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8.1.2 Mail Services

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This Guide Memo was approved by the Vice President for Land, Buildings & Real Estate.
Last Updated

Formerly Known As Policy Number: 81.2

This Guide Memo describes mail services provided to the University by both the U.S. Post Office and internal interdepartmental mail services.


This policy applies to all Stanford University employees and students.

1. U.S. Mail Service

a. Incoming Mail

(1) Campus Mail— U. S. Mail for campus departments is received and sorted at the U. S. Post Office, Palo Alto. Mail carriers deliver mail once a day to departmental building delivery points.

(2) Medical Center— U. S. Mail for the Hospital, patients, and the School of Medicine is received and sorted at Stanford Health Care mail services and delivered on the same schedule as Interdepartmental (ID) Mail (see 2.b(2)).

(3) SLAC— A U.S. Postal Service (USPS) carrier delivers mail to the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) once a day.

(4) Post Office Boxes— Mailbox rentals at the Post Office are serviced Monday through Saturday.

b. Outgoing Mail

(1) Pickup Point— Carriers pick up mail at delivery points as a courtesy to customers. Because of limited capacity by the mail carrier, large outgoing mailings may not be picked up. U.S. Post Office mailboxes are provided throughout the campus for outgoing mail. Collection hours are posted on each box.

(2) Preparation of Materials— Departments can save on delivery time by separating stamped material from metered material and by further sorting the material into letters, big envelopes and packages. Metered mail must be bundled by separate classes of mail with all addresses facing the same way. Medical Center metered mail to be picked up by Stanford Health Care mail services must also have the mail metering reference number marked on the top piece of each bundle. For more information about mail metering reference numbers, contact Stanford Health Care mail services.

(3) Hazardous Materials/Dangerous Goods— Departments must not use U.S. Mail for shipment of biological or other hazardous materials, including dry ice. All shipments of hazardous materials/dangerous goods must be prepared and shipped only by trained and certified individuals. Additional information and assistance are at

(4) Postal Information— Information about postage rates, classes of mail, and general regulations for domestic and foreign mail may be obtained at the Post Office and at

c. Format for Stanford Addresses

A complete return address must be given for all correspondence. The electronic equipment for sorting mail scans the last two lines of the address. For fastest delivery, the preferred format for campus address information is:

Line 1. Person's Name
Line 2. Stanford University
Line 3. Department, Building and Room Number
Line 4. Street Address
Line 5. Stanford, CA 94305-nnnn (Zip+4)

Avoid putting "Stanford University" in the last two lines. If Stanford University appears in either of the last two lines, the mail is delivered in bulk to the Stanford Post Office, where it is sorted by hand. The USPS Zip Code+4 is not the same as the “ID” mail code. Use “StanfordWho” to look up correct information for individuals.

d. Misaddressed Mail

Stanford Post Office carriers take undeliverable first-class mail with incorrect or insufficient addresses to the Information Section in the Registrar's Office, where efforts are made to locate the addresses. If located, the mail is forwarded in ID mail by Mail and Package Services (MPS). If not located, the mail is returned to the Post Office. Stanford Health Care mail services returns undeliverable mail to the Postal Carrier. Departments that receive mail for a person who has left should make a notation to that effect on the mail and return it to the sender.

e. U.S. Mail Bulk Mailing

(1) Permit 28— To send bulk mail via USPS, it is economical to use the Stanford nonprofit mail Permit #28. Minimum requirements to qualify for nonprofit bulk mail postage rates are 500 pieces for First Class and 200 pieces or 50 pounds for Standard mail service. Contact an external mail preparation service to make arrangements for the mailing.  The mail preparation service vendor will take care of the required USPS paperwork and obtain the necessary signature from MPS. The selected vendor must have an approved service request (see below*) for use of the permit. The department requesting the service pays the postage via the PTA provided to MPS. There is an additional processing fee charged for this service.

*To utilize Permit #28, submit a Service Request:

  1. Go to
  2. Select “Mailing Services”
  3. Select “Request for Mailing and Delivery Services”
  4. Follow instructions provided
  5. Give the generated request number to the appropriate mail preparation service vendor.

(2) Advance Planning— Departments are encouraged to call MPS for consultation early in the planning stages of a bulk mailing of U.S. Mail. Mailing requirements and cost estimates should be reviewed with MPS before the material is printed. Postal regulations and automation capabilities may affect the printing specifications and costs.

(3) Mail Preparation Services— Contact MPS for help in selecting a mailing preparation services vendor directly for mailing services such as folding, inserting, metering, etc. The department or the vendor should deliver the prepared materials respective postage statements to MPS for signature authorization before presenting the materials to the USPS for processing.

(4) Mailing Permit— Postal regulations require that the use of nonprofit postage permits must be reviewed and authorized by MPS.

