USPS Will Deliver The First of 2010 Census Mailings This Week


USPS will deliver the first of six separate 2010 Census mailings this week.

Scheduled for in-home delivery Feb. 17–19, this mailing will consist of approximately 10 million “advance” letters mailed to residences in select areas. These letters will alert residents that the Census questionnaire is coming and tell them what to expect.

While Census outgoing mail will be treated like any other mailing, it is imperative that employees remember to process the business reply mail (BRM) questionnaire and undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) mail on automated equipment. Mail processing, delivery unit, and Computerized Forwarding System employees have received detailed information regarding operating plans and the correct handling of census mail with the Intelligent Mail barcode.

P&DC employees will be following several unique processing procedures in support of the census regarding mail flows, escalation protocols and compliance oversight.

While there is no special handling required for Census mailings at delivery units, employees are reminded that there are critical steps to follow that will ensure correct handling of UAA Census mail:

•Do not mark through or obliterate any barcodes, including the Intelligent Mail barcode and the Census barcode.
•Do not affix any labels over any barcodes, including the Intelligent Mail barcode and the Census barcode.
•Use only the clear space on front of the envelope to mark up First-Class Mail.
“Although the Census Bureau does use the Postal Service addressing file, this is not its sole source,” says Tom Day, senior vice president, Intelligent Mail and Address Quality. “It uses a compilation of address sources to reach as many residents as possible. Based on this, as well as increased vacancy rates due to the economy, we anticipate that UAA mail in some areas may be as high as 15-20 percent.”

For UAA mailpieces, Return to Sender (RTS) Census mailpieces must be endorsed with the correct reason for return. Appropriate endorsements are:

•VAC – Vacant Address
•IA – Insufficient Address (secondary address information missing)
•NSN – No Such Number (non-existent or incorrect street number)
•NSS – No Such Street (non-existent or incorrect street)
•NMR – No Mail Receptacle
•REF – Refused
•UTF – Unable to Forward, Undeliverable as Addressed
•TA – Temporarily Away
The five other Census mailings will run through mid-April.

For answers to specific questions about the handling of Census mailpieces, and to stay up-to-date on the Postal Service’s role in the Census, check out the Blueshare website.