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Effective: 2021-01-11


What Is Lettermail?

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Lettermail is the most convenient and cost-effective way in Canada to send personal messages, business correspondence, invoices, and billing statements within Canada.

These can include:

  • letters, cards (including postcards) or similar communications and self-mailers
  • an annual, semi-annual or quarterly report
  • receipts or invoices (or similar documents containing financial information)
  • a notice of voting for federal, provincial or municipal events
  • a CD or DVD (must be submitted to Canada Post for testing and approval)
  • a flexible magnet
  • dry biological specimens (see Section 2.1 Suggestions for how to package and wrap items of ABCs of Mailing)
  • or any other mail the customer chooses to send which meets the applicable qualifications.

Lettermail falls into two categories:

  • Standard – mail that meets the size and weight requirements detailed in Table 1.
  • Other (Non-standard and Oversize) – mail that does not qualify as Standard Mail and which does not exceed the maximum size and weight requirements detailed in Table 1.
Lettermail with a postal indicia and tendered with an Order (Statement of Mailing) is subject to the terms and conditions outlined in the General Terms and Conditions. See in particular the section entitled “Entire Agreement”.


Unacceptable Items

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The following items cannot be mailed as Standard Lettermail:

  • bottle caps
  • loose coins*
  • food stuffs
  • glass
  • jewellery
  • keys
  • liquids
  • pencils
  • pens
  • powders
  • seeds
  • anything fragile or perishable
  • anything that may soil or harm other mail, postal equipment, or can cause injuries to persons handling them.

The above items may only be mailed as Other (Non-standard and Oversize) and the applicable price shall be charged.

Coins can be accepted as Standard Lettermail provided they are properly enclosed (For commercial customers, refer to the Commercial Mail Customer Guide, Designing section at canadapost.ca/CMguide).
In order to qualify for Standard mail prices, place punched or perforated cards, or self-mailers with a pin-feed hold strip in sealed envelopes.
Staples are not permitted on the outside of a Standard item.



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Enclosures are acceptable as long as they are securely wrapped to prevent loss of or damage to the items, damage to postal equipment or the other mail and injury to persons handling them.

A Business Reply Mail item may be enclosed in Lettermail provided the customer has signed the appropriate Agreement with Canada Post.

Repositionable Notes (RPN) – repositionable notes is an option that allows mailers to affix an adhesive note to the outside of a Lettermail item (excluding polybags).

For commercial customers, refer to the Commercial Mail Customer Guide, Designing section at canadapost.ca/CMguide for additional information on the requirements and placement of repositionable notes.


Size and Weight

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Each Lettermail item must meet the size and weight specifications.

Imperial equivalents are provided for your convenience.
Table 1: Lettermail size and weight
Aspect Ratio**
Standard Lettermail
140 mm (5.6 in.)
90 mm (3.6 in.)
0.18 mm (0.007 in.)
1.3 : 1
2 g (0.07 oz.)
245 mm (9.6 in.)
156 mm (6.1 in.)
5 mm (0.2 in.)
2.6 : 1
50 g (1.76 oz.)
Square Envelopes are acceptable (min. size of 140 mm x 140 mm x 0.18 mm and max. size of 156 mm x 156 mm x 5 mm).
Aspect ratio is the relationship between the length and the width. Recommended by Canada Post.
Should be of sufficient grammage to provide the stiffness necessary for the card or postcard to withstand processing without difficulty.
Other (e.g. envelopes, cards and self-mailers)
140 mm (5.6 in.)
90 mm (3.6 in.)
0.18 mm (0.007 in.)
3 g (0.11 oz.)
380 mm (14.9 in.)
270 mm (10.6 in.)
20 mm (0.8 in.)
500 g (17.6 oz.)
140 mm (5.6 in.)
90 mm (3.6 in.)
0.18 mm (0.007 in.)
5 g* (0.17 oz.)
380 mm (14.9 in.)
270 mm (10.6 in.)
20 mm (0.8 in.)
500 g (17.6 oz.)
A self-mailer is an article other than a card, postcard, magazine or catalogue that does not have an outer cover, wrapping or envelope in addition to the paper or material on which the communication is written.
Standard items that exceed any one of the maximum dimensions become a Non-standard item. Standard Lettermail cards and self-mailers must be rectangular in shape. Cards and self-mailers that do not meet this ratio (e.g. square items) or square envelopes outside the allowable square dimensions are subject to Other Lettermail prices.
Any item that exceeds the maximum size or weight of Oversize Lettermail no longer qualifies as Lettermail and may qualify for one of the Parcel Services.



