303.02(c)(i) Postage on Return Receipt Postcards
The party submitting a return receipt postcard (see TMEP §303.02(c)) is responsible for placing proper postage on the self-addressed postcard. Proper postage means that it has a stamp(s) in the correct amount or a meter stamp postmark that complies with USPS requirements.
The USPS provides in its Domestic Mail Manual that the date in a meter postmark must be the actual date of deposit, with limited exceptions, and that meter postmarks used to prepay reply postage must not show the date. The USPS will not accept for mailing a post card that contains a postage meter date more than ten days old. Thus, a return receipt postcard containing a dated meter postmark may not be delivered by the USPS, because the postcard will be mailed by the Office substantially after the date on which the meter postmark is printed on the card.
Therefore, to ensure the receipt of a confirmation post card, the party filing the postcard should: (1) affix postage stamps to their postcards, or purchase already-stamped post cards from the USPS; or (2) if a postage meter is used, ensure that the meter postmark does not show the date, and follow the instructions in the postage meter license agreement regarding prepay reply postage. See notice at 1246 TMOG 42 (May 8, 2001).