Mail PrepA brief description of important mail preparations required by Mail Services.

Addressing Standards

Mail service is limited to official University business only.  Mail is sorted and delivered to primary departmental offices, not individual faculty/staff offices.  Each department has been given a unique 4-digit mail code to assist with the sorting process.  Please use both your department name and PO Box number + 4-digit mail code.  A list of departmental mail codes is available on this site. 

Personnel Moves / Terminations

It is the department's responsibility to inform HR/Personnel & Payroll of any terminations or moves on campus.  Be advised that Mail Services staff are required to deliver University mail AS IT IS ADDRESSED.  It is the responsibility of each department to determine if mail addressed to a former employee should be re-directed to the individual who assumed that person's position, or if the piece should should be forwarded on.  (Via intra-campus mail for employees who have transferred to another department or via USPS mail for employees who have left the University.)

Intra-Departmental Mail

Mail is delivered within the University to other departments and dorms without additional postage costs. Recycle envelopes! Manila envelopes work best to expedite on-campus delivery and prevent the letter from being accidentally metered and routed as U.S. mail, but any envelope can be recycled. Visibly cross out the old address and write the new address in a "clean" space. Clearly address the piece with the person's FULL NAME and DEPARTMENT. Mail room personnel sort and deliver mail by DEPARTMENT NAME or sort code. Building designation should be included for departments having more than one location. Fold or tape the envelope closed.

*Delivery to programs that reside in facilities off University property and outside the contiguous central campus property line will not receive Mail Services delivery and pick-up. However, any program that operates immediately adjacent to the contiguous campus may request consideration for normalized campus mail delivery services on a case-by-case basis.

US Mail

Use a complete return address, including department name, on all outgoing mail to be metered.

Address envelopes so that the destination address is parallel to the longest edge of the envelope. Address large envelopes so that the flap is on the right or leading edge of the envelope. Seal all large envelopes.

Make sure all mail faces the same direction. Band together multiple pieces within each grouping.

Your barcoded index charge number must be included with all mail to be metered. Banded or boxed groups may have the barcoded index number on the top piece only. Please note that the barcode does not replace your return address. An MSU return address is still required on all outbound university mail. The barcode should be placed beside the return address on the top center (please do not place it on the top right corner where the postage will be imprinted). For your convenience, we encourage having barcodes pre-printed on envelopes when ordering stock. (Check with University Printing Services for proper format.)

Always leave the upper right-hand corner free of all marks. This is where metered postage is applied.

Use light to medium tint paper so that the meter imprint will be legible. (No red paper, please.)

If outgoing material is to have postage applied and bears a permit indicia or other mark, it must be covered with a white gummed label in order for the metered postage to show clearly.

Designate the desired class of service when mailing large envelopes or parcels (e.g., Priority , Media, Library, Parcel Post, etc.) If a class of service is not designated, we will assume the mail piece is to be sent First Class. Separate outgoing mail that requires special services, such as Certified, Insured, or Express Mail and clearly indicate what special service is required in a way that will remain intact during transit. (Sticky notes should be taped on.)

International Mail

When addressing international mail, it is critical that the name of the country be written in ENGLISH, IN FULL (no abbreviations) ON THE BOTTOM ADDRESS LINE. An address in a foreign language is permissible provided the name of the city, province, and country are also indicated in English.

All mail leaving the U.S. must be totally sealed on all sides. (No staples, tabs, etc.) Parcels, also, must have no open seams.

Items of mail containing personal handwritten or typewritten correspondence must be sent as letters or letter packages. (Letter packages require a custom declaration.)

Any merchandise traveling to foreign destinations MUST have appropriate declaration forms completed and attached. Customs forms must be completed PRIOR to mailing. The required form varies by weight and country, so prior contact with our department will help eliminate delay of packages.

International Express Mail and Global Priority Mail are services available to most countries for expedited international mailings. Cost is determined by specific weight and country of destination.


The following items must be completely sealed:

  • Personal mail with stamps
  • All foreign mail
  • All mail larger than a #10 (4" x 9.5") envelope
  • All envelopes with more than four pieces of standard bond paper

Mail to be sealed when postage is applied needs to have the flaps up and to be banded together to prevent contents from falling out.

Personal Mail

Incoming - Do Not use Montana State University as your personal mailing address. All non-university business mail must be directed to your home address or post office box. Post Office boxes for personal use are available for rent at the University Post Office.

Outgoing - Personal mail will be picked up with all other classes of mail if it has stamps on it, is sealed, and is banded separately.

Unwanted Advertising Mail: If you receive unsolicited catalogs or other unwanted advertising mail, you can have your name removed from mailing lists by writing to the address listed below.

Business Mailing Lists:

Mail Preference Service
c/o Direct Marketing Association
PO Box 3861
New York, NY 10163-3861