Mail Piece Design


Postcards must be rectangular to qualify for First-Class-Mail prices.  Postcards size requirements
Oversized postcards will be charged as a letter or large envelope.

Size Requirements

Minimum Height: 3 1/2"  Maximum Height: 4 1/4"

Minimum Length: 5"  Maximum Length: 6"

Minimum Thickness: 0.007"  Maximum Thickness: 0.016"

Standard Sized Envelopes Standard envelope dimensions
Envelopes must be rectangular to qualify for letter prices.

Size Requirements

Minimum Height: 3 1/2"  Maximum Height: 6 1/8"

Minimum Length: 5"  Maximum Length: 11 1/2"

Minimum Thickness: 0.007"  Maximum  Thickness: 1/4"

Non-Standard Sized Mail

Non-Standard mail, like square or vertical envelopes, lumpy or rigid envelopes, or mail with clasps,

strings, or buttons, cannot use our automated processing machines. Hand-canceled mail is charged a non-machineable surcharge.

Large envelopes must be rectangular to qualify for flat pricing. Large Envelope dimenesions

Large envelopes that exceed size requirements of a flat will be charged package prices.

Size Requirements

Maximum Height: 12"

Maximum Length: 15"

Maximum Thickness: 3/4"

Packages can be sent using Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, First-Class Package Service-Retail and Package Services. Package dimensions

Contents must not weigh more than 70 lbs. Lower weight limits may apply.

Packing the Box

When you mail a package, choose a sturdy box with enough room for cushioning material around the contents to protect fragile items and prevent items from shifting.

Tape your box shut and reinforce the seams with 2-inch wide packing tape. Do not use cord, string or twine because it gets caught in the mail processing equipment.

This is a partial list so please call for more information.

Prohibited Domestic Items

  • Airbags
  • Ammunition
  • Explosives
  • Gasoline

Prohibited International Items

  • Aerosols
  • Airbags
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Ammunition
  • Cigarettes
  • Dry ice
  • Explosives
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Gasoline
  • Nail polish
  • Perfumes containing alcohol
  • Poison

Restricted Domestic Items

  • Aerosols
  • Cigarettes and tobacco
  • Dry ice
  • Glues
  • Live animals
  • Nail polish
  • Perfumes
  • Poisons
  • Prescription drugs
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Cremated remains
  • Firearms
  • Lithium batteries
  • Matches
  • Paint
  • Perishable items
  • Fragile items

Restricted International Items

  • Cigars
  • Medical devices
  • Lithium batteries
  • Medicine or drugs

Mail delivered to your department, addressed to a staff member who has left the department, should be forwarded as needed, by your department if the new address is known. First Class mail is forwarded free of charge for one year. When forwarding such mail, you should draw a line through the incorrect address, insert the correct new address, band separately, and return the mail to Campus Mail Services. If you do not have a forwarding address for the staff member, mark on the face of the envelope “Moved-No-Forward” and return to Campus Mail Services.

Periodical mail (magazines, newspapers etc.) is forwarded for 60 days free of charge.

Standard mail may not be forwarded; however, if an ancillary endorsement (i.e. Address, Forwarding, Return, or Change Service Requested) is written on the item you should return the item to Campus Mail Services.

An official change-of-address form cannot be left by a staff member or student at the DeKalb Post Office or at Campus Mail Services for the purpose of re-directing mail. A form can be left with Campus Mail Services for reference purposes only.

Any mail received at Campus Mail Services which does not have postage affixed and/or has no accompanying postage charge slips will be returned to the sender. If such mail does not have a return address, it will be sent to the dead letter office, as postal regulations prohibit sending this type of mail postage due.

The following types of non-U.S. stamped mail cannot be accepted for processing by Campus Mail Services:

  • Any material that would be prohibited by federal regulations
  • Personal unstamped mail involving non-university business (i.e. notices of garage sales, homes for sale, personal gatherings, meeting notices for organizations not affiliated with NIU, fraternity or sorority social functions, etc.)
  • Personal greeting in bulk, including holiday greeting cards
  • Literature, circulars, or notices originated by non-university organizations
  • Personal books
  • Petitions, money solicitations, membership recruitment, election or campaign literature of partisan nature
  • Currency or coin
  • Scandalous or libelous material
  • Controversial material of any kind
  • Unstamped commercial solicitations
  • Unstamped advertisement

If the above guidelines are met organizations of university employees may utilize Campus Mail Services for campus deliveries without affixing U.S. mail postage subject to the following rules:

  • Employee organization(s) shall include groups of at least ten employees organized, whether incorporated or not, for common recreational, social, educational, charitable or employment purposes. It shall also include similar organizations of spouses of university employees.
  • Any employee organizations mailing more than fifty pieces must be brought directly to the Campus Mail Services central office. Noncompliance with this paragraph will result in non-delivery of the mailing.
  • In order to assure the reasonable delivery of official U.S. mail or official university mailings, an employee organization may use Campus Mail Services for a mailing to members or prospective members no more than once every ten working days.
  • Campus Mail Services and the university shall continue to determine priorities for sorting and delivery of various classifications of mail. Highest priority shall be given to the disposition of postage-affixed U.S. mail, interoffice mail, and official university mail.
  • All other portions of NIU Business Procedure No. 13-1 remain in full force and effect unless expressly modified herein.

For information on postal rates for various classes of mail or current fees for special services and handling, contact Campus Mail Services at 815-753-6286.

Incoming Mail – Faculty and Staff

To be processed without delay, incoming mail from correspondents must use the following format:

Postcards size requirements

DEKALB, IL. 60115-2828

The same information must be used in the return address for outgoing university mail.

Incoming Mail – Student Dorms

To be processed without delay, incoming mail from correspondents must use the following format:

DEKALB, IL. 60115-2828

For more information on Student Mail visit Housing's student services web page.

Outgoing Mail - Addressing & Labeling;

Print complete and correct addresses clearly in capital letters with a pen or permanent marker or use typed mailing labels.

Do not use commas or periods.

Include the ZIP Code™+4 whenever possible.

Mark the package "Fragile" or "Perishable" when appropriate.

If you’re reusing a box, make sure all other addresses – and barcodes, if applicable – are covered or blacked out.

For your Return Address please use the same address format as you use for your incoming mail.