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Two forms of reply mail are used by UWF offices, organizations and departments – Business Reply Mail for which the University pays the postage and Courtesy Reply Mail for which the addressee places postage on the return mail piece. These preaddressed, automation compatible mail pieces are generally placed inside another mail piece that is mailed to an addressee for a response by way of the enclosed reply envelope, card, self-­‐mailer, carton or label. UWF Postal Services establishes and pays the yearly Permit fee for Business Reply Mail for all University mailers. Some general U.S. Postal Service rules and guidelines apply to Reply Mail.

Business Reply Mail and Design

Business Reply Mail (BRM) allows the University mailer to send out any number of reply pieces and receive the First-Class Mail reply piece back from correspondents with the University paying for postage only on the mail returned. BRM is used frequently for fundraising solicitations, applications, surveys, subscription renewals, etc. All departments are eligible for this service, and there is no minimum quantity required to qualify. The BRM mail piece, normally a postcard or a #9 envelope that is placed in a #10 envelope, must be designed to meet certain specifications and must possess basic characteristics pictured in the example in Business Reply Mail (PDF), in order to be accepted by the U.S. Postal Service. Failure to comply may result in the withdrawal of the Permit for the entire University, so it is important to closely follow the rules. Your printer should be very familiar with the BRM requirements and design and is able to assist you in the preparation of your mail piece. An Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) must be created and printed in the Barcode Clear Area located on the bottom right of the BRM mail piece. You can also call UWF Postal Services at 474-3211 or 474-2437 for assistance in meeting design requirements.  It is recommended that once designed, the mail piece be reviewed by the U.S. Postal Service’s Mail piece Design Analyst (MDA). Call 1-855-593-6093 for free information and assistance or  or send them an email. Many vendors are also well versed in design and specifications for BRM. The following guidelines are provided to insure proper preparation of University BRM: 

  1. The upper left corner of the BRM may have the BANNER Index number of the department, office or organization that is to be charged for the return postage and fee. Other information is authorized in this area such as logo, survey numbers, codes, etc.
  2. The address on the BRM must be complete and be addressed to the University of West Florida, Department or Program, 11000 University PKWY, Pensacola, FL plus one of the following ZIP+4 codes:
    32514-­‐9985 for 1 oz. letter 
    32514-­‐9986 for postcard 
    32514-­‐9984 for 2 oz. letter
    32514-­‐9952 for flats, labels, oversize mail
  3. NOTE: The unique ZIP+4 codes above are specially assigned codes assigned to UWF for Business Reply Mail. An Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) is made from these ZIP+4 codes and other information and is to be printed in the Barcode Clear Area located on the bottom right of the BRM mail piece. The MDA above can help designers with this or contact UWF Postal Services for a master of the IMB, which can be copied on the mail piece.
  4. The Business Reply Legend Box must have the words BUSINESS REPLY MAIL in all capital letters (at least 3/16” high) and printed underneath the words FIRST-CLASS MAIL PERMIT NO.166  PENSACOLA, FL. - Underneath the box must be: “POSTAGE WILL BE PAID BY ADDRESSEE”. Example of Legend Box shown below:
    business reply mail label
  5. The BRM mail piece is distinguished by the bold horizontal bars on the right side and the FIM (Facing Identification Mark-vertical bars) on the top right next to the “No Postage Necessary” Indicia. These identify the mail piece as BRM for the automated equipment at the
  6. U. S. Post Office where it is automatically sorted to the unique Zip+4 code in the address so that the postage and fee is assessed to UWF.
  7. The Postage Endorsement Indicia on the top right corner of the BRM mail piece must state “NO POSTAGE NECESSARY IF MAILED IN THE UNITED STATES”. Example:
    no postage necessary label
  8. Samples of Business Reply Mail are provided in Business Reply Mail (PDF).
  9. It is recommended that once designed, the mail piece be reviewed by the U.S. Postal Service’s Mail piece Design Analyst (MDA). Call 1-855-593-6093 for free information and assistance or send them an email. The Postal Service will provide a free camera-ready barcode for placement on your mail piece. Call 474-2437 or visit UWF Postal Services for additional help and advice.

Business Reply Mail Charges

UWF Postal Services pays the U. S. Postal Service the yearly fee for the UWF Business Reply Mail Permit 166, and establishes, replenishes, and maintains an Advanced Deposit Account for payment of postage and fee charges resulting from the return of the UWF BRM mail pieces. The charges include the postage for the mail piece plus a handling charge. An additional fee is applied for additional ounces (21¢ in 2016).  


  • Barcoded First Class Postage (1 oz.) + 6.3¢
    45.6¢ + 6.3¢ = 51.9¢
  • Barcoded First Class (2 oz.) + 6.3¢
    66.6¢ + 6.3¢ = 72.9¢
  • Barcoded Postcard Postage + 6.3¢
    32.6¢ + 6.3¢ = 38.9¢

The postage and fees are totaled monthly for each Banner Index  and submitted to the Department of Financial Services for charge back to the department, office or organization receiving the mail. The charges are submitted at the beginning of the month for the previous month’s charges.

Courtesy Reply Mail

Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM) is a design for reply letters and postcards where the recipient will pay for the postage. It is used frequently for convenience and to provide more accurate delivery and to expedite responses for such things as bill payments, renewals, requests for information, etc. Certain specifications apply to Courtesy Reply Mail and are shown in the sample, Courtesy Reply Mail (PDF). It also has a special Facing Identification Mark (FIM) and uses the University’s address and ZIP+4 code, which is barcoded on the bottom right part of the mail piece. Your printer, many vendors and the MDA can help in designing your CRM mail and applying the IMB barcode and other specifications.

Other Reply Mail

Meter Reply Mail may also occasionally be used to prepay reply postage for some mail with a meter imprint. Due to its nature Meter Reply Mail will not have a date on the postage meter imprint. This type of mail must be preaddressed with a UWF address to avoid misuse. The disadvantage of this is that some metered reply mail may not be returned and the postage will have been wasted. International Reply Mail can also be used under certain circumstances. Call UWF Postal Services for more information and details at 474-2437.





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