Tabbing & Wafer Sealing
mailpieces prepared for automation rate mailings must be
secured (tabbed) to
prevent an open edge from jamming high-speed processing equipment.
Standards for tabbing are based
on basis weight of paper stock used and the location of the
folded or bound edge. As an alternative to
tabs or wafer seals, the open edge of the length of the mailpiece
may be continuously glued or spot
glued. Continuous glue or spot glue is permissible with single-sheet
self-mailers and cards.
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automates the tabbing process, SAVING you time and money!
Number and location of tabs or wafer seals are specified
for particular types of letter-size mail. In all
cases, additional tabs may be used.
Tabs, wafer seals, cellophane tape, or permanent glue (continuous
or spot) must not interfere with
recognition of the barcode, rate marking, postage identification,
or required address information. In
all cases additional tabs or seals may be used. Cellophane
tape is not acceptable within the
barcode clear zone. Tabs or wafer seals placed in the barcode
clear zone must contain a paper
face meeting the standards for background reflectance and,
if the barcode is not preprinted by the
mailer, the standards for water-based ink.
Adequate adhesion is required.
Basis weight: the minimum basis weight standards vary, depending
on the construction of the
Letter-Size Folded Self-Mailers
(top or bottom) must be parallel to the longest dimension
(length) and address of the
With one tab or wafer seal: folded edge at bottom of mailpiece,
tab or wafer seal in middle of top edge
■ Single folded sheet, sealed with one tab or wafer seal,
minimum basis weight: 28 pounds
(17 by 22 inches by 500 sheets) or 70 pounds (25 by 38 inches
by 500 sheets).
■ Two or more sheets, sealed with one tab or wafer seal,
minimum basis weight: 24 pounds
(17 by 22 inches by 500 sheets) or 60 pounds (25 by 38 inches
by 500 sheets).
With two tabs or wafer seals: minimum basis weight 20 pounds
(17 by 22 inches by 500 sheets) if
folded edge is at top or bottom of the mailpiece. Tabs or
wafer seals must be placed within 1 inch
of the right and left edges of mailpiece
With folded edge on right (leading) edge: left (trailing)
edge secured with at least one tab or a glue
line; additional tabs may be required based on trim size
and basis weight. Pieces 7 or more inches
in length must be secured at top and bottom edges and be
preapproved by the USPS.
Letter-Size Booklet-Type Mailpiece
Please refer to the October 2009 newsletter for new tab requirements effective September 8, 2008.
edge (spine) must be at the bottom and parallel to the longest
dimension (length) and the
address of the mailpiece, unless preapproved by the USPS.
The mailpiece must be tabbed
(secured) in one of two ways:
■ Top (unbound edge) must have at least two tabs or wafer
seals placed within 1 inch of the right and
■ The right (leading) and left (trailing) edges must
be secured with tabs or wafer seals placed within
1 inch of the top right and top left edges of the mailpiece.
Cover must have a minimum basis weight of 20 pounds.
With spine on right (leading) edge: minimum basis weight
20-pound bond paper. Address must be
parallel to longest dimension (length) and unbound left (trailing)
edge must be tabbed (secured):
■ If no more than 4-1/4 inches high and 6 inches long,
1 tab or wafer seal in middle of trailing left edge.
■ If more than 4-1/4 inches high or more than 6 inches
long, 2 tabs or wafer seals within 1 inch of top
and bottom edges.
Minimum basis weight 75 pounds
or greater. Double postcards must have folded edge at the
bottom. The open edge must be secured with 1 tab in the middle.
Flat-Size Booklet-Type Mailpieces
The contents of the mailpiece prepared in sleeves
or other wrappers must be sufficiently secure in the
sleeve or wrapper to stay in place during processing. If
material bearing the delivery information or
barcode for the mailpiece is enclosed in a partial wrapper,
that wrapper must be sufficiently secure
to prevent the contents from shifting and obscuring the delivery
address or barcode.
For more information, see USPS 201B Quick