A. Addressing Business Mail
Proper addressing ensures timely delivery. To assist us in processing your mail efficiently, please use the following information on address formats and placement when addressing your mail. For additional information, see Exhibit 6 .

Specific Format
The address formats below are recommended in the sequence and position indicated to ensure efficient handling and delivery by the U.S. Postal Service. Note that to qualify for non-profit rates, “University of Florida” must appear in the first or second line of the return address.

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will get the best possible service if you:

  • Use two letter state abbreviations (Exhibit 7 )
  • Eliminate all punctuation (except the hyphen in the ZIP+4)
  • Use common abbreviations (Exhibits 7 & 8 on pg. 33 & 34)
  • Use ZIP+4 Codes

Make sure the place where you want the mail delivered appears on the line immediately above the city, state and ZIP Code line; i.e., 123 W MAIN ST STE 400 or PO BOX 125. If both the street address and the PO Box are on the same line, the mailpiece will be delivered to the PO Box.

Address Placement
Placement of the address on the face of an envelope should conform to USPS specifications as shown in Exhibit 6.
Labels -
Labels for use on parcels, packages, or large envelopes must be addressed according to the recommended format in Exhibit 6. Improperly prepared labels will be returned to you for correction and/or completion. Labels that are applied must be parallel to the bottom edge of the envelope to be processed by the USPS on automation equipment.

B. Enclosures

Mail of any kind for transport by the U.S. Postal Service should be enclosed in an appropriate envelope or parcel and sealed. The types of enclosures determine the mailing classification.


Items such as metal pieces, glass parts, product samples, chemicals, etc., cannot be mailed in envelopes. In addition to jamming and/or damaging the mailing machines, these items can also cause serious injury to employees in the mailroom. They require special packaging before mailing or shipping. UF Mail Services will be able to determine the most appropriate handling method.

The following are also classified as non-mailables and may be returned to sender:

Envelopes and Cards if pieces are less than:
3 1/2" in height or 5" in length or .007" in thickness (thickness of a post card)

All foreign countries also impose various restrictions depending on country and item(s) being mailed.

It is recommended that when mailing questionable items to U.S. or foreign destinations, the mailer should call UF Mail Services for assistance.

Window Envelope Enclosures
Enclosures that are designed so that the address appears in a window should not be stapled to prevent movement of the address from window view. If the addressed enclosure does not properly fit the window, use an envelope without a window.

C. Envelopes
Envelopes may be sealed or unsealed when given to UF Mail Services. Unsealed envelopes will be sealed as they are processed through the postage meters. However, the department should seal large bulky envelopes with end openings since these envelopes cannot be sealed by machine.

Appropriate Size and Strength
Enclosures will determine the appropriate envelope to be used meaning the envelope will be one of the right size and strength.

  • The size should properly accommodate the insert(s). Excessively large envelopes will not keep the inserts firm. The inserts in such envelopes slide, creating an imbalance of the envelope and risking ripping and loss of contents. A snug fit keeps the enclosure firm in the envelope. Also, when an envelope too large for its contents is used, you overpay in postage because of the oversized envelope
  • Conversely, when an envelope is overstuffed it can burst at the seams. The result can be a total loss of the mailing.
  • The strength of the envelope should withstand the weight of its contents. If there is stress at the seams or sharp edges, the envelope is overloaded and can burst and lose its contents.

The size of the envelope should properly accommodate the contents. In the U.S. Postal System there are two categories of envelopes: letter size and flats. Letters, non-letters and barcoded flats are rated differently by the USPS. To assure the best rate, call UF Mail Services for size and rates before preparing the mailpiece. Use light colored envelopes for legibility and please avoid dark/brilliant colors.

