What Is an Indicia?

You are most likely familiar with a regular postage stamp. When doing bulk mailing, instead of using pre-cancelled stamps or even a postage meter, mailers can imprint postage permit info in the upper right corner of the mailpiece. This “postage block” is called an indicia.

Permit imprint is a common and convenient way to pay for postage, especially for high-volume mailings.

Most of the mail processed by AmeriList Printing will use our “permit information” or permit imprint. If you are a high-volume mailer, you may want to use your own permit imprint. To do this, you will need to set up a postage account (called an "advance deposit account") at the post office or Business Mail Entry Unit where you'll be depositing your mail. When the mailing is brought to the post office, the total postage is deducted from your account. It's like having a checking account at the post office.

Examples of Indicias / Postage Imprints

Indicia / Permit Imprints can be used on:

  • First-Class Mail®
  • Standard Mail®
  • Package Services
  • Insurance & Extra Services


Permit imprint indicia must read in the same direction as the delivery address on the mailpiece. The indicia must not intrude on reserved space if such a standard applies and can be placed in one of these four positions:

  • Upper right corner of the mailpiece.
  • Upper right corner of the address area.
  • To the right of the address on an address label.
  • To the right of the address on an insert appearing through a window envelope.


In general, Permit Imprint mailings must contain at least 200 pieces or 50 lbs.

The required minimum per mailing is:

  • 200 pieces (or 50 lbs) for First Class, Standard & Non-Profit Mail
  • 500 pieces for Presorted First-Class Mail

Bulk Mailing Facts

  • All mailpieces must weigh exactly the same.
  • You must do a mailing at least once every 2 years to keep your permit account active.
  • You can only use Permit Imprints with bulk mailings. Be sure not to hand out imprinted materials with ‘postage paid’ indicia, since they could be dropped in the mail and will come back to you with postage due.
  • Mailpieces must always be brought to the post office where you hold your permit, and never dropped in a collection box or given to a carrier.
  • Do not draw by hand or type your Permit Imprint indicia.

Permit & Annual Fee:

The annual mailing fee allows you to mail bulk mailings from one Post Office™ for one year. This fee is separate from application fees and postage. You will need to contact your local post office for current fees.


Before you send your mailing, you must pay the USPS for postage. Once you have a permit, the USPS sets up an account for you to place the money into. Once your mailing is mailed the postage money is withdrawn from that account.

Include the following:

  • Line 1: Rate Marking
  • Line 2: The words “US Postage Paid”
  • Line 3: City and state where permit is held
  • Line 4: The words “Permit No.” and your permit number

And don’t forget these requirements:

  • It must show your city, state, and permit number.
  • It may be only four or five lines long.
  • It must appear to the upper right of the delivery address.

The font used on your indicia must be 4-point or larger. There is no requirement for the font, but it must be readable, so avoid script fonts.

Direct Mail “Things To Keep In Mind”:

  • If you are doing a high-end mailer and would like to use prefixed stamps that can be done.
  • If your mailpiece has already been printed, or you are using an envelope, we can print the Permit Imprint indicia onto a label.
  • You don’t have to mail everything at once. You can print a large quantity of mailers with your Permit Imprint indicia in advance and mail small quantities as you see fit. This way you only pay for postage as it is used.

If you have any questions about permit imprint or indicia, give us a call. 1-800-457-2899

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Let us help you make the most of your marketing budget, call today with your creative and print design challenges: 1.800.457.2899