How A Letter Travels OR How Does My Mail Carrier Know Where I Am?
In discussing with a customer the USPS Move Update requirements, she was curious how the letter carrier knows to take the letter to her house even though the address is wrong.
Here at Strahm Automation we use several processes to meet Move Update compliance.
Some customers choose NCOA as a pre-printing step – saving them printing and postage on addresses that may not ultimately make it into a mailbox. As well, they get reporting back of updated addresses and addresses that are just flat out “bad”.
Many presort only customers choose Move Comply as their update method. This process takes place at the presort level. Our MLOCR sorters bounce the address on the envelope against a USPS database and spray the correct barcode onto the envelope.
Back to Mary and her question of how the carrier knows exactly where to deliver her mail, this informative piece from the USPS gives a great overview of how a letter travels through the mail stream. I hope you find it enjoyable!
On January 27, 2013 ,
FASTforward Service Will No Longer Satisfy USPS Move Update Requirements.
Many presort service providers use FASTforward for their customer’s mail in order to meet mandates. The FASTforward system uses Multiline Optical Character Readers (MLOCRs) to update and spray change of address (COA) information on mailpieces prior to submission to the USPS.
Move Update requirements help mailers claiming presort or automation prices for First Class Mail or Standard Mail to reduce the number of mailpieces requiring forwarding or return by matching their address records with COA listings maintained by the Postal Service.
New services using MLOCR include NCOALink Mail Processing Equipment. This solution allows mailers to process mailpieces against the Postal Service COA database, providing current address information for customers who have filed a COA order. There are approximately 160 million permanent USPS COA records. Licensees (such as your presort service provider) receive a weekly update for all address changes over the last 18 months.
Make sure to check in with your service provider to ensure a smooth transition. It may mean signing a new Process Acknowledgement Form (PAF) for whatever new system your provider chooses after January 27th.
A Process Acknowledgement Form (PAF) is required by the Privacy Act of 1974. The USPS requires that each mail service provider using an NCOA product for their customers must have a completed NCOA PAF for each customer. These agreements should be updated annually.
What steps should you take?
- Speak with your presort service provider. If you are currently using FASTforward to meet Move Update requirements, what method will they use moving forward
- Ask if you need to complete a new PAF for your service providers files.
If you have any question about these changes, please feel free to contact one of our Customer Service Representatives at (816)756-2733.