Are there any suggestions for dealing with new postal regulations about window envelopes?

New United States Postal Service (USPS) regulations effective August 23, 2004, include stricter rules about the visibility of addresses in window envelopes.

The USPS regulation 6.3.b states in part, " A clear space of at least 1/8 inch is required between the address block...and the top, bottom, and left and right edges of the address window, and must remain when the insert is moved to its full limits in each direction....For non-automation rate mail, the bottom edge of the address window must not extend more than 1/8 inch in the barcode clear zone as defined in [regulation] 202.5.1."

The entire USPS Domestic Mail Manual is available online at the US Postal Service Web site (

If your court is experiencing problems with mailings as a result of these USPS regulation changes, here are some suggestions which may solve the problem(s). Because many different documents require window envelopes, and because courts may use different types of window envelopes for different documents, one suggestion will probably not meet all needs.

  1. Change the alignment on the printer to move the forms slightly up, down, left, or right.  This is not a viable solution for forms where an "X" marks specific boxes.
  2. Fold the form in the envelope.
  3. Change the folding location of letter-sized mailings.
  4. Staple the envelope to hold the form in the best location. (Check with your local post office to make sure staples will not interfere with their equipment and to define the best place to position the staple.)
  5. Buy window envelopes with larger window areas.
  6. Download the print job (checks, hearing notices, etc.) from the mainframe, strip out the addresses, and mail merge in Word for labels.  This solution may not be feasible because of the time and materials required and because documents may be stuffed into the wrong envelope.

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