Discussion Forums - USPS Postal Regulations USPS Postal Regulations

Topic: Over 13 oz taken to Post Office - OOPS

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Over 13 oz taken to Post Office - OOPS
Date Posted: 6/17/2009 8:11 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 41
Back To Top

I'm a newbie at all of this, but I had read that packages over 13 oz had to be taken to the PO.  

So I did just that and drove my package over to the PO tonight instead of putting it in my rural mail box.   I thought I was being a really GOOD girl!  However, it was only as I was closing the drop door at our PO that I read that the package had to be given directly to a PO clerk at the counter (which was closed at 7:30).

So I really messed that up  :(  What happens to the package now??   We're leaving on vacation Friday and I really needed to get that package mailed!!

Date Posted: 6/17/2009 11:50 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
Back To Top

That depends...  The 13 ounce rule only applies to packages that use regular stamps as the sole form of postage on the package.  If you used any form of electronic postage on the package, such as PBS postage, PayPal shipping, postage from Stamps.com or endicia.com, or postage from an APC machine, you're good to go and can drop the package in any mail collection receptacle.

If, however, all you used on the package was regular postage stamps, you'll probably be getting it back in a few days, with a note or sticker attached telling you it needs to be brought to the counter.

Also, just FYI, it may also be acceptable to hand the package to your regular letter carrier, but I'm not 100% certain about that.  I researched the history of the 13 ounce rule and posted it in another thread tonight.  Back in 1995 when the rule was first established (as the 16 ounce rule) the regulations then permitted this, but I've seen reports from others of carriers refusing to accept such packages.  It could be that the regs were changed to disallow that, or it could be the carriers aren't familiar with the full regulation, but either way, if the carrier refuses it you'd still have to take it to the PO and hand it over the counter.  "Ask your carrier" is the only advice I can give regarding that.

 

Date Posted: 6/18/2009 2:30 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
Back To Top

It could go either way Cindy, some packages over 13 oz sneak through.  Maybe call your PO tomorrow, if your package is rejected they should know right away.  A quick trip to the PO to identify your package may solve the situation. 

As a rural route customer, you may wish to check on the 13 oz regs for future reference.  Pretty sure the carrier isn't supposed to pick up if the return address is different, and there may be other restrictions (I forget the details on this one).

Date Posted: 6/18/2009 3:47 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
Back To Top

Hmm...  I got curious to see if the provision for carrier pickup of stamped packages over 16 ounces got removed when it changed to 13 ounces.  Oddly though, the only mention of it I can find in the DMM (Domestic Mail Manual) is in regards to Priority Mail packages.  There's no other mention of the 13 ounce rule in the entire DMM from what I can see.

Now, I know the rule exists, and that it is enforced, but I don't have any clue as to why it's not in the DMM.  And yes, I made sure my copy was updated.  I just redownloaded it from the USPS site to be sure.  (20mb PDF file)

Anyway, the rule as published covers anything over 13 ounces, regardless of what class mail it is, where the postage is paid solely with adhesive stamps.  In that case the rule states it must be presented at a retail service counter.  So it seems to me that the provison for pickup by your carrier has been done away with from the time the policy was first implemented.



Last Edited on: 6/18/09 9:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Over 13 ounces
Date Posted: 6/19/2009 12:28 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,420
Back To Top

There are some postal worker who refuse to pick up packages at your house...mine isn't one of them.   I think i read that they are required to.

Date Posted: 6/19/2009 2:57 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
Back To Top

Yes, if you're on a rural route I believe that is a requirement, but I was wondering specifically about the 13 ounce rule.  Back when it was the 16 ounce rule it was part of the regulations, and your carrier was allowed to take packages over 16 ounces with stamps on it if they knew you.  That seems to have changed because the new rule does not have that provision.



Last Edited on: 6/19/09 4:08 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/19/2009 4:44 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
Back To Top

Hmm...I've heard mixed information on rural carriers.  Some people are told that rural route carriers are not required to pick up packages, it's a courtesy service.  I should ask my nice postal employees to refresh my memory on the whole rural route issue, esp. since I live on one :-)

Connie C. (Cade) - ,
Date Posted: 6/19/2009 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2006
Posts: 24
Back To Top

Okay, the 13 oz rule applies to ALL mail 13 oz and over bearing stamps. Your city carrier CANNOT accept your package (bearing stamps) and if I'm thinking correctly (I'll double check at work) rural carriers can only accept it without postage and when you give them the money for it. The only reason rural carriers can accept them at all is they are supposedly 'post offices on wheels'. Again, I'll try to remember to double check that but since I'm on vac next week I might need a reminder. I will say I am almost positive about the rural carriers and I know for sure about the city carriers.

Date Posted: 6/19/2009 8:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
Back To Top

I figured if anyone would know it would be you Connie.  :)

Any idea why the 13 ounce rule isn't in the DMM except as it pertains to Priority mail?

Date Posted: 6/20/2009 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2008
Posts: 1,080
Back To Top

Connie has an excellent memory. That is the rule for the rurals. They can pick up with no postage and money but not with stamps.

Connie, why are you thinking about work on AL?

Bernard, yes the rule changed when the weight changed. I am not sure the exact rules are published for the general public. I seem to remember that some of that stuff was supposed to be just for postal employees to use. I might be way off base but it seems like they did not want all the information given to someone who was trying to get around the rules. I might have to do some research myself.

 

Connie C. (Cade) - ,
Date Posted: 6/20/2009 9:17 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2006
Posts: 24
Back To Top

 Patti is right about the actual manual being confidential. That's what is says on every page. I'm not sure if there is someplace you can look it up. I always look in my "confidential" Aviation Security book. Maybe between the two of us well find the answer. Of course, I am on AL (annual leave) next week and I'm pretty sure I'm not going into the office to look it up. And, no, I'm not going anywhere exciting. The 4-H fair is next week and I'm a board member and my son shows hogs and chickens so we'll be living at the fairgrounds.

Date Posted: 6/20/2009 9:43 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
Back To Top

No big deal Connie & Patti, I was just curious is all.