Intelligent Mail Barcodes

Make the change!



One of the most significant USPS® changes in decades became effective January 28, 2013 when the POSTNET™ barcode was retired and replaced by the new Intelligent Mail® barcode. This change impacts any mailer who currently or wishes to take advantage of the postal discounts available for barcoded mail—which offers savings up to 47%.

The Postal Service recently announced that effective January 26, 2014 in order to qualify for automation rates, all mailings must be presented as Full-Service Intelligent Mail. This new eligibility applies to mailing of First-Class Mail® postcards, letters and flats; Periodicals® ; Standard Mail® letters and flats and Bound Printed Matter® flats.
Full-Service Intelligent Mail provides you with the lowest automation discount rate, the opportunity to eliminate permit fees, address correction for Full-Service mailpieces and visibility into your mailing.

There are many ways you can take advantage of these benefits, and Dependable Mail Services is here to help with the information, expert advice and end-to-end solutions you need to engage customers and prospects in the most effective way—at the lowest cost.

The Difference

The new barcode is different from the retired POSTNET™ barcode in two ways:

•Data Requirements: In addition to the delivery point ZIP Code®, up to four new data inputs are required: a barcode identifier, a service-type indicator, a Mailer ID, and a mailpiece ID (see details below).

•Barcode Creation: The graphics, fonts, coding and print specifications for the Intelligent Mail barcode are different from any existing barcode used today.

Barcode Specifics


The Intelligent Mail® barcode is a height-modulated barcode that encodes up to 31-digits of mailpiece data into 65 vertical bars.


January 2014

Under the current USPS proposal, use of the Full Service IMB will be required to obtain automation rates beginning in January 2014.