Sunday, September 9, 2007


Recently, I've had a couple of my handmade greeting cards returned to me requiring extra postage by the United States Postal Service. They are really cracking down on what they term as nonmachinable mail. Save yourself some headaches, and purchase some $.17 stamps to add to your $.41 stamps, or purchase some of their $.58 stamps. You can purchase postage stamps online and get more information at

Here are the USPS's characteristics for nonmachinable mail. If you send anything through USPS with these characteristics, they require an additional $.17 postage.

* It is a square letter (minimum size for square envelopes is 5 x 5 inches).
* It is too rigid - does not bend easily
* It has clasps, string, buttons, or similar closure devices.
* It has an address parallel to the shorter dimension of the letter
* It contains items such as pens that cause the surface to be uneven
* The length divided by height is less than 1.3 or more than 2.5.

OK, Stampers ... basically all those ribbons, eyelets, brads, hardware, dimensional items that we put on our cards make it bumpy, creating an uneven surface. Therefore, USPS cannot process those envelopes through their machine. Relunctantly, I'll be adding the extra $.17 postage to my handstamped cards. Thought you might want to know!

More First Class Letter information
Minimum Height: 3-1/2", Minimum Length: 5"
Maximum Height: 6-1/8", Maximum Length: 11-1/2"
Minimum Thickness: 0.007", Maximum Thickness: 1/4"
A first class letter weighing over ONE ounce requires $.58 postage


Nicole Anderson said...

I was wondering about the allowed maximums! I usually just slapped on two stamps, because I didn't know the proper amount. Now I will go get some .17 stamps to save money. Thanks for the info!

Dottie K said...

Thanks for the information. Oh well what are we going to do. Will have to come up with some flat cards for my friends that mail alot of thank you notes and won't want to pay extra postage. Get the thinking cap on!!!! Have a great day! :)

Wife2TJ said...

I just mailed out a bunch of stuff this weekend and they were all .58
time for me to buy a bunch of new stamps. lol!

kathleenh said...

Good to know. Thanks for letting us know Nancy.

janice said...

I hope you don't get this message twice. I can't seem to get it to send.
Anyway, I was wondering if any of the Canadian readers of your blog know if we have any similar restrictions and do we need to follow the US restrictions when sending cards from Canada to the US.
Thanks for the information.

Nancy Grant said...

Thanks for the information. I am posting your link on my site too.


Corie said...

Great info -- I will post it on my site too. Thanks for sharing!!!

Rose Ann said...

I always take my "bumpy" stuff in to have them check it. It's funny, sometimes they say it's okay with a first class stamp, and sometimes not. Thanks for this info!!

Anonymous said...

I just had my first "return for additional postage" for a card in a clear envelope. There was no bulk. I've mailed a hundred cards in the clear envelopes and this is the first on ever sent back.
Quietlystamping on SCS

Heather P. said...

This is a bummer... Thanks for sharing the guidelines, though!! Hopefully it'll make it easier for us to send our cards out without having to worry about them returning. :)

fran said...

Okay - just bought my .17 stamps!