USPS Intelligent Mail Barcode

intelligent mail barcode

The United States Postal Service (USPS) Intelligent Mail Barcode is a relatively new symbology used to track and sort letters. It combines all of the information of POSTNET and PLANET sybmologies, in addition to allowing for additional information, all while maintaining the size of a standard POSTNET symbol. Thus, the Intelligent Mail barcode expands the ability to better track individual pieces of mail, providing customers with greater visibility.

How It Works
The Intelligent Mail barcode is a height-modulated, 31-digit barcode that uses four different types of vertical bars—full, tracker, ascender and descender.

The Intelligent Mail Barcode:

  • Has a large data capacity
  • Provides mailers with more digits, allowing for unique identification
  • Offers more accurate and detailed information about mailings
  • Eliminates the need for multiple barcodes

As of now, the Intelligent Mail barcode is optional, but the Postal Service will require the use of it beginning May 2011, as it offers substantial benefits and will be necessary for automation prices.

If you have any questions on how to switch to the USPS Intelligent Mail Barcode, feel free to contact me at

If you’ve already switched to the Intelligent Mail Barcode, please share your thoughts with us!