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The Move Update standard is a means of reducing the number of mailpieces requiring forwarding or return by periodically matching the mailer's address records with change-of-address (COA) orders received and maintained by the Postal Service™. Mailers who claim presorted or automation prices for First-Class Mail® or Standard Mail® service must demonstrate that they have updated their mailing list within 95 days before the mailing date.

The Postal Service offers three preapproved methods: ACS™, NCOALink®, NCOALink MPE, and Ancillary Service Endorsements except for Forwarding

Service Requested. Alternative methods: 99 Percent Accurate and Legal Restraint that require separate approval also are offered for First-Class Mail. Mailers must use one of the preapproved or alternative methods to meet the Move Update standard.

The Move Update standard is met when an address used on a mailpiece in a mailing for any class of mail is updated with an approved method and the same address is used in a commercial First-Class Mail or Standard Mail mailing within 95 days after the address has been updated. Except for mail bearing an alternative address format, addresses used on all pieces claiming Standard Mail prices are required to meet the Move Update standard. When an address is received or confirmed by the recipient, the Move Update standard is met when the same address is used in a commercial First-Class Mail, First-Class Package Service, or Standard Mail mailing within 95 days after the address has been updated.

Click here for additional information on Move Update requirements:
Guide to Move Update


ACS is a post mailing service that allows mailers to electronically receive change-of-address information and reasons for non-delivery and reduce the number of manual (hardcopy) address notifications.

ACS has many benefits over manual address corrections. It is a cost-effective, efficient means of obtaining accurate COA or reasons for non-delivery information. Utilizing ACS allows mailers to: (1) Reduce manual address costs; (2) Reduce labor-intensive address change functions by eliminating returned mail; (3) Receive fulfillment of time-sensitive information daily via our secure Electronic Product Fulfillment (EPF) web site; (4) Retrieve address change information electronically via a secure Internet site to allow automated updating of mailing lists; (5) Receive notifications that relate specifically to their address files.

ACS has four distinct implementation methods which offer several different options:

  1. OneCode ACS® — OneCode ACS Technical Guide (formerly Pub 8B) contains information on how to participate.
  2. Traditional ACS — Traditional ACS Technical Guide contains information to participate on how to participate.
  3. Full Service ACS — Provided as a benefit for mail that qualifies for Full Service discounts. Use the OneCode ACS Technical Guide to learn how to prepare your full-service Intelligent Mail® barcodes to participate.
  4. IM®pb ACS — IMpb ACS Technical Guide describes how Parcel shippers can receive electronic address corrections with the Intelligent Mail package barcode.

To participate in ACS, mailers must modify their mailing label, address block, barcodes, and mailpiece according to the requirements associated with the specific ACS service they are requesting.

Click here for more information: ACS


The NCOALink is an address correction service provided to mailers through companies licensed by the Postal Service. Updated change-of-address information for the entire country is provided on a regular basis to the licensees by the Postal Service. The licensees match mailing lists submitted to them by mailers against the computerized information. If a match is made, NCOALink can correct the address before it is printed. Benefits:

  • Reduces undeliverable mail by providing the most current address information, including standardized and delivery point coded addresses, for matches made to the NCOALink file for individual, family, and business moves
  • Prevents re-mailings after address corrections are received because the address correction is applied prior to the mailing
  • Reduces mailer costs by reducing the number of undeliverable mailpieces
  • Provides faster product/service marketing through accurate mail delivery

Click here for more information: NCOALink


NCOALink MPE (Mail Processing Equipment) is a pre-mailing method that uses a Multiline Optical Character Reader (MLOCR) system or a Remote Video Encoding (RVE) system to print the COA update directly on the mailpiece. NCOALink MPE contains change-of-address records maintained by the Postal Service within the previous 18 months. As a mailpiece (letter or flat) runs through the MLOCR or RVE, the names and addresses are checked against a Postal Service encrypted database. If a change-of-address is identified, the new address is printed directly on the mailpiece. MPE Licensees receive COA updates weekly from the Postal Service.

There are two pricing options for MPE licenses and a third option where no license is required by an end user:

  • NCOALink MPE Basic License
    This license allows the processing of mailpieces through an NCOALink MPE system, where change-of-address information is applied directly onto mailpieces. Under this license, licensees are not permitted to return electronic COA files to customers.

  • NCOALink MPE Enhanced License
    Licensees who enter into an NCOALink Enhanced license are permitted to apply COA information directly onto mailpieces and also to perform list processing, allowing the electronic return of updated COA information to customers.

  • NCOALink MPE Wide Area Network (WAN) - No USPS® license or fees required
    The NCOALink MPE WAN method, also known as the cloud method, allows for the use of a Multiline Optical Character Reader (MLOCR) to electronically lift name and address information from a mailpiece for processing against the NCOALink database by a third party NCOALink licensee via the internet. End users are not required to have an NCOALink license with the Postal Service to use this method of processing as the NCOALink license is held by the third party.

Click here for more information: NCOALink

Ancillary Service Endorsement

Ancillary Service Endorsements can be used as a stand-alone method of meeting the Move Update standard. When an Ancillary Service Endorsement is used, the process of notifying a mailer that a mailpiece was undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) is done via a hardcopy notice (PS Form 3547) or by returning the mailpiece with the notice information on the piece. The hardcopy notice provides a photocopy of the UAA mailpiece with either the moving customer's new address or the reason why the mailpiece could not be delivered.

Ancillary Service Endorsements by themselves are the "low tech," and often easiest means for mailers to meet the Move Update requirement. However, because stand-alone Ancillary Service Endorsements require manual operations, they can be the most costly and least effective way to maintain address lists for customer change-of-address.

Because Ancillary Service Endorsements drive exactly how a mailpiece will be handled and may incur additional costs to the mailer, mailers should be extremely careful when using Ancillary Service Endorsements to be certain they are getting what they expect and what they need.

Click here for more information: Guide to Move Update

Alternative Move Update Methods

The Alternative Move Update methods, Legal Restraint and 99 Percent Accurate (also known as Mailer Move Update Process Certification), apply to First-Class Mail and First-Class Package Service only.

99 Percent Accurate: When mailers can demonstrate they have a highly effective method to keep their addresses current, they can obtain authorization to use the 99 Percent Accurate method of compliance with the Move Update standard.

Legal Restraint: When a legal restriction prevents mailers from updating their customer's address without direct contact from the customer, they can be authorized to use the Legal Restraint method to comply with the Move Update standard. To obtain authorization, the mailer must show that a particular law prohibits the mailer from using a primary method to meet the Move Update standard.

A mailer's use of either method requires separate approval from the National Customer Support Center (NCSC):

Click here for more information: Guide to Move Update

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Important Updates

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