Answers To Your Frequently Asked Questions

May I have personal packages shipped or mailed to my campus address?
We understand the convenience for many of you to have personal packages shipped or mailed to your office address. However, University Policy ADM-0110 states, “Faculty, staff, and students living off campus must have their personal mail addressed to their homes or off-campus residences.” There are more than 3,000 employees at Sacramento State, so it is easy to see how abuse of this policy quickly affects the timely flow of mail through the Mail Center.

As an alternative, you may want to consider using the United States Postal Service’s “Hold for Pick Up” service. This is a great option for college students to ship packages and mail to a Post Office near their campus, or for faculty and staff who want sensitive items held at local Post Offices until they can pick them up. In most cases, items will be held for 30 days at General Delivery. There are USPS locations all around campus making it convenient to pick up packages during lunch or driving to or from campus. Similar services are available from United Parcel Service and Federal Express.  Return to List

How quickly is our outgoing mail delivered to the USPS?
The USPS picks up outgoing mail at the campus Mail Services Center at 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. All mail picked up by your campus Mail Services carrier will be picked up by the USPS the same day (except for events beyond our control). Should you miss your campus pickup, you can bring your outgoing mail directly to the Mail Services Center (see campus map) no later than 3:00 p.m. to ensure that it will be metered and ready for pickup when the USPS carrier arrives.  Return to List

What are the hours for the Mail Services Center, and do you provide other postal services?
Mail Services is open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. during summer hours) and is located in the northwest corner of the Facilities Services building. We can provide custom certify and return receipt forms, express and priority pouches and boxes; trays and tubs for bulk mailings; and intra-campus envelopes. You may also arrange next day air, and 2nd and 3rd day shipping and ground services through UPS to both domestic and international destinations.

We also provide full service for your mass mailings (defined as 500 or more pieces of first class mail or 200 or more pieces of standard [formerly bulk] or non-profit mail). Mail Services will certify your mailing list, address and/or tab, tray, bag, and band your job and deliver it to the post office with the proper documentation to qualify your mailing for the lowest rates. And if your mailing is printed by the university’s Reprographics Services department, the entire job will be handled in one location reducing delays, errors and expense. Recent postal regulations make certifying your mailing list even more important to avoid delays or rejection by the post office. So give us a call at 278-6198 (or email us) to consult with one of our service professionals regarding any printing and mass mailing services.  Return to List

Why is it important to update my mailing list?
The USPS New Move Update regulation requires that mailing lists be corrected and certified no more than ninety-five (95) days in advanceof a mass mailing. It is very important that departments eliminate duplicate names and undeliverable or incomplete addresses from their database before sending out a mass mailing. This saves your department the costs of printing and mailing pieces that will not make it to their destination; and also saves on the cost of returns, which are charged back to the sending department’s budget.

The most successful mailers are not those that get sent to the greatest number of people, but those that actually reach the greatest number of people. Mail Services can assist you in making sure your list is accurate and deliverable.  Return to List

How do I get my mailing list certified?
All mass mailing lists must be certified within 95 days of your mass mailing. It is crucial that you send Mail Services your mailing list within this time period for any mailing that will use the campus permit. Mail Services will certify your list and forward any errors reported by the USPS. It is best to allow a minimum of 10 to 15 working days before your mailing date to allow time for review of the error lists and making necessary corrections.  Return to List

What are the requirements for addressing outgoing mail?

A standardized address format is required by the USPS for all outgoing mail using the university’s permit, and is strongly encouraged for all other outgoing mail. The benefits to your department include a reduction in mail that is not deliverable due to incorrect or incomplete addresses, savings to your department through greater discounts and fewer charge backs for returns, and shorter delivery times due to increased efficiencies. The document linked here provides complete information on correctly addressing mail and maintaining your mailing lists.  Return to List

Why does my incoming mail sometimes have trouble finding me?
Imagine for a moment that you are in the Mail Center ready to distribute mail, and the envelope you just picked up was addressed:

Professor J. Doe
6000 J St
Sacramento CA 95819

Where would you direct it? This happens far too many times every day we distribute mail, and it causes a significant and costly waste of time trying to identify the correct department and mail stop. The university has more than 3,000 employees, many of them new or recent hires. It is a formidable task to deliver that piece of mail to the correct department, even more so to do it within the Mail Center’s delivery standards (delivered to the department on the same day received in the Mail Center). You can help eliminate this problem by observing the following: When giving your university address to persons or organizations that will be sending you first class mail, use your campus mail stop as the zip+4 extension. For example (assuming Department of Economics):

