USPS Intelligent Mail® Barcode
USPS Intelligent Mail Overview
The Intelligent Mail barcode is the term coined by the
United Stated Postal Service (USPS) for the new barcode symbology used
to track and sort letters and flat packages. It contains a suite of
services including the Confirm® Service, which is referred to as OneCode
Confirm, and the Address Change Service, which is referred to as OneCode
ACS. Intelligent Mail is also a term used in the description of the
24 digit tray label barcode.
The Intelligent Mail customer barcode combines the information
of both the POSTNET and PLANET symbologies, and additional information,
into a single barcode that is about the same size as the traditional
POSTNET symbol. Automation Discounts with the use of Intelligent Mail
customer barcodes have been supported since March 2007. Version 7.0 of the Postnet
& Intelligent Mail Barcode Fonts contains the special characters
Currently, the use of the Intelligent Mail barcode is
optional. Since it offers significant advantages, however, it makes
good business sense to implement this new symbol today. IDAutomation
has implemented unique encoding in
Postnet Fonts, which allow printing of Postnet, Planet and Intelligent
Mail barcodes with the same font.
Formatting USPS Intelligent
To create a proper Intelligent Mail OneCode Confirm or OneCode ACS
Barcode with IDAutomation's products, a single string of numbers must
be obtained, which is referred to as the DataToEncode.
The DataToEncode is made up of the following:
||2 (2nd digit must be 0-4)
||Delivery Point ZIP Code
||0, 5, 9, or 11
|Complete string from data above:
- The Barcode Identifier field is a 2-digit field reserved for
future use to encode the presort identification that is currently
printed in human-readable form on the optional endorsement line
and OneCodeACS users should leave this field as "00". Later,
the USPS may require the proper coding of this field.
- The Special Services field is a 3-digit field that identifies
the type of service. In the end, the field is intended to allow
a single 4CB to support multiple services in addition to or instead
of Confirm and ACS.
- The Customer Identifier field is a 6-digit number identifying
the mailer. At the initial launching of 4CB, Destination Confirm
appends a leading zero to the assigned 5-digit Subscriber ID to
form the Customer Identifier field.
- The Sequence Number is a 9-digit field. For Destination Confirm,
this field holds the existing Mailing ID field, which is a 4- or
6-digit field. The Mailing ID field can be expanded to 9 digits
if so desired. Otherwise, leading zeros should be used to fill the
field completely. When using Origin Confirm, the Customer Identifier
field and the Sequence Number field may be combined into a 15-digit
field to hold the existing 9- or 11- digit Customer field plus additional
digits. If these fields are not expanded to 15 digits, leading zeros
should be used to fill the field completely.
- The Routing ZIP Code field will accommodate 0, 5, 9 or 11 digit
ZIP Code information. Confirm requires a 9- or 11-digit Routing
ZIP to serves as "Subscriber ID" for Origin Confirm users. The routing
ZIP Code inserted into the 4CB must be registered in the Confirm
Printing and Generating USPS
the DataToEncode is obtained, the
Intelligent Mail Barcode may be easily generated and printed with the
& Intelligent Mail Barcode Fonts,
or Barcode Applications.
Intelligent Mail is currently supported in the latest version of the
& Intelligent Mail Barcode Fonts - USPS Intelligent Mail barcodes
are supported in this package by all
Level 7 or greater including the
.NET Assembly DLL and the
DLL. The unique encoding used in the
7.0 version of
Postnet Fonts allows printing of Postnet, Planet and Intelligent
Mail with the same barcode font.
Barcode Font Advantage - A single font that creates multiple
barcode types including Code 128, Code 39, Interleaved 2 of 5, Intelligent
Mail, OneCode, Postnet, Planet, MSI and Codabar.
Access Barcode Generator - Add dynamic Intelligent Mail barcodes
to Access reports without installing additional fonts or DLLs.