Standard size Lettermail envelopes and self-mailers must be fully sealed on all sides. Customers mailing unsealed envelopes or brochures, fanfolds or newsletters not enclosed in envelopes, are subject to Other Lettermail Prices

When supported by two level supports located no more than 10 mm from the left and right edges, Standard Lettermail may not sag more than 22 mm in the middle.

On an item of Standard Lettermail, graphics or other printing shall not be located in the following zones:

  • all the areas to the right of the address block
  • all the areas below the address block
  • 19 mm high by 105 mm long, measured from the right edge along the bottom
  • in the area prescribed for postage.

Additional regulatory requirements apply to Standard Lettermail paid by postage meter or postal indicia. Visit the Lettermail Regulations at http://www.laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/Regulations/SOR-88-430/index.html.


Postal Indicia

A Postal Indicia is a marking that identifies the service name and the customer number. It must be printed or applied to each mail item when paying by commercial account. The indicia must be created by using Canada Post-supplied artwork.

Detailed postal indicia requirements, specifications and artwork can be downloaded from canadapost.ca/indicia.


Customized Postal Indicia

A Customized Postal Indicia gives customers the opportunity to leverage the upper-right corner of an item for marketing purposes. Canada Post reserves the right to refuse any Customized Postal Indicia design that it, at its sole discretion, deems non-mailable (see Non-mailable Matter in the Canada Postal Guide).

All Postal Indicia items must be accompanied by an Order (Statement of Mailing) and must be deposited at a Canada Post facility and not in a street letterbox.


Pricing Information

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To obtain information on pricing:


Payment Options

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Acceptable proofs of payment and methods of payment for Lettermail items. Some restrictions or conditions may apply.

Proofs of payment
Methods of payment
Contract customer
Contract customer
  • meter impression
  • postage stamp*
  • postal indicia
  • postage stamp
  • Account
  • Business cheque
  • Cash**
  • Credit card (where available)
  • Debit card (where available)**
  • Meter
  • Money Order**
  • Postage stamp*
  • Cash
  • Certified cheque
  • Credit card (where available)
  • Debit card (where available)
  • Money Order**
  • Postage stamp
Customers using the EST cannot pay by postage stamp.
Payment by cash, debit card or Money Order is available only to customers paying at a post office.

For more information, see Paying For Your Mailing.


Literature for the Blind

Materials for the use of the blind mailed in Canada for delivery in Canada may be sent free of postage. See Literature for the Blind for more information.


Delivery Standards at a Glance

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The delivery standards are estimates of how long it will take for the mail to be delivered. These delivery standards are not guaranteed.

Table 2: Delivery standards for the Lettermail service
Delivery Zone
Within Province
Major Urban Centres
2 days
3 days
4 days
Non-major Urban Centres
2 days
3 days
4 days
Northern Regions and Remote Centres
2 days
up to 6 days
up to 8 days
Delivery standards for items deposited at Canada Post Receipt Verification Unit (RVU) sites are subject to cut-off times. Mail deposited after the cut-off time is considered as being deposited on the next business day. Visit canadapost.ca/cutofftimes for current cut-off information for each RVU site.

For a list of FSAs for Major Urban Centres and Non-Major Urban Centres, visit Delivery Standards of the Canada Postal Guide under Section 2 - Table 7.



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A feature is something that is provided as part of the basic service. The available features are described below.


Mail Forwarding

Lettermail items that cannot be delivered as originally addressed will be forwarded to the addressee while there is a Mail Forwarding request in effect.


Return to Sender

For Lettermail items that are undeliverable, or for which no Mail Forwarding request is in effect, these will be returned to the sender if a Canadian return address appears on the outside of the item. When the return address is on the inside of the item, it will be returned to the customer for a fee.



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An option is a service enhancement which is not included automatically as part of the basic service. The Customer must select the option by checking a box or affixing an additional label or sticker. Most options are available for an additional fee.


Registered Mail

Registered Mail secures the signature of the addressee (or representative) and provides the sender with a proof of mailing, a copy of the signature and the date upon delivery of the item.

Barcoded shipping labels allow Registered Mail items to be tracked. Delivery information is available, usually by noon on the business day following delivery, on Canada Post’s website, by contacting Customer Service at 1‑888‑550‑6333, the EST or the Electronics Data Interchange, where links exist. Some exceptions apply in smaller centres.

Registered Mail offers Signature Copy, Delivery Confirmation and Coverage for loss or damage. For detailed information, see Registered Mail™ (Domestic).


Forward Under Cover

Letters forwarded under cover to a postmaster with a request for reposting must be endorsed “POSTED AT _______ UNDER COVER TO THE POSTMASTER AT ___________”. Items containing Lettermail prepaid by postage stamps that are sent under cover to the postmaster must bear the words “POSTMASTER, PLEASE OPEN FOR CANCELLATION AND PROCESSING” and are processed in the usual manner. The item containing the Lettermail must have the correct postage.


