Intelligent Mail® Barcode Questions & Answers
Periodicals when participating in OneCode Will I have problems passing MERLIN®
What is the Intelligent Mail® barcode? Confirm and OneCode ACS. program requirements?
The Intelligent Mail barcode, formerly referred Current Confirm subscribers should contact No. The Postal Service’s Mail Evaluation
to as the 4-State Customer barcode, is a new Confirm Customer Assistance at 800-238-3150 Readability and Lookup Instrument (MERLIN)
Postal Service barcode used to sort and track for instructions on how to use their Subscriber program is a tool that assists with the
letters and flats. The Postal Service is ID within the Mailer ID field and to modify their acceptance of business mail. The Intelligent
promoting use of the Intelligent Mail barcode account to accept the Intelligent Mail barcode. Mail barcode tolerances are similar to
because it expands the ability to track individual POSTNET’s and will work with MERLIN.
mailpieces and provides customers with greater What about automation prices?
visibility into the mailstream. Will I need to complete CASS™ or MASS™
Since March 2007, mailers using the Intelligent certification again?
How does it work? Mail barcode have been able to qualify for
automation prices as long as all other The Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS)
The Intelligent Mail barcode combines the data automation requirements are met including certification enables the Postal Service to
of the existing POSTNET™ and the PLANET meeting addressing, readability, and other evaluate the accuracy of address-matching
Code® barcodes, as well as other data, into a requirements for processing on automated software programs. The CASS process is
single barcode. The Intelligent Mail barcode is equipment. applicable to mailpieces with the Intelligent Mail
a type of height-modulated barcode, that uses barcode, but there is no need to redo this
four distinct vertical bar types (Full, Tracker, The Intelligent Mail barcode must contain a
Ascender and Descender) as shown below. proper routing ZIP Code™ and a valid Mailer ID
(MID) to satisfy the criteria for automation The Multi-line Accuracy Support System
prices. Mailers without a previously-assigned (MASS) certification is an extension of CASS. It
MID should contact their local Mailpiece Design has an annual certification requirement and the
Note: The Postal Service Flat Mail Identification Analyst (MDA) at http://www.usps.com/ Intelligent Mail barcode certification is now
Code Sort (FICS) program uses another type of replymail/mailpiece.htm. incorporated into this process.
4-state barcode that looks similar to the Mailers printing the Intelligent Mail barcode
Intelligent Mail barcode, but it is applied as an What tools are available to help me or my
solely to qualify for automation prices must provider adopt the Intelligent Mail barcode?
ID tag on non-barcoded flat mail pieces only. populate the Service Type ID field with one of
How do mailers benefit from the Intelligent the following values: 700 for First-Class Mail, A number of tools and other resources are
Mail barcode? 702 for Standard Mail, 704 for Periodicals, or available on the Rapid Information Bulletin
706 for Bound Printed Matter. Board System (RIBBS) web site at
The Intelligent Mail barcode is the result of the http://ribbs.usps.gov/OneCodeSolution/ such as
Postal Service’s efforts to develop more robust Remittance mail such as CRM and MRM may online encoder/decoder, encoder software for a
codes capable of encoding more information, use the Intelligent Mail barcode by populating range of platforms and Intelligent Mail barcode
while minimizing the space used on the the Service Type ID field with the First-Class fonts.
mailpiece. The Intelligent Mail barcode: Mail designation. Mailers using Business Reply
Mail (BRM) without any services should Where can I find more information on the
Has a greater overall data capacity than populate the Service Type ID field with 708. Intelligent Mail barcode?
Am I required to use the Intelligent Mail For the latest information on the Intelligent Mail
Provides mailers with more digits for their barcode in lieu of POSTNET and PLANET barcode, including the full dimension
use, allowing for unique identification of up to codes? specification, visit the Rapid Information Bulletin
a billion mailpieces per mailing. Board System (RIBBS) website at:
Currently, use of Intelligent Mail barcode is http://ribbs.usps.gov/OneCodeSolution/
Provides more accurate and detailed optional; however, because it offers significant
information about mailings which can enable advantages over POSTNET and PLANET Code EXHIBIT 1: Today, four lines used for ACS,
better decision making. barcodes (including using less mailpiece “real POSTNET and PLANET CODE services.
estate” and offering more overall data capacity),
Increases mailpiece “real estate” by
most customers have found it makes good Address Service Requested
eliminating the need for multiple barcodes.
business sense to adopt this new format, today. #BWNGKVC
Allows for participation in multiple USPS The Postal Service will require use of the #9999 9920 0104 276#
service programs with a single barcode. Intelligent Mail barcode to qualify for automation
prices beginning May 2011.
What services use the Intelligent Mail JOHN SMITH
barcode and when can I start using it? Where can I place the Intelligent Mail 249 AMBERVIEW LN
barcode? MEMPHIS TN 38141-8346
The Postal Service offers a suite of services for
letters and flats using the Intelligent Mail When used to qualify for an automation price,
barcode. Business Mail Entry Units (BMEU) the Intelligent Mail barcode follows the same
started accepting letters with Intelligent Mail placement rules as POSTNET barcodes. On EXHIBIT 2: With Intelligent Mail barcode, one
barcode in September of 2006. In May of 2007 letters, it can be placed in the address block or line combines all services and other data.
the Postal Service expanded use of the in the barcode clear zone found on the lower
Intelligent Mail barcode by allowing mailers to right corner of the envelope. On flats, the
use it on automation-rate flat-size mailpieces. Intelligent Mail barcode can be placed
anywhere on the address side as long as it is at
Since then, mailers have had the option to use least 1/8 inch from any edge of the piece.
the Intelligent Mail barcode on letter and flat JOHN SMITH
mail for the Confirm® Service, referred to as What are the dimensions of the barcode? 249 AMBERVIEW LN
OneCode Confirm™ and; a version of Address MEMPHIS TN 38141-8346
Change Service™ (ACS™) called OneCode The 31-digit Intelligent Mail barcode (65 bars) is
ACS™. slightly longer than the 11-digit POSTNET (62
bars). The print specification allows mailers
Mailers can use Intelligent Mail barcode on some flexibility in choosing the height and width
First-Class Mail®, Standard Mail®, and of the barcode they produce.
Revision 3.4 · September 17, 2008 http://ribbs.usps.gov/OneCodeSolution/USPSIMB_QandA.pdf