Information on all USPS Special Services listed below is available on the USPS web site.

Registered mail protects valuable and important mail. You declare the value of your mailing and all corners and seams must be sealed. Only first class and priority mail may be registered.

Certified mail provides the Post Office and sender a record of delivery. No insurance coverage is provided.

You can get insurance for Standard-Class mail or First-Class mail containing Standard-Class matter. Liability for insured mail is limited to $600.00. Payment will be made to you for lost, rifled, or damaged mail if it is insured.

Business Reply Mail (BRM) is a service from the US Postal Service that allows you to send any number of reply pieces (envelopes, cards or self-mailers) and pay only for those that are returned to you. BRM is designed to be automatable so delivery times are comparable to First Class mail. BRM is the most cost effective way to provide reply pieces for a wide variety of mailings, including fundraising solicitations, surveys, subscription renewals, etc. Here’s a sample:

BRM envelope

Mail Services maintains the Business Reply Mail account with the US Postal Service and can provide contact information for proper USPS mail piece design.

IMPORTANT! If you are sending a bulk mailing at the automation rate (whether it’s First Class or Non-Profit Standard), the Postal Service requires that enclosed reply pieces must be Business Reply Mail. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in paying higher postage.

A return receipt is your proof of delivery. It identifies the article by number, who signed for it and the date it was delivered.

This service is available for those items that just have to be there tomorrow. IMPORTANT: Not all ZIP codes have Express Mail Services so check the USPS web site to see if service is available to your desired destination.

Standard (Bulk) Mail - Nonprofit and Regular

Bulk mailing offers significantly lower postage rates for a large quantity of same printed material mailings. All bulk mailings must meet USPS requirement. Call us at (805) 893-3595 if you are contemplating a bulk mailing so that we can answer any questions you may have.

Standard Mail is printed matter which does not require First-Class or fast delivery service, weighs less than 1 pound (16 ounces), is made of printed pieces identical in content, size, and weight, and meets U.S. Postal Service requirements to be mailed at reduced rates.

It can be classed as Nonprofit or Regular. Nonprofit rates are lower than Regular Standard Mail and have strict U.S. Postal Service content and design requirements.

  • Contact Mail Services, (805) 893-3595, in the earliest stages of planning for a proposed Standard (bulk) mailing to ensure the mailing will qualify for discounted rates.
  • Send or email a sample of your mailing to Mail Services, before you go to print, to be reviewed for compliance with Post Office regulations for Standard (Bulk) Mail.
  • Send a completed Bulk Mail / Postal Control form with a sample of your mailing to Mail Services.
  • We can provide you with names and contact information of Bulk Mailing Vendors.

To qualify for Standard Mail (bulk) rates, mailings must:

  • Consist of a minimum of 200 addressed pieces (or 50 pounds).
  • Be made of printed pieces identical in content, size, and weight.
  • Weigh less than 1 pound (each piece).
  • Contain only domestic addresses, certified as deliverable.
  • Be printed with permit imprint indicia in the upper right corner of envelope or self-mailer.
  • Nonprofit mailings have additional content and design requirements.*

*Content restrictions: Advertising for credit cards, insurance and travel is prohibited under all circumstances. Other advertising must be "substantially related" to the mission of the University (note: this requirement can be difficult to interpret; please contact Mail Services for assistance if you have questions).

Mail Services maintains the UCSB Nonprofit Standard Mail Permit that may be used by any UCSB department for mailings if U.S. Postal Service content and design requirements are met. Since the postage rate for Nonprofit Standard Mail is substantially reduced, requirements to qualify for the rate are extensive and rules are strictly enforced by Mail Services and the U.S. Postal Service.

A Regular Standard Mail permit is used for mail not eligible for the nonprofit rate. It will be charged at the commercial rates. The general requirements for Regular Standard Mail are the same as Nonprofit Standard Mail; however, there are fewer restrictions on mail piece content.

Mail Services must authorize use of UCSB's Standard Mail permits when using a vendor. Authorization can be secured by using Bulk Mail / Postal Control form . Mail Services will issue a Postal Control number to the vendor. The Post Office will refuse a mailing if delivered without a Postal Control Number issued by Mail Services.

Have all your Standard (Bulk) mailings prepared by an outside vendor, a mailing house. The mailing house sorts the mailing in special zip code order, prepares required paperwork, and delivers to the Post Office as well as other preparation services.

Your mail piece needs to be reviewed by Mail Services for compliance with U.S. Postal Service's regulations for Standard Nonprofit or Standard Regular Mail. Mail Services is required to keep a sample of all permit mailings. Send a complete sample of your mailing to Mail Services, Mail Code 8617.

A Postal Control Number is required for all Vendor Standard (Bulk) Mailings. This number authorizes the vendor and U.S. Post Office to use UCSB's Standard Permit Account. Submit a completed Postal Control form and sample of your mail piece to Mail Services. Mail Services will fax the vendor the Postal Control Number assigned to your mailing project and return a copy of this form to you for your records.

All Standard (Bulk) Mail needs to have a Permit Imprint Indicia printed in the upper right-hand corner of the mailing piece. The indicia shows the U.S. Postal Service that appropriate postage is prepaid for the mailing piece.

Mail Services needs to review and authorize use of UCSB's Nonprofit and Regular Standard Mail permits. Please contact Mail Services, (805) 893-3595, when you are planning your mailing.

Discounted postage rates are available for automation-compatible mail if it meets specific standards so it can be scanned and processed by automated mail processing equipment at the Post Office. The automation standards involve size, shape, materials, readability, and correct bar-coding. Contact a vendor, mailing house.

  • Readable by automation equipment.
  • If mail piece is a folded self-mailer, open edge must be on top, folded edge on bottom.
  • Folded mail pieces must have a special tab or seal closure.
  • All mail pieces must be barcoded. (mail houses can spray bar-codes)
  • Addresses need to be certified (mail houses perform verification and correction)
  • Mail piece must meet size and weight standards: Letter size: 5" - 11.5" length; 3.5" - 6-1/8" height

The cost for a qualified Standard Nonprofit or Standard Regular mailing is based on:

  • Postage Rates - nonprofit or regular
  • Design (if automation compatible, postage rates can be lower)
  • Vendor / Mailing house production costs

You can calculate your postage using the U.S. Postal Service Retail Postage Price Calculator.

Postage will be recharged to the department by Mail Services using the LVPA (Low Value Purchase Authorization) number that you provided on the Postal Control Form. Payment for Vendor mail house service is the responsibility of the department – LVPA, purchase order, credit card, or other acceptable means of payment.

UCSB Distribution Lists

Hard copy distribution lists are a convenient way for you to send special mailings to a chosen audience and can be used for UCSB related announcements only. Remember to provide the mail room with enough copies, and to separate copies in bundles of 10 for all 'S' and 'P' type distributions. All distributions will be distributed after processing all existing first class and campus mail within the department.

Name of List Quantities Who it Goes to

‘D’ List


Each Department and sub-department

‘S’ List

3,278 (in bundles of 10)

Goes to each staff member on campus

‘P’ List

1,447 (in bundles of 10)

Goes to each Faculty member

‘A’ List


Goes to Academic Departments