matter having the character of actual or personal correspondence, bills and statements of accounts.

If the mailer wishes to seal mail against postal inspection, you must clearly identify the pieces as First-Class. First-class mail may not be opened by postal inspection without a federal search warrant. Insurance is available only for merchandise mailed First-Class, but First-Class mail may be sent under special services such as Certificate of Mailing, Certified, Registered, or Expedited Mail.

First-class mail receives preferential handling and transportation. If you want to send a piece of mail First-Class, but the piece is not letter-size, you should mark the piece "First-Class".
Priority Mail
When the speed of Expedited Mail is not needed, but preferential handling is desired, use Priority Mail. Priority Mail offers a two day delivery which is considerably less expensive than Expedited Mail. Priority Mail should be well labeled. MS has labels and envelopes available for this service. Additional services including Certified, Registered, and Insurance are available for Priority items. Please identify on your mail piece if any additional services are needed. Note: All First-Class items over 11 ounces are classified as Priority.
Expedited Mail-Next Day Delivery (formally "Express Mail")
Expedited Mail Service is the fastest, most reliable, and most economical way to send mailable matter overnight. Expedited Mail is used for items that require next day delivery. This is the only class of mail with guaranteed overnight delivery. If the Postal Service fails to meet next day guarantees, the mailer receives a full refund. Items sent Overnight Expedited must be received by MS by 4:00 p.m. on the day the item is to be mailed. If the item cannot be at MS by this time, it can be taken to MS to have postage applied and dropped off in an Expedited Mail collection box by 5:00 p.m. Expedited Mail envelopes and labels are available through MS. Do not use Expedited Mail on Friday unless you know that someone will be there to accept it on Saturday. Caution: Certain destinations must be received by the Post Office no later than 3:00 p.m. Check with MS to find out the cut off times for your Overnight Expedited Mail.

Note: Express Labels cannot be used on Priority Mail containers!

Each Expedited Mail piece is guaranteed delivery and insured against loss or damage up to 0 for merchandise and up to ,000 for data reconstruction at no additional charge. Postage varies for each piece by weight. Return Receipts are available upon request. USPS Label 11-B
Express Mailing Label 11-B
Standard Mail
Standard Mail consists of mailable matter that is not required to be mailed at First-Class and is not entered as Periodicals. Standard Mail covers what was formerly known as "third-class" and "fourth-class" mail. Though now combined under "Standard Mail," the basic differences in the two classes remain. Consequently, mail matter that was third-class is now referred to as Standard Mail (A), and the mail matter that was fourth-class is now Standard Mail (B). The unmodified term Standard Mail applies to both.

The categories that were included in third- and fourth-class are basically unchanged. The Standard Mail rate categories are as follows:
Standard Mail "A": Single-piece Rate; Bulk Rates (Regular and Nonprofit); Keys and Identification Devices.

Standard Mail "B": Parcel Post, Bound Printed Matter; Special Standard Mail (was Special Fourth-class for books, etc.); Library Mail (was Library Rate).
Standard Mail "A" (less than 16 ounces)
Certain items such as circulares, booklets, catalogs, other printed matter, as well as merchandise, farm and factory products, photographs, keys, and printed drawings up to but not including 16 ounces are eligible to be sent as standard mail "A".

Mailers may find it more practical to send letters weighing 12 ounces or less that qualify for standard mail-A at first rates. The cost of sending the mail at the first and standard mail "A" rates are the same up to 12 ounces. Single piece standard mail "A" weighing one ounce or less that exceeds a 6-1/8" height, 11-1/2" length and a 1/4" thickness will be assessed a surcharge. For information about non-profit rates, see the Bulk Mail Section of this guide.
Standard Mail "B" (more than 16 ounces)
Standard Mail "B" is mailable matter that is not mailed or required to be mailed as first-class mail, weighs 16 ounces or more (except special or library mail), and is not entered as periodical mail. Standard Mail "B" delivery is considerably slower compared to First-Class Mail, but is considerably less expensive.

Standard Mail "B" parcels cannot exceed 70 pounds, and may not exceed 108 inches in combined length and girth.
Length and girth examples.

There are four types of Standard mail: parcel post, bound printed matter, special standard mail, and library rate.
Standard Mail "B" (parcel post)
Any Standard Mail matter may be mailed at the parcel post rate. Parcel post rates are based on weight of the mail and postal zones to which the mail is sent.
Standard Mail "B" (bound printed matter)
Bound printed matter is Standard Mail weighing at least one pound but not more than 10 pounds. The following may be included: matter that consists of an advertising promotional directory, editorial permanent fastenings such as staples, spiral binding, glue, or stitching (loose leaf binders are not considered permanent); matter consisting of sheets of which at least 90 percent are imprinted by any process other than handwriting or typewriting with letters, characters, figures, or images, or any combination of these; matter that does not have the nature of personal correspondence; and matter that is not eligible for mailing as special standard mail. Rates are available for single piece and bulk mail. Insurance, special delivery, and special handling may be used on mailings sent as bulk standard mail but not at printed matter single piece rates. Bound printed matter rates are based on zones and the weight of the piece.
Special Standard Mail "B" ("Special Fourth-Class Mail")
This class of mail is used for books, 16mm or narrower width films and film catalogues, printed music, objective test materials, sound recordings, manuscripts, play scripts, educational reference, and medical information. Parcels must be marked "Special Standard Mail."
Standard Mail (B) Library Mail (formally "Library Rate")
Only certain items may be mailed as Library Mail. This rate is the cheapest rate of any standard mail rates. The following items may be mailed as library mail only when on loan or exchanged between schools, colleges, universities, public libraries, museums and herbariums, non-profit religious, educational, scientific, philanthropic, agricultural, labor, veterans or fraternal organizations:
  • Books, consisting wholly of reading matter, scholarly bibliography, or reading matter with incidental blank spaces for notations and containing no advertising other than incidental announcements of books
  • Printed music
  • Bound volumes of academic theses in typewritten or duplicated form
  • Periodicals whether bound or unbound
  • Other library materials in printed, duplicated, or photographic form or in the form of unpublished manuscripts.
The following items may be mailed as library mail, but are not required to be on loan or exchange between the above mentioned groups:
  • 16 millimeter or narrower width films, filmstrips, transparencies, slides, and microfilms, which must be in final form for viewing
  • Scientific or mathematical kits, instruments, or other devices
  • Catalogs of the materials named in above items and guides or scripts prepared only for the use with such materials.
The following items may be mailed as library mail either on loan between the above mentioned groups or not on loan:
  • Sound recordings

  • Museum material specimens, collections, teaching aids, printed matter, and interpretive materials intended to inform and to further the educational work and interests of museums and herbariums.

Periodicals (formally Second-Class)
Periodical mail is generally prepared by printers and publishers, and is used for mail distribution of newspapers and magazines. Special rates apply to written and advertising portions. Authorization to mail at the periodicals rate must be obtained from the USPS before any mail can be sent as periodical mail. To receive periodical permits, it may take several months for final approval.

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University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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UCR Mail Services

UCR Mail Services
Corporation Yard
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521

Tel: (951) 827-6245
E-mail: webmaster@ucrmail.ucr.edu

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