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‘Stuck in the MIDs with You:’ Understanding the Facts around Mailer ID Usage

October 27, 2016

The USPS continues to implement planned changes to mail entry system. Recently, an increased focus was placed on the By/For relationship and how that affects mailings. As a result, mail preparers are finding they need a better understanding of the relationship between the mailer identification (MIDs) specified in the By/For and the MIDs used in the Intelligent Mail Barcodes (IMBs).

The term MIDs is thrown around a lot. MIDs, or the “Mailer ID,” is a USPS identification number tied to a specific mailer or party in the mailing value chain. It appears in the eDocs as well as the IMBs in mailings, but sometimes what values need to go in what places is not made very clear.

  • MIDs in a By/For situation
    • This establishes who prepared the mail and who the mailing was generated on behalf of, based on MIDs and Customer Registration identification number specified in the eDocs. As a reminder, “eDocs” is the electronic documentation that is submitted by mailers in the Full-Service presort process.
    • In this relationship the “By” is typically the mailer who has actually done the production and deposited the mailing with the USPS.
    • The “For” is most often the Mail Owner — the party that contracted the mailer to produce the mailing, usually pays the postage, and owns the data contained in the mailing list.
    • This relationship is determined solely by the eDocs uploaded to the USPS or what is populated in the Postage Wizard.
  • MIDs in the Intelligent Mail Barcodes
    • The MID is one of the components that goes into the Intelligent Mail barcodes (IMb, IMcl, IMtl).
    • MID values used in the barcodes do not affect the By/For relationship. For example, the By/For relationship is established in the Mail.dat, not by the MIDs used in the Intelligent Mail Barcodes.
    • Using Track N Trace® causes BCC Software’s MID to be in the IMb on the mailpiece – but should in no way affect the By/For relationship specified in the eDocs.

These terms do have some apparent overlap that can cause confusion. If you have questions about these, or any other postal terms, our customer support team of USPS Certified Mailpiece Design Professionals is standing by to help at 800.624.5234.

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