[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 127 (Friday, July 1, 2016)]
[Pages 43293-43294]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-15648]



Clarification of the Move Update Standard

AGENCY: Postal ServiceTM.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: This notice provides information to clarify Move Update 
standards and to assist mailers in their compliance with those 

DATES: Effective: July 1, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Direct questions or comments to 
Charles B. Hunt by email at [email protected] or phone (901) 681-

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The U.S. Postal Service (USPS[supreg]) 
receives recurring inquiries from the mailing industry relative to the 
standards for Move Update services. This notice is intended to clarify 
Move Update requirements in relation to discount mail preparation 
prices for all commercial mailers, including those authorized as 99 
Percent Accurate and Legal Restraint customers.
    Later in this document, inquiries from mailers and USPS responses 
are outlined to further clarify this notice.


    Nearly 40 million people (or about 12 percent of the U.S. 
population) change their addresses each year. To minimize undeliverable 
and discarded mail, it is essential that mailing address lists are kept 
up-to-date. USPS Move Update services are designed for this purpose.
    Move Update allows mailers to keep their mailing addresses current 
and reach their customers after they have moved, which ultimately leads 
to customer retention. Move Update is also critically important for 
Postal Service operational purposes, because massive amounts of 
undeliverable and discarded mail put a strain on the Postal Service, 
which translates to needless expenses and inefficiencies. In sum, Move 
Update is designed to reduce waste and associated expenses by improving 
the quality of mail address lists, which benefits both mailers and the 
Postal Service.
    The Move Update standard applies to commercial mailings of 
presorted and automation First-Class Mail[supreg], presorted First-
Class Package Service[supreg], Parcel Select Lightweight, and all 
Standard Mail[supreg] pieces. Mailers who present mixed mailings that 
pertain to at least one of the above mentioned categories are subject 
to the Move Update standard.
    The Move Update standard requires mailers periodically to match 
their address records with the customer-filed, change-of-address (COA) 
orders maintained by the Postal Service. Mailers are required to 
reconcile their mailing address lists within 95 days of the postage 
statement finalization date or a surcharge will be assessed.

Move Update Methods

    The Postal Service advises mailers to verify their mailing address 
lists at least every three months using one of the following USPS-
approved Move Update methods:
    [ssquf] National Change-of-Address Link 
(NCOALink [supreg]).
    [ssquf] National Change-of-Address Link Mail Processing Equipment 
    [ssquf] Ancillary Service Endorsement (ASE).
    [ssquf] Address Change Service (ACSTM).

Alternative Move Update Methods

    Alternative Move Update methods include the 99 Percent Accurate 
Method (also known as Mailer Move Update Process Certification) and 
Legal Restraint Method. These two methods apply to First-Class Mail and 
First-Class Package Service only. A mailer's use of either method 
requires authorization from the National Customer Support Center 

99 Percent Accurate Method

    Mailers who can demonstrate that their internal list management 
maintains address quality at 99 percent or greater accuracy for COA may 
be authorized to comply with the Move Update standard through the 99 
Percent Accurate Method.
    The 99 Percent Accurate test is a computer-based process that 
performs Postal Service ZIP + 4[supreg] coding and COA processing 
utilizing the customer's file as input. The 99 Percent Accurate test is 
accomplished by submitting the mailer's address file(s) to the Postal 
Service for processing.
    The purpose of the 99 Percent Accurate test is to determine whether 
1 percent or less of the addresses on the mailer's list has a COA on 
file, and to identify addresses that do not have ZIP + 4 Codes.
    Mailers who wish to use the 99 Percent Accurate Method to comply 
with the Move Update standard must submit an application for approval 
and adhere to the validation process outlined in the Guide to Move 
Update. The verification process takes approximately 7 to 10 business 

Legal Restraint Method

    When a legal restriction prevents mailers from updating their 
customer's address without direct contact from the customer, they can 
be authorized to use the Legal Restraint method to comply with the Move 
Update standard. To obtain authorization, the mailer must show that a 
particular law prohibits the mailer from using a primary method to meet 
the Move Update standard.
    To use the Legal Restraint method, mailers must follow the 
following four-step process:
    [ssquf] First, receive Postal Service COA information using one of 
the pre-approved methods within 95 days prior to the mailing.
    [ssquf] Second, for each address identified as having a COA, adhere 
as follows: Contact the addressee within 30 days after receiving the 
COA information; request confirmation of the move in a format that will 
satisfy your legal requirements; and choose the format with which to 
receive confirmation from the addressee--written, telephoned, or 
    [ssquf] Third, incorporate all COA confirmations received in 
response to the second step into your system within 30 days of 
receiving confirmation from the customer. If any recipients indicate 
that the COA information is not to be used, the mailer should instruct 
them to