Professor J. Doe
6000 J St
Sacramento CA 95819-6082

When giving your university address to persons or organizations that will be sending you mass mailings (subscriptions, newsletters, catalogs, non-profits, etc.), then follow this example:

Professor J. Doe
Dept of Economics MS 6082
6000 J St
Sacramento CA 95819

In the first case, the person addressing the mail controls the zip+4 extension and it will remain properly addressed. In the second example (used for mass mailings of all types), the zip+4 extension is determined by a computer program that reviews the mailing list before addressing the pieces. It will default to the USPS zip code for the university’s main address (6000 J St) which is 95819-2605. If you do not include your department and mail stop number in the second address line, your incoming mail will be delayed while the Mail Center staff works to determine where it needs to be directed.  Return to List

How do I prepare my department's mail before the Mail Services clerk picks up our bag?

Outgoing mail that is not properly prepared before pickup causes delays in processing and various other issues. Mail Services spends significant time sorting the daily mail; however, it is the departments’ responsibility to properly prepare all outgoing mail picked up by Mail Services. Mail Services advises departments to: Stack and rubber band all off-campus mail with the flaps closed. Departments must also seal all manila clasp envelopes. Always separate campus mail, international mail and unsealed mail from regular mail by binding with a rubber band. Avoid tossing un-banded mail into your department's mail bag. When mailing 20-50 letters using the same account code, you can bundle them together with a rubber band and attach a piece of paper to the bundle indicating the speedtype (account code) for metering.

To prepare mail for on-campus delivery (intra-campus mail): Only intra-campus manila envelopes should be used for your intra-campus mail and you should band it separately from outgoing First Class mail. When using intra-campus envelopes, cross out the previous address and name. If you use regular white envelopes for this mail, your intra-campus mail could be processed as regular mail and your department charged for postage. When addressing intra-campus mail, the individual's name and campus mail stop is sufficient. Do not use building, room number, or telephone extension when addressing intra-campus mail.

By following these guidelines, you ensure that your mail will experience the quickest possible processing time and expedited delivery to its final destination. Return to List

May I use a white envelope for on-campus (intra-campus) mail?
Use only manila colored envelopes when sending mail to campus mail stops. White envelopes go off-campus; manila envelopes stay on-campus (except clasp). This approach expedites sorting and speeds your mail on its way to the intended recipient. Mixing white business-size envelopes (#10) directed to on-campus addresses with your other out-going mail could result in the on-campus envelopes being metered with postage. Those postage fees will be charged to your department's budget. Return to List

May I mail an envelope with a binder clip on the contents?
Mail that contains binder clips, paper clips, heavy staples and other foreign objects will slow down delivery and most likely will incur additional charges from the USPS that will be charged to your department. To avoid these situations, it is highly recommended that you eliminate these objects from your mail pieces. If it is absolutely necessary to include these objects in a mail piece, please bundle the pieces together and mark for special handling. Return to List

What do I need to do when I move to a different department on campus?
First, do not send a change-of-address form to the USPS. Do take the following steps as soon as possible to avoid misdirected and delayed incoming mail:

  1. Notify all your regular correspondents as early as possible of your new campus mail stop, and remind them to use the address format given here.
  2. The printed Campus Directory is no longer published; however, it does still exist in an online version. View the online directory.
  3. Contact the subscription department for publications, newsletters, and other mass mailings that you receive (many are online, or look on the Contents or Copyright page). Ensure that they are including your mail stop in the address line.
  4. Order new business cards and stationary as soon as possible.
  5. Change the signature line on your outgoing email.
  6. Update any web pages that include your campus mail stop. Return to List

What are the deadlines for mailing during the holiday season?
Mail volumes start to increase the week before Thanksgiving (third week in November). Packages and letters need to be mailed earlier to ensure sufficient time for arrival by the desired date. The USPS typically publishes a news release in early November each year that gives the current deadlines and suggestions for various types of holiday season mail, including mail to international or military service destinations. Return to List