USPS Domestic Mail Manual

USPS Domestic Mail Manual

The USPS Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) is a manual which governs the services the USPS offers, including delivery classes, type of services, layout of addresses on envelopes, sizes, quantities and weights for each mail class, as well as price information.

The DMM is accessible as part of an excellent set of webpages which address both Domestic-, and International Mail as well as pricing. It's called the Postal Explorer and can be found here.

The USPS regulates all aspects of mail-, and mail delivery itself, despite the laws on the books. The manual also lays out how a recipient (addressee) can control deliver of their mail.

Most notably is Domestic Mail Manual section 508 called 'Recipient Services':


Of specific interest is Section 508.1 "Recipient Options" which states that: (here)

1.0 Recipient Options

1.1 Basic Recipient Concerns
1.1.1 Delivery to Addressee
Addressees may control delivery of their mail. Without a contrary order, the mail is delivered as addressed. Mail addressed to several persons may be delivered to any one of them.

1.1.2 Refusal at Delivery
The addressee may refuse to accept a mailpiece when it is offered for delivery.

1.1.3 Refusal After Delivery
After delivery, an addressee may mark a mailpiece “Refused” and return it within a reasonable time, if the piece or any attachment is not opened. Mail that may not be refused and returned unopened under this provision may be returned to the sender only if it is enclosed in a new envelope or wrapper with a correct address and new postage. The following may not be refused and returned postage-free after delivery:

    •  Pieces sent as Registered Mail, insured, Certified Mail, collect on delivery (COD), and Adult Signature.
    •  Response mail to the addressee’s sales promotion, solicitation, announcement, or other advertisement that was not refused when offered to the addressee.


It is crystal clear from the USPS own rules and guidelines that an addressee is to decide what does and what doesn't get delivered into his or her mailbox. And even if something ends up being delivered which is unwanted, the USPS offers to accept it back by marking it 'Refused'.

We all should be proud of the USPS to deliver such world class service!

This actually fits like a hand in the glove with the Supreme Court cases which have ruled over and over again that the home owner/addressee is the only entity who can decide what does and does not gets past a property boundary, be it physical or non-physical.