A large portion of Business Reply Mail envelopes produced prior to 2013 used the POSTNET barcode, which is currently being phased out by the Postal Service and replaced with the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb). All automated mail (sometimes known as presorted mail, bulk mail, or commercial mail) now requires an IMb and will not be accepted with a POSTNET barcode. The IMb allows for more information to be carried through the postal system and will eventually pave the way for all automated mail to be trackable per individual mailpiece.


All mailers should begin making plans to convert their Business Reply Mail to IMb. The Postal Service is aware that BRM has a long shelf life and it will take some time for this mail to circulate out of the postal system. To facilitate the transition from POSTNET to IMb, the following guidelines will apply:

  • The Postal Service will continue to process all BRM, with or without an IMb.
  • Basic BRM and High Volume BRM mailers will be charged the prevailing price for all mailpieces with or without an IMb.
  • Qualified Business Reply Mail (QBRM) permit holders currently approved for QBRM prices must transition to the IMb.