General Mailing Standards

All mail pieces (except keys and identifications devices mailed under the applicable standards) that are ¼ inch thick or less must be rectangular, at lease 3 ½ inches high and at least 5 inches long. All mailed items must be at lease 0.007 inch thick, weigh no more that 70 pounds and be no more than 108 inches in length and girth combined.

Letter-Size Mail Dimensions:

At least 5 inches long, 3 ½ inches high, and 0.007 inch think. Not more than 11 ½ inches long, 6-1/8 inches high or ¼ inches thick.

Postcards Dimensions:

At least 3 ½ inches high, 5 inches long and 0.007 inch thick. Not more than 4 ¼ inches high, 6 inches long or 0.16 inch thick.

Flat-Size Mail Dimensions:

More than 11 ½ inches long, 6-1/8 inches high or ¼ inch thick.
Not more than 15 inches long, 12 inches high or ¾ inch thick.

Standard Mail:

Enhanced Carrier Route rate pieces may not be more that 14 inches long, 11 ¾ inches high or ¾ inch thick. May be wrapped, unwrapped, sleeved, or enveloped.

stamped envelopesEnvelopes

The complete address should be located within the Optical Character Reader (OCR) read area (no return address information). Extraneous (non-addresses) printing or markings should appear as high on the mail piece and as far away from the address as possible.

Bar-code Read Area

Please make sure that this area remains clear of all printing. It is reversed for the bar code that will be printed by the OCR.


Labels are used on parcels, packages or large envelopes must be addressed according to the recommended format above. Labels must be applied parallel to the bottom edge of the envelope to be processed by the USPS on automation equipment.

Proper addressing for packages and mail coming to NMU:

Your Name
Your Department Name (required)
Northern Michigan University
1401 Presque Isle Ave
Marquette MI 49855

If your mail/packages are not coming to NMU in this correct format please advise your correspondents to make the change.  Please note that your building and room number is not part of the address and does not need to be.

You will get the best possible service if you:

  • Type or machine print all address information.
  • Ensure address characters don’t touch or overlap.
  • Print black ink on white background, if possible.
  • Maintain a uniform left margin.
  • Make sure print is clear and sharp.
  • Omit all punctuation (except the hyphen between zip code and + 4).
  • Include floor, suite and apartment numbers whenever possible.
  • Put the city, state and zip code in that order on the last line.
  • If there’s not enough room, put the zip code on the bottom line.
  • Make sure the place where you want the mail delivered appears on the line immediately above the city, state, and zip code line.
  • Use standard two-letter state abbreviations.
  • When using window envelopes, make sure the complete address is always visible, even when the insert moves.
  • Leave one or two spaces between words and between the state abbreviation and zip code.