- ActiveX Barcode
Control & DLL - A COM component that generates Intelligent Mail
barcode images and WMF files. This is the easiest component to use
for Microsoft® Access reports and Visual Basic 6.
Barcode Server Control - A collection of web controls, applications
and server controls that create Intelligent Mail barcodes on the
Internet from Windows Server.
- Barcode Image
Generator - A Windows application used to paste or generate
Intelligent Mail barcode images one at a time or from the command
- Java Barcode Package
- Create Intelligent Mail barcode images in Java on any OS; a servlet
and applet are included. The servlet may be used online at
Dynamic Barcode Image Generator - Easily create streaming Intelligent
Mail barcodes online and in any application that can access a URL
in any operating system.
.NET Forms Controls - Generate and print Intelligent Mail barcode
images from Microsoft .NET and Visual Studio .NET.
Note: The USPS recently renamed the OneCode barcode solution
to the Intelligent Mail Barcode. The encoding of each is the same, only
the name has changed. In IDAutomation products, the selection of "OneCode"
will generate the same barcode as "Intelligent Mail"
Barcode Generation Examples:
When using IDAutomation
Barcode Fonts, a
font tool must
be used to generate the text string for the Intelligent Mail barcode
font because of the complex encoding algorithms used in this symbology.
This generated string will create a correct barcode when combined with
Postnet Font. The text below was generated from the example data
string of 0123456709498765432101234567891:
Intelligent Mail Barcode images may be created dynamically from the
Generator Service, for example:
(Generating images from BCGEN is subject to the
Free License portion of the License Agreement. The licensed version
does not contain the "powered by" watermark.)
The size of the Intelligent Mail barcode must be between 22 and 24
bars per inch. Additional font widths are provided with
Postnet Fonts for fine-tuning and adjustment. IDAutomation recommends
verifying the printed symbols
of random selections of mail to ensure proper dimensions. When using
or Barcode Applications,
the height and width may be adjusted as necessary as long as the properties
are within USPS Specification Tolerances, which are shown in Fig. 1
Fig. 1; USPS Specification Tolerances for the USPS Intelligent
IDAutomation Font Dimensions
||USPS Specification Tolerances
|X Dimension (bar width)
||0.017" [0.043 CM]
||0.015" - 0.025" [0.038 - 0.063 CM]
|Space between bars
||0.026" [0.066 CM]
||0.012" - 0.040" [0.030
- 0.101 CM]
|Size of tall bar
||0.135" [0.342 CM]
||0.125" - 0.165" [0.317 - 0.419 CM]
|Size of tracker (short)
||0.041" [0.104 CM]
||0.039" - 0.057" [0.100
- 0.144 CM]
|Number of bars per inch
||22 - 24
Location of the Symbol:
Intelligent Mail and OneCode barcodes must be printed on specific
areas of mail, usually directly above the name and address. Additional
details pertaining to the placement of the symbol are available in the addenda
to Publication 8, Address Change Service, and Publication 197, Confirm®
Service User Guide, which may be obtained from the
Verifying Intelligent Mail
Printed symbols may be easily verified with the Print Quality Assessment
(PQA) tool found in the
2D Barcode Scanner. The quality assurance test grades the symbol
and reports any possible problems and dimension errors. The report below
was generated when scanning the barcode symbol at the top of this document
with PQA enabled:
10,301,107081,000000000,33609106255 >> PQA <<
INTELLIGENT MAIL BARCODE(USPS): 65 Bars, nominally from 02.66 to 03.20 in. in
Bar Sequence: THHHTDDHAADAHAAHDHDATHDAAATDTTTTAADHTAADTAATHATATTTTDDDAAHDATATAH
[C] (Lo) < "Tall" Bar Extensions: 0.062 in. from center
[B] (Lo) < "Short" Bar Extensions: 0.021 in. from center
[B] (Lo) < Bar Widths = 0.015 in.
[A] (Ok) < Inter-Bar Gaps = 0.030 in.
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