Postal Clerk Info

Proper Mail Prep


All COA’s should be dropped in your collection mail. Except for damaged COA’s, non-standard COA’s, COA’s with a form date of earlier than Dec 2007, COA’s that are in a letter, or the 3575.www which come to CFS. Do not send first days mail with the COA. Hold first days mail with the Hold Mail until 3982 label is received.

Please use PS Form 3546 (Change of a Change) to modify or delete COA’s as necessary. Now that you can print your own 3982 labels, you can print a new 3982 label at any time. Please make sure you stick the 3982 label in the place designed for it on the top right. PARS labels will not work.

Some are emailing or Faxing info related to a modification or deletion of a COA. The OIG requires that the proper PS 3546 needs to be filled out and initialed and dated. While we can help with very hot problems, 95 percent of the requests we receive could be handled with a proper 3546. Thank you.


It has been noticed that several offices are still sending their PARS mail to CFS. This mail has to be sent out by CFS to the appropriate Plant to be worked and delays the mail quite a bit.

Please be aware that PARS is machineable letter mail only and should be sent to the appropriate Plant in letter trays only. Non-machineable letter mail, flats, sprs, and parcels come to CFS and should come in flat tubs.

PARS has 2 categories of mail; Carrier Identified Forwards (CIF) and Return to Sender (RTS). Both should be placarded with the appropriate placard and have the proper tray labels. RTS (Nixie) mail must have the appropriate separator card at the back of a stack. No rubber bands except as noted below.

The only reason for rubber bands is for the offices that do not have sufficient volume to be more than 50 percent of a half tray. To keep this mail from getting disheveled in transit, you may rubber band the whole stack of mail with one rubber band. Please make sure the CIF and RTS are in different trays. For RTS make sure the separator cards are at the back of a stack of mail (yes even if it is only one piece). Separator cards are the only way for the CIOSS machine to know the RTS return code. Put one rubber band around the whole stack of RTS. Do not put one rubber band around each RTS code just the whole stack. If you are experiencing your PARS mail being handled improperly, you may have to sleeve your trays.

Many offices complain that they are not receiving their RTS separator cards back in a timely manner. If you contact the In-Plant Support Office for your Plant they can correct this situation. If you are still not getting your separator cards back after contacting In-Plant Support, you may want to have your MPOO or POOM contact them.

Please do not mark-through, write over, mark around, or in anyway obliterate something within one half inch of the address box or the barcode.

Write corrections to the left (if no room, do the top, then right, and lastly the bottom). Leave some space.

All machineable mail (if you are unsure of what machineable is please look at your DPS) should go to PARS with the following exceptions:
1. Firm Bundles – PARS cannot handle Firm Bundles. The mail must be bundled separately, marked decisively, and included in the flat tubs that are sent to CFS.
2. PARS Errors - Mail that has been run through PARS and came up no record, but there is a good COA on file. These pieces will have to be verified by the supervisor and a note will have to be attached to the mail. Then this mail will have to be marked as such and put in the CFS flat tub. This type of mail is happening less and less, but it still happens once in a while.
3. Mail that was loop mail at one time and it will probably be impossible to get a good delivery point.
4. Mail that has a forward for the return address.

CFS Mail

Everything else goes to CFS in flat tubs. There are two categories; Forwards and Nixies (PARS calls Nixies - Return to Senders. They are the same thing – Nixies for CFS, RTS for PARS). If you have Parcels that are too big to fit in a flat tub make sure that they are in an appropriate container and that there is no confusion where it should go.

CFS takes all Nixie mail (some refer to the Nixie Periodicals as cutouts, paper dolls, or some other similar term), not just second generation (with ACS publisher ID and keyline [normally within the # #]). Put it in the tub by Nixie code. Please use PS Form 3200 as the Nixie placard. Please make sure that Nixie mail is in a separate tub from the forwards.

PARS cannot handle “Deceased” mail but CFS can (Nixie Code DEC). Machineable mail that is deceased should be manually marked up and sent to the manual operation at your P & DC. CFS takes all other deceased.

Multi-zoned offices do not have to separate the mail by zip. Forwards can have all the mail no matter what zip in the same tub. Nixies from any zone can be in the same tub but the different codes should be separated. Large offices would use a different tub for all the Nixie codes. Smaller offices could put all their Nixie codes in one tub but a different stack for each Nixie code.

It is very important to make sure that forwards are not in the same tub with Nixies. It is easy to confuse if they are in the same tubs. If you have non-machineable letters put them in the flat tubes with the flats.

Don’t send letter trays to CFS. Please keep rubber bands and tub placards to a minimum.


The roles of clerks preparing mail for processing is absolutely critical to ensure the customer’s mail is processed correctly

• 1. Separate machinable and non-machinable
It’s important to separate machinable and non-machinable mail for processing.
Machineable letters are sent to PARS.
Non-machineable letters,flats and parcels are sent to CFS

• 2. Identify dead letter mail
Mail without a return address must be handled locally and sent to the Mail Recovery Center.

• 3. Use of tray labels
Ensure each tray prepared for processing is properly labeled. Do NOT place PARS mail in the same container as CFS mail!!! They go to a different operations.

• 4. Use of placards
Ensure each container dispatched has a placard identifying location of processing

• 5. Separate UTF/ RTS categories
Separate UTF mail by RTS reason

• 6. Remove Rubber bands
Ensure removal of rubber bands from endorsed bundled categories

• 7. Separator Card
Ensure the correct separator card is used to identify RTS mail

• 8. Traying up of mail
The matching separator card must be placed behind the identified RTS endorsement mail when trayed

• 9. Full/half trays
To maintain integrity of the mail to the associated separator card, use full trays, half trays or band and strap small bundles

• 10. Prep Diagrams
10. Ensure the mail is prepared / dispatched in the correct container for processing. ALL MAIL MUST BE FACED AND TRAYED!!!!