Definition of Postnet Barcode

Published: 05th March 2010
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The POSTNET (Postal Numeric Encoding Technique) symbology was developed in the United States for the automatic sorting of mails. POSTNET is only used for the mailing address marking. POSTNET is not a real barcode (as a barcode is coded by bars of variable width, while a POSTNET is encoded by bars of variable height). It is a numeric symbol that uses five bars (two long and three short) and four spaces for each coded character. The length of bars, and the spaces between them, is constant throughout the code. A single bar is used for the start and stop characters and the symbol generally include a check character.


Applications
Used solely by US Postal Service to encode Zip codes.

Benefits
It is extremely easy to print using almost any type of printer.

Limitations
Most standard bar code readers cannot decode Postnet.

Technical Information
It is a numeric symbol that uses five bars (two long and three short) and four spaces for each coded character. Postnet is a fixed dimension symbology meaning that the height, width and spacing of all bars must fit within exact tolerances. A single bar is used for the start and stop characters and the symbol generally includes a check character.

Postnet has 5, 9 or 11 numeric digits that are used by the U.S. Postal Service to encode ZIP Code information for automatic mail sorting by zip code. The bar code may represent a five digit ZIP Code (32 bars), a nine digit ZIP + 4 code (52 bars) or an eleven digit Delivery Point Code (62 bars)
A Postnet barcode has a starting frame bar, followed by 5,9, or 11 data characters, followed by a check digit, and a stop frame bar.

Additional Information
The Delivery Point Code is a normal Zip+4 code plus an additional 2 digits of information. Two additional digits are normally made up of the last two digits of the street address or PO Box. For example, if your zip code is "94070-1234" and your street address is "1025 Glenn Way ", your Delivery Point Code would be 94070-1234-25. The final "25" is taken from the last two digits of the 1025 street address.




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