Letter Size - Letter size mail must be rectangular in shape for automated processing by the USPS.
To ensure prompt and efficient processing of First Class mail, it is recommended that all envelopes and cards:

  1. Have an aspect ratio of width (height) to length between 1 to 1.3 and 1 to 2.5 inclusive. If these standards are not followed, a surcharge will be applied. See UF Mail Services for envelope template if you are not sure of sizing.
  2. Be sealed or secured on all four edges so they can be handled by machines
  3. Meet the following dimensions for automated processing by USPS:

Height: 3 1/2" Min 6 1/8" Max
Length: 5" Min 11 1/2"Max
Thickness:* .007 Min 1/4" Max
* Firmly compressed
** Card Stock should not exceed .016"

Maximum thickness for automated processing is 1/4". Mail that does not meet automated processing size may not qualify for discounted rates.

Non Letter (Flats) - Non letter size envelopes are larger than the maximum letter size, but not larger than 12" high by 15" long and 3/4" thick.

D. Parcels
A corrugated carton must be used, with old addresses removed. Make sure that the contents are packed with plenty of cushioning. Address information should be typed or machine-printed on an address label and placed in the center of the box. Use a filament reinforced tape to seal your package (scotch tape and masking tape are not acceptable). Wrapping paper should not be used on the outside of the package. For more information on mailing parcels, see Exhibit 3.

E. Self-Mailers
A folded self-mailer must be prepared with the folded edge parallel to the longest dimension and the address of the mailpiece. The recommended minimum basis weight paper for folded self-mailers varies with the construction of the mailpiece.

  • For a single folded sheet with one tab, a minimum of 28 lbs.
    (17" x 22" x 500 sheets) or 70 lbs. (25" x 38" x 500 sheets)
  • For two or more sheets, sealed with a single tab, a minimum of 24 lbs.
    (17" x 22" x 500 sheets) or 60 lbs. (25" x 38" x 500 sheets)
  • For single or multiple sheets, sealed with two tabs, a minimum of 20 lbs.
    (17" x 22" x 500 sheets)

The proper placement of tabs for folded self-mailers is illustrated in Exhibit 9. As an alternative to tabs, wafer seals, tape or glue may be used to seal folded self-mailers. Tabs and other seals placed at the top of folded self-mailers should be positioned so they will not interfere with the recognition of postage information, the return address, rate markings, barcode or the facing identification mark (FIM). If placed in the barcode clear zone, tabs or wafer seals should be made of uncoated white or light colored paper that meet the standards for background reflectance and ink acceptance, except when a delivery point barcode appears in the address block.

F. Mail Processing Slips
Mail Processing Slips are required in order for UF Mail Services to process your mail. The form is completed by the mailer and must accompany the mailing to UF Mail Services. For an example of each slip, see Exhibit 4 .

For a copy of the Mail Processing Slips with your account number barcoded on them, please call UF Mail Services. Also, please note that the original must be used to make copies.

International Mail (IPA)
International Priority Air Mail Form
Delivery time is three to seven days. Use this form for international delivery if:
1. The mailpiece weighs one lb. or less (If the mailpiece weighs more than one lb., contact a University Postal Manager for other mailing options.)
2. No special services are needed (i.e. insurance or registered)
3. The mailpiece is a letter form (including envelopes up to 8 1/2" x 11" in size)

General Mail Form
USPS Services (except IPA)

Use this form for all USPS delivery services except IPA. Please note that International Air Mail sent with this form is four to eight day delivery.

G. Endorsements
Ancillary service endorsements are used by mailers to request an addressee’s new address and to provide the USPS with instructions on how to handle undeliverable pieces.

For automation rates, an appropriate endorsement (Address Service Requested, Return Service Requested, or Temp-Return Service Requested) must be used. For Standard Mail, Change Service Requested may also be used. Endorsements must be at least 8-point type and appear in one of the following locations as shown below:

  • Immediately below the return address
  • Immediately above the delivery address (This area includes the delivery address block
    and any related non-address elements such as barcode, keyline, or optical endorsement line.)
  • Immediately to the left of the postage area and below any rate marking
  • Immediately below the postage area and below any rate marking

In addition, there must be at least 1/4" clear space around the endorsement. For information on commonly used endorsements, see Exhibit 10.

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