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Printing a barcode on return envelopes – The Intelligent Mail® Barcode (IMB)

Starting February 1st 2013, the post office requires companies to obtain a mailer ID in order to add a barcode to return envelopes. Their new barcoding system is called the Intelligent Mail® Barcode.

How do I start?

  • Fill out the following PDF application Here to obtain a mailing permit*
  • Go to the post office where you plan to take your mail and drop off the permit
  • Go to USPS to register and manage your account online
  • Request a mailer ID from the online business portal**
  • Order your envelopes and provide us with your mailer ID and extended zip code

* There is a one-time application fee and/or yearly permit fee on top of being billed for the mail sent under your permit number. You may also need to discuss your needs with an associate to determine which permit is right for you.

**If you encounter an exception to the number or type of mailer ID that you require, you may also use the PDF Here

What is a mailer ID?

The mailer ID is a 6 or 9 digit code that is assigned to you based on an annual mail volume criteria. The 9 digit mailer ID is typically assigned to businesses without any volume requirements.

What is the Intelligent Mail® Barcode?

It is a new program from the Unites States Postal Service that helps to sort and track letters and flat mail. It uses four distinct vertical bar types using previous barcode information (POSTNET™ and Planet Code®) and other data to provide customers with a code capable of encoding more information while saving space on the return envelopes printed with your barcode.