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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Intelligent Mail Barcode - are you ready?

You probably have noticed a change in the barcodes on the mail you receive. Some have the Postnet Barcode that has been in use the last few years, and some have the new Intelligent Mail Barcode. The change over from Postnet Barcode to the Intelligent Mail Barcode was supposed to occur May 11, 2011; but the Post Office has postponed this deadline. The new deadline is this Sunday, January 27, 2013. This postponement also applied to Business Reply Mail, any Business Reply Envelope that go out after January 27th with the old style barcode will be charged a postal penalty. The latest information from the Post Office may move from a mandated approach to a value-based approach regarding this barcode technology.

The advantages of the Intelligent Mail Barcode is that one barcode is used for First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, Periodicals, Bound Printed Matter, Business Reply Mail, Priority Mail, and Delivery Conformation. It also gives the Post Office greater ability to track mail. And with the possibility of the Post Office going to a value-based approach there may be monetary advantages to using Intelligent Mail Barcode

The Intelligent Mail Barcode is a 4-state barcode meaning there are 4 different bars. A full bar, a tracker bar, an ascender bar and a descender bar as shown below.


The Intelligent Mail Barcode consists of a Tracking Code and a Routing Code. The tracking Code is made up of a 2 digit Barcode Identifier (Optional Endorsement Line Description), a 3 digit Service Type Identifier (Mail Class Description), 6 or 9 digit Mailer ID (ID number unique to the mailer, and a 6 or 9 digit serial number. The Routing Code is the Delivery Point Zip Code 0, 5, 9, or 11 digits.

Have you prepared for this change - have you updated your Business Reply Envelopes?

Movad constantly keeps up with the changes with postal regulations to ensure that our clients receive the best postal discounts available to them. Want to learn more? Feel free to visit us at or call us at 215.638.2679.