2. Interdepartmental Mail Services

a. Eligibility to Use Services

ID Mail Services are provided primarily for conveyance of messages concerning the University's official business. ID mail may be used between the various University departments and administrative units. All organizations with responsibility to the University may use Campus ID mail services, including Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU).

ID mail may be used to deliver general flyers concerning Stanford-related events or information.

ID mail may not be used to distribute commercial or partisan political advertising.

b. Distribution of Interdepartmental Mail

Three primary ID mail services are utilized at Stanford. Each mail room functions independently of each other.

(1) Campus Mail— Stanford ID Mail and Package Services (MPS) is located at 560 Fremont Road, Stanford University.  Campus ID mail services delivers mail to the Stanford campus Monday through Friday. Primary daily delivery is between the hours of 8 am-12 pm. Afternoon service is available at an additional cost. “Will call” requests can also be accommodated through MPS.  All requests will be prioritized by the MPS Supervisor.  All questions should be directed to the Campus Mail Room at

(2) Medical Center Mail— All campus mail addressed to Medical Center departments is presorted by MPS. Mail is then picked up once a day by a courier from Stanford Health Care and re-sorted. Stanford Health Care mail services collects and delivers Campus ID mail at the Medical Center and Stanford Clinics twice a day. There is one delivery a day at the Hospital and the School of Medicine. Stanford Health Care mail services also delivers U.S. Mail. Mail for patients is delivered once a day. Medical inter-office mail is separate from Campus ID mail. All questions should be directed to the Medical Center Mail Room at (650) 723-5130.

(3) SLAC Mail— All mail that is addressed for delivery to SLAC is presorted at Campus MPS. At that point, mail is picked up once a day by a SLAC employee, re-sorted and delivered to SLAC departments. All questions should be directed to the SLAC Mail Room at (650) 926-2380.

c. Package Guidelines

ALL mail rooms follow the same packaging guidelines. The maximum size limit for packages is 50 lbs. or 2 cubic feet. For larger pickups and deliveries, MPS services will accommodate most mailing needs if the respective mail room is contacted at least one day in advance.

d. Inspection of Interdepartmental Mail

(1) Regular ID Mail— The MPS supervisor may open ID mail for inspection when the addressee cannot be determined.

(2) Mail Marked "Confidential"— ID mail marked "Confidential" may be opened only by the person to whom the mail is addressed. In cases where neither the intended addressee nor a return address can be determined, the MPS supervisor is authorized to open the mail with the intent to locate information for proper delivery.

e. ID Bulk Mailing

Mailings of 50 pieces fall into the category of a "bulk mailing." Envelopes, flyers, postcards and pamphlets received in mail code order qualify for delivery service that is free of charge. Mailing that are not in mail code order will require a PTA number to cover service charges for sorting.

(1) Lead Time Required— Turnaround time is 5 working days for mailings received in mail code order and 7 working days when not in mail code order. Departments should consider these turnaround times when preparing time sensitive or dated material.

(2) ID Bulk Mail Preparation— To send bulk mail via ID mail, MPS can provide the most recent mailing code information for faculty and staff. The listing is updated each month. Departments should prepare bulk items and then request a mail code listing from Arrange with an external mail preparation service to deliver the bulk mailing to the MPS loading dock at 560 Fremont Road.

f. Properly Addressing Interdepartmental Mail

Address all mail completely and properly.

(1) Campus ID Mail: Include full name and mail code. Also include a return address.

(2) Medical Center: Full name, department, room number and mail code.

(3) SLAC: Full name and mail stop.

The “ID” mail code is not the same as USPS Zip Code+4. Use “StanfordWho” to look up correct information.

g. Department Moves

When a department is planning a move, the appropriate mail room should be contacted at least two weeks in advance to provide the department’s previous address, new location and the date the move goes in to effect, as well as any other pertinent details.

Newly organized departments (or departments relocating to another area) should contact MPS for changes and information on campus mail delivery and mail code assignment.  A change in location might require a new mail code. Additionally, listings in “StanfordYou” must be updated with the correct mail code to ensure proper delivery and to prevent delays.

The department also needs to submit a Change of Address form to the Post Office. The Post Office might assign a new Zip+4 to the department. For questions regarding USPS Zip Code+4 codes and street addresses for newly activated buildings, contact Maps and Records. ID mail codes are NOT the same as USPS ZIP+4. If changes are anticipated, contact MPS.

h. Individual Moves

Change in work location for individuals should be entered by the department through PeopleSoft HRMS.

I. Mailing List Corrections

  1. MPS labels are generated from PeopleSoft HRMS and should be updated in “StanfordYou” by the individual. MPS is not authorized to make these changes.
  2. To “opt out” of a particular mailing, please contact the originator of the mailing.