Presorted First Class mail saves postage without some of the disadvantages of typical "bulk mail" service, which USPS calls Standard Class. Presorted First Class postage prices are higher than Standard Class, but less than regular First Class retail rates. Presorted First Class is also sometimes called First Class Commercial mail.

Here's when you would use Presorted First Class instead of Standard Class:

You are mailing invoices, statements, checks, or similar personalized material. Standard Class bulk mail generally cannot contain personalized information other than the name and address, although there are exceptions; or,

You want your mail to be delivered more quickly than Standard Class. Presorted First Class moves as quickly as regular First Class mail. (It may actually move more quickly, since you sort it before you submit it to USPS.) Standard Class mail is lower priority service, and is processed after other mail classes.

This page is about Presorted First Class postcard, letter and flat sized mailings. For information about First Class parcels, please see our parcels help page.

What are the postage rates for Presorted First Class?

How much will I save?

Make sure you know whether your mail piece is a postcard, letter, a flat, or a parcel. That is determined by the size of the piece, not by what it contains.

For example, a 9 x 12 envelope containing a letter is considered a "flat" because of its size, while a 5 x 8 card is considered a "letter", even though most of us would call it a postcard. For full information on the categories, see Letters vs. Flats.


The postage price for Presorted First Class depends on the size and weight of the mail piece. For barcoded pieces, the price also depends on how many pieces you have going to a particular zip code or area.

So, for a barcoded mailing, there's a pretty good chance that you'll pay several different postage rates on different pieces in the same mailing, depending on where the pieces are going.

Unlike Standard Class, nonprofits do not get lower postage prices for Presorted First Class. Also, Presorted First Class does not offer "entry discounts" for sending your mailing from a major sorting center. But Presorted First Class, unlike any other mail class, does offer special, low postage prices for postcards, if they are no larger than 4¼" x 6".

You can use our Presorted First Class postage price calculator to find the rates available for your mailing.

Presorted First Class Postage Price Calculator

Make the following selections to find the rates available for your Presorted First Class mailing:

Select Mail Size:
postcard - up to 4¼" x 6"
letter - up to 6⅛" x 11½" x ¼"
flat - up to 12" x 15" x ¾"
Larger? Please see our parcels help page.

Enter Weight in Ounces:  
 Weight must be 3.5 or less for letters, or 13 or less for flats.
 Weight is not used for postcards.

For letters, does something (like an unusual shape) make this mailing
"nonmachinable"?
yes  no  See here for explanation.


If you already have the list you want to mail to, we recommend you download a free demo copy of our Postage Saver bulk mail software, and run your list through it. It will figure out the exact postage you'd pay for mailing that specific list, and let you try various options.

How many pieces do I need for Presorted First Class mail?

To get Presorted First Class pricing, you need to send at least 500 pieces of mail at one time. Unlike Standard Class, there is not a lower minimum for heavier pieces.

You don't need to send a certain number of pieces to any particular zip code or part of the country, etc., as long as all of your mail is going to addresses within the United States (which can include military addresses, Puerto Rico and U.S. possessions). There are also no monthly or yearly quantity requirements.

What are the size and weight limits for Presorted First Class?

The weight limit for Presorted First Class depends on the size of the mail piece.
  • Presorted First Class letter-size mail may not weigh more than 3.5 ounces if it is barcoded, or 3.3 ounces if it is not barcoded.

  • Presorted First Class flat-size mail may not weigh more than 13 ounces.
The longer side of each piece must be no more than 15 inches long. The shorter side must be no more than 12 inches long. The piece can be no more than 3/4" thick.

Pieces that are larger, or that aren't flexible enough to go through postal sorting equipment, may be able to be sent as First Class parcels, which is a very economical service for parcels under one pound. See our help page on saving money on bulk parcels.

How do I pay the postage?


Bulk Mail Indicia
if you buy a permit imprint authorization, you can print an "indicia" box like this on your mail instead of putting a stamp on each piece. That saves a lot of work! For details on what goes in the box, click here.
The most common way to pay your postage is to maintain an account at the post office. You just print a "postage paid" box, called an "indicia", on your mail pieces, instead of using stamps or a postage meter. Then, each time you bring in a mailing, USPS will verify your postage calculations and then make sure you have enough in your account to pay for your mailing.

To use an indicia on your mail, you must buy a "permit imprint authorization", which you can do when you apply for your mailing permit. There is a $215 one-time charge for the authorization.

Since the indicia is not really actual postage, you can design it as part of the printing on your mail piece, just like your return address. You don't need any special software to print an indicia.

Some mailers believe it is worth the effort to use stamps or a meter on their presorted mail, instead of an indicia, so it doesn't look like bulk mail. The choice is up to you.

How do I get started with Presorted First Class?

To learn how to get started and to prepare your first mailing with Presorted First Class bulk mail, see our Getting Started with Postal Bulk Mail page.