New Political Mail Service Type IDs Coming on July 27 Seriously…not in June, not this week…we mean J
May 27, 2020   Dave Lewis

Apparently, desperate for something non-disease-related to talk about, the Postal Service announced four new Service Type IDs to be used for political mail – letters and flats – beginning on July 27.  Want to use them before July 27?  Don’t.  OK?  Just don’t. Service Type IDs are the three digits within the IMb that tell the system what kind of mail the piece is (sort of) and what action should be taken – track it, don’t track it, send ACS data, and so on.  Certain categories of mail get their very own STIDs, such as election mail.  Election mail is mail that is going to and from voters from election officials.  Having these unique STIDs allows the Postal Service to hunt down and clear any election mail left in a facility as voting due dates approach.  These STIDs allow for a variety of actions to be taken – they just add that one piece of visibility, and they are only for election mail. Starting on July 27 – but not before – new STIDs will be introduced for Political mail.  Political mail is advocacy mail for candidates, parties, or issues – generally speaking.  The objective here is comparable to the STIDs used on Election mail – to identify and expedite delivery before election day.  The Postal Service recognizes the importance of Political mail, and is doing all it can to assure good performance.  We are also hopeful that mail identified with these STIDs are more likely to be consistently scanned during their travels through the postal system.  There are no specific service standard changes built around these, but we remain ever hopeful. These STIDs do not replace red tags but are in addition to red tags for political mail. There are four new STIDs, two for First-Class Mail, and two for Marketing Mail: First-Class Mail Political Mail:
  • Basic or Non-automation with Tracking:  727
  • Full-Service with Tracking:  747
USPS Marketing Mail Political Mail:
  • Basic or Non-automation with Tracking:  728
  • Full-Service with Tracking:  748
These STIDs do not support ACS, Secure Destruction, or any of those other fun services.  There is also not a no-tracking option – if you used these STIDs you will get tracking data if you are an IV subscriber. Of course, you are not required to use these STIDs for Political mail – your mail should receive the same handling either way, and there may be services you want to use, such as ACS, that are not available. These STIDs are not scheduled to go into effect until July 27.  Mail sent before then may be penalized for having an invalid STID, and tracking data may not be sent.  We just know that a lot of mailers like to be at the head of the pack adopting new stuff – there is a definite risk here.  If anything changes before July 27 we’ll be sure to let you know.  For now, let’s all just stay calm.