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8.3.3 Mail Services - Outgoing Mail


The Mail Service Center processes all outgoing university business correspondence and packages that require U.S. postage or UPS processing.  All freight processing is handled by Central Receiving.

Bulk Mail

Presorted Standard, Non-Profit mail and Presorted First Class Presort mail must be barcoded by Mail Services software, housed in Mail Services, or mainframe processing by Administrative Computing Services. If a department is unable to furnish their mail list addresses on diskette or use the mainframe barcode software, the mailing will be metered at regular First Class rates, and no discounts apply. All bulk mail must use a permit imprint indicia.

Business Reply Mail

All business Reply envelopes must be approved by the U.S. Postal Service and printed by ISU Printing Services. Business Reply requires a nine-(9) digit barcode and FIM bars with a university address printed according to USPS regulations. Address, format, and ZIP +4 Code is assigned by the USPS. Required Zip Code is 61761.

Courtesy Reply Mail

All Courtesy Reply envelopes must be approved by Mail Service and printed by ISU Printing Services. Courtesy Reply requires an eleven- (11) digit barcode and FIM with a university address printed according to USPS regulations. Address and ZIP + 4 Code is assigned by USPS. Required Zip Code is 61790.


A move update endorsement is required on all discounted First Class Presort mail. Departments are responsible for preprinting an endorsement on all envelopes used for bulk First Class Presort mail (mail pieces over 500).

Express Items

The Mail Service Center contracts with UPS and FEDEX. UPS is the University's preferred carrier.  Departments may contact these vendors for direct express service. When using direct service from vendors, express airbills must include the university corporate account number. Departments must also place their mail account number in the reference section of each airbill. Mail staff will prepare express items for USPS and UPS when mailed through the Mail Service Center.   Mail Service Center does not handle FEDEX items. FEDEX users should contact the FEDEX 800 #. Express services are available during regular Mail Service Center business hours. 

Metered Mail

Metered mail is mail that is processed on meter equipment that applies postage. Staples and paper clips are prohibited. The Mail Service Center's meter equipment has difficulty metering self mailers (no envelope) and cannot meter over permit imprints. The department must cover the indicia on envelopes with permit imprints. Self- mailers that cannot be metered must be placed in envelopes. All envelopes must be banded by size and face the same direction with the flaps down. Sealed and unsealed envelopes must be banded separately. Mail Staff prefers a note attached to unsealed bundles.

Permit Imprint Use

There are four University permits: Business Reply, First Class Presort, Presorted Standard, and Non-Profit. Permit imprints must be used on bulk mailings. The application of the permit indicia is the responsibility of the sender. Departments should contact the Mail Service Center for the appropriate permit and permit placement.  Non-university organizations must contact the Mail Service Center for approval to use the university permit imprint; otherwise, they are prohibited from using Illinois State permits. Those who qualify as a cooperative mailer or as a non-profit organization must apply for an additional entry or bulk authorization from the USPS. All university departments and organizations are restricted to the use of one of four University permits.

Postage Stamps

Illinois State law mandates that all postage stamps used for official university business must be state issued. State issued stamps are identified by a perforated "I" on each stamp and can be purchased through the Mail Service Center. Denominations are limited and special orders may be required. The purchase of regular postage stamps with university funds for university business is illegal and subject to prosecution. State issued stamps can not be used for personal business.

Return Address Format

This is the standard return address format for Illinois State University (Subject to change). Any variations need to be approved by the Mail Service Center.

Illinois State University
Campus Box (plus 4 digit mail code)
Normal IL 61790-(plus 4 digit mail code)


The Mail Service Center will seal business size envelopes that do not exceed ¼ inch thickness. Irregular sized envelopes or flaps such as invitation, manila, or oversized flaps, cannot be sealed by mail equipment. Departments are responsible for preparing all business size envelopes for sealing by leaving the flaps of the envelopes down. Non business size envelopes and envelopes with irregular flaps must be sealed by the department before processing. Envelopes must face the same direction, sorted by size. It is the responsibility of the sender to correct the preparation of mail.

Initiating body: Mail Service Center

Contact: Manager of Mail Service Center (309-438-8383)

Revised on: 12/2000


2018-12-07T11:07:15.479-06:00 2018