[[Page 43294]]

contact their local post master to correct the COA information that has 
been filed with the Postal Service. The mailer may use the current 
address for 95 days from the date of address confirmation with the 
    [ssquf] Finally, keep documentation of the process described above 
for one year, including dates on which each step was performed, number 
of COA orders identified, number of confirmation requests, and evidence 
that demonstrates that updates have been incorporated into your system. 
Provide documentation to the Postal Service upon request. Be sure to 
keep records of all situations where the recipient indicated not to use 
the new address as not using the new address may affect your Move 
Update verification score during mail acceptance. Move Update 
processing must be done 95 days prior to mailing. Should there be any 
need to change the procedures outlined in your description, you are 
required to inform NCSC prior to making the change to retain 
authorization for the Legal Restraint method.
    Mailers who are authorized for the Legal Restraint method must use 
an exclusive Mailer Identification (MID) or multiple exclusive MIDs for 
Legal Restraint mailings. This allows the Postal Service to properly 
identify these types of mailings and, where appropriate, exclude the 
mailings from the normal Seamless Acceptance Move Update compliance 
review. The mailer cannot use these MIDs for other types of mailings 
that do not fall under the Legal Restraint authorization. The USPS has 
already worked with the Legal Restraint mailers to identify these MIDs.
    All current Legal Restraint authorized mailers will be allowed a 
one-year transition period to begin use of the exclusive MIDs. The one-
year transition period is calculated starting from the date of their 
next annual Legal Restraint renewal, which is authorized by the Postal 
    Existing Legal Restraint mailers who are able to implement the 
exclusive MIDs are encouraged to do so prior to the end of the one-year 
transition period. Any mailer seeking a new authorization for the Legal 
Restraint method will be required to use the exclusive MIDs upon 

Authorization for Legal Restraint

    To acquire authorization to use the Legal Restraint method, the 
mailer must adhere to the following requirements:
    [ssquf] Request authorization in writing.
    [ssquf] Identify by citation the specific legal restriction.
    [ssquf] Include copies of the statutes or regulations that prohibit 
the immediate use of COA information from a primary method of Move 
Update compliance.
    [ssquf] Provide a flowchart and/or process description of the Move 
Update method currently being used and the related confirmation 
    [ssquf] This requirement applies to federal, state, and local 
government mailers.
    [ssquf] Submit the request to the following USPS location: NCSC, 
225 N Humphreys Blvd., Suite 501, Memphis, TN 38188-1001

Mailer Inquiries

    Listed below are responses to some of the more common commercial 
mailer inquiries derived from ongoing Move Update dialogue.

Mailer Inquiry

    Are mailpieces eligible for discounted mail preparation prices when 
the addresses are classified by the Postal Service as follows?

[ssquf] Moved, Left No Forwarding Address (MLNA)
[ssquf] P.O. Box Closed, No Forwarding Order (BCNO)
[ssquf] Foreign (new address is foreign)

USPS Response

    Mailpieces bearing addresses that are classified by the Postal 
Service as MLNA, BCNO, or Foreign are exempt from the Move Update 
requirement. Therefore, these pieces are eligible for discounted mail 
preparation prices.

Mailer Inquiry

    Are pieces where NCOA\Link\ returned a FN (footnote) 5, 14, or 19 
(indicating a known move, but not providing the new address) eligible 
for discounted mail preparation rates?

USPS Response

    When a mailer uses NCOA\Link\ as the Move Update method, there are 
situations when an input address may receive a Return Code of 5, 14, or 
19, which indicates a COA was found. However, a new address could not 
be provided due to one of the following reasons for new address:

[ssquf] Ambiguous information
[ssquf] Unconfirmed primary number
[ssquf] No ZIP+4 Code
[ssquf] Only temporary COA filed
[ssquf] Run-time issues

    In such cases, using the original input address for the mailing 
would satisfy the Move Update requirement towards qualification for 
discounted mail preparation prices.

Mailer Inquiry

    Are mailpieces for which ACS returned a new address that fails 
Delivery Point Validation (DPV) and the mailer uses the original 
address, eligible for discounted mail preparation prices?

USPS Response

    There are situations where the ACS method will provide a 
notification of a new address for the intended recipient that is not 
DPV. To satisfy the Move Update standard, all new addresses returned by 
the ACS method must be used to update the addresses used on future 
mailings. Electing to utilize the original address for the mailing, 
means the Move Update standard is not satisfied and the piece is 
ineligible for discounted mail preparation prices.

Mailer Inquiry

    Are mailpieces eligible for discounted mail preparation prices when 
addresses include COA information that is more than 18 months old?

USPS Response

    Each address used on mailpieces must be updated via an approved 
Move Update method within 95 days prior to the mailing date, as 
    [ssquf] If the COA is older than 95 days, it is expected that the 
new address has been updated to the mailer's system for use on future 
    [ssquf] If the Move Update method that was used did not provide a 
match and new address because the COA data was not available, the 
mailer is considered to have satisfied the Move Update standard 
assuming that the mailer had properly performed the Move Update 
processing in a timeframe and configuration compliant with USPS-
approved methods.
    [ssquf] If the mailer obtained a new address before the COA was 
more than 18 months old and failed to update the address, the old 
address would not be compliant with the Move Update standard just 
because the COA had become more than 18 months old.
    We will update the online version of the Guide to Move Update on 
RIBBS at https://ribbs.usps.gov/index.cfm? page=moveupdate to reflect 
all changes.

Stanley F. Mires,
Attorney, Federal Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2016-15648 Filed 6-30-16; 8:45 am]