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Postage Reimbursement for Departments

Postage use at the University is highly regulated and governed by UC policy. UCLA Mail, Document & Distribution Services (MDDS) is the central mail unit for the campus. This department is the point of contact between UCLA and the U.S. Postal Service and maintains compliance with UC policy. For this reason, you must purchase any postage to be used for University business from MDDS. The UC postal policies are BUS-65, Guidelines for University Mail Services, and UCLA Policy 310; refer to them for complete information. 

Be aware of the following guidelines when purchasing postage for your department:

  • Postal stations in Ackerman (A level) and the Wilshire Center are for personal use only; they are not policy-approved sellers of postage for University business.
  • UCLA mail services are available only for official University use. Personal mail may be neither received nor sent at University expense.
  • Only the central mail unit is authorized to affix nonprofit bulk mail postage. It is the responsibility of the department manager to certify that the mailings meet the standards required by the regulations. (See the article on bulk mail for more information on these standards.)
  • The central mail unit manager maintains documentation of all meter and permit use for each department and will make records available to University and external auditors and federal postal inspectors as required.

To obtain postage for your departmental mail: 

Task Steps

1.  Obtain a recharge ID number.

Departments must have a recharge ID to pay for postage at UCLA. You can obtain a recharge ID number by using a manual or online form. For instructions on obtaining a recharge ID, refer to the online or manual recharge process (from the UCLA Accounting Class Training Manual). 

2.  Submit mail directly or purchase postage.


Departments have two options for purchasing postage:

  • Include your Recharge ID on each piece of mail or bundle and affix a note to the top of each bundle.  Submit the mail directly to MDDS to be metered and sent. Either leave the mail at a designated spot for regular department pickup or make arrangements with MDDS to have it sent as bulk mail (BMSR form required).  
  • Purchase stamps directly from MDDS to use for urgent mailings*

*In compliance with BUS-65, the central mail unit maintains an inventory of postal materials (stamps, postcards, etc.) which departments may purchase to meet special mailing needs. Campus departments other than the central mail unit can retain these materials only for urgent mailings, and must keep auditable records of usage. UCLA Policy 310 states that stamps should be used by campus departments only for occasional urgent mailings after the campus Mail Services Department is closed. 

Other than extraordinary circumstances in which your department has received advance approval from the Chancellor or designee, all postage must be purchased from MDDS. BUS-65 states that the purchase of postal materials directly from the U.S. Postal Service by departments other than the central mail unit is not permitted except with prior written approval by Chancellor or designee. In these extremely rare cases, your department must provide a copy of the approval to the central mail unit, MDDS, beforehand. 

3.  Place the order. 

If ordering stamps for your department, call UCLA Stamp Sales for a walk-in appointment or mail your request to them. When placing the order, provide a completed and signed Recharge Order Request (P-39).

To send bulk mail, you must have at least 200 pieces.  Review the information on bulk mail available online, and contact MDDS to make arrangements. Also, be aware that your department may qualify for a special, nonprofit rate.

4.  Receive the stamps (if ordered).

If you have mailed a stamp request form, MDDS will mail the stamps to your department through campus mail. A signature of receipt is required.  If you have made an appointment to pick up stamps at MDDS, the recipient will be asked to verify the order and sign as received.

5.  Inventory the stamps.

Stamps are of cash value, and therefore unused portions must be reported at the end of every month. An inventory form and instructions will be provided by MDDS at the time of purchase.