Do Not Forward

Do Not Forward is an option whereby a Lettermail item, which cannot be delivered as addressed because the addressee has filed a Mail Forwarding request with Canada Post, shall be returned to the sender and not forwarded to the addressee.

Lettermail customers wishing to use the Do Not Forward option must:

  1. Use Electronic Shipping Tools 2.0 or the Online version of EST to add the Do Not Forward option to an Order (Statement of Mailing), and
  2. Apply the Do Not Forward endorsement to the front of each mail item (placed to the left and above the destination address, or in the upper left-hand corner below the return address). The Do Not Forward endorsement can be downloaded from canadapost.ca/indicia.



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See Addressing Guidelines for information on addressing.

Additional regulatory requirements apply to Standard Lettermail paid by postage meter or postal indicia. Visit http://www.laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/Regulations/SOR-88-430/index.html for the Lettermail Regulations.


Mail Preparation

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Lettermail must be securely wrapped to prevent loss of or damage to the item, damage to postal equipment or other mail and injury to persons handling the item.

Standard and Oversize Lettermail tendered with an Order (Statement of Mailing) must be containerized as set out in the Commercial Mail Customer Guide, Preparing section at canadapost.ca/CMguide.


Deposit of Lettermail

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Postage for Lettermail can be purchased at any post office. If sufficient postage (stamp or meter impression) is affixed to the item, it may be deposited in a street letter box, at any post office, in a Community Mailbox (CMB) or at a deposit location. Items with a postal indicia cannot be dropped into a street letter box or a Community Mailbox (CMB) and must be dropped off at a post office or a deposit location.

Items deposited after the last collection time specified on the street letter box or after the Canada Post-approved postal facility cut-off times, are considered as being deposited on the next business day. Visit canadapost.ca/cutofftimes for the list of facility cut-off times.


Deposit location types

We have assessed the capabilities of our deposit locations to ensure they are properly equipped and capable of handling your mail efficiently and on time. The type of mail and the volume which can be accepted in each of these facilities have been defined into the following Deposit Location Types:

  • Receipt Verification Units (RVUs): accept all products and all volumes with the exception of machineable mail (i.e.: mail prepared in accordance with the Machineable Mail Specifications). Not all RVUs are approved to accept all types of Machineable Mail. This list of approved deposit locations for Machineable Mail can be found at canadapost.ca/cutofftimes.
  • Commercial Deposit Centres (CDCs): Facilities that are equipped to accept, verify, and process commercial mailings with the exception of Machineable Publications Mail (customers will be referred to the nearest RVU). Commercial mailings deposited at a CDC will continue to be processed at a Canada Post mail processing plant. Customers exceeding the acceptable volumes will be referred to the nearest RVU. Machineable Personalized Mail™ is accepted in a CDC.
  • Corporate Post Offices: Accepts all commercial products except Machineable Publications Mail. Customers exceeding the acceptable volumes will be referred to the nearest CDC or RVU.
  • Delivery Facilities: Accepts Neighbourhood Mail™ for local delivery (to a maximum of full coverage for the Delivery facility).

The following table lists the different location types and maximum volume each location is designed to handle. A full list of deposit locations across Canada can be found at canadapost.ca/depositlocations.

Table 3: Maximum volume acceptable per day, by deposit location type for Lettermail
Product Type
Deposit Location Type
Maximum Volume
(Per Day)
Standard & Other
Receipt Verification Unit (RVU)
No Maximum
Commercial Deposit Centre (CDC) - LEVEL 1
2 shipping units*
Commercial Deposit Centre (CDC) - LEVEL 2
3 shipping units*
Commercial Deposit Centre (CDC) - LEVEL 3
7 shipping units*
Corporate Post Office - LEVEL 1
5 containers
Corporate Post Office - LEVEL 2
12 containers
Delivery Facility
Not accepted
Find a Deposit Location at canadapost.ca/depositlocations.
Commercial Deposit Centre (CDC) Levels 1, 2 and 3 and Delivery Facilities are not equipped to process mail received in monotainers or pallets that are double-stacked.
Containers include Canada Post-supplied containers and customer-supplied cardboard containers.


Delivery of Lettermail

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Lettermail items can be delivered to any of the following locations:

  • to the door
  • to a group mailbox
  • to apartments and condominiums
  • to a community mailbox
  • to a rural mailbox
  • to a post office box
  • via general delivery
  • via a container.
Some exceptions apply.

Customer Service Glossary General Terms and Conditions Canada Post Corporation Act and Regulations