The Comprehensive Guide to USPS Intelligent Mail Indicia (IMI) and Postage Meter Decertification [Q&A]



Everything you need to manage the new postal technology and the decertification of mailing equipment.

Postage meters are important to the smooth operation of your business and timely deliverability
of critical customer communications. So what happens when your machine gets decertified? 
Let's get that question and many others answered...



Intelligent Mail Indicia FAQs


What is indicia?

An indicia is a printed graphic, marking or barcode on mail pieces that indicates to the United States Postal Service® that your postage on a particular piece has been paid. Indicia is used in place of stamp. It can be in the form of a permit imprint, metered postage, or a PC Postage product.

IBI: Information-Based Indicia (Phased out by June 2024)

IMI: Intelligent Mail Indicia (New Technology)

What are the benefits of Intelligent Mail Indicia (IMI)?

IMI is good news for your business! This new technology allows the Post Office to automate more of the behind-the-scenes work that goes delivering the millions of mail pieces and shipments sent every day. All that efficiency is passed on to your business in the form of improved delivery times and better account security and tracking. Faster delivery and tracking of your invoices, statements and other critical mail pieces results in shorter billing cycles, better days sales outstanding and happier customers!

There’s more good news for businesses of all sizes. Grab our IMI Reference Guide to see how IMI stacks up to the current postage technology.

Why is the U.S. Postal Service decertifying postage meters?

Postage meters currently use Information-Based Indicia (IBI) technology. This was great for its time, but it only offers basic information. A new standard was needed to match current mailing and shipping volumes and to keep mailing modernized with other digital technologies. That’s where IMI technology comes in!

  • Better data
  • More accurate postage
  • Auditable tracking on every mail piece
  • Postal information to and from your meter is encrypted and more secure
  • Fraud detection

When is the deadline for decertification?

To meet the deadline for decertification, you need to work with a USPS® certified postage meter company, like Quadient, to find the right postage meter for your mail volume. There are several important dates to be aware of, so let’s break it all down…

> June 30, 2024: The USPS will officially decertify all non-IMI postage meters.

> December 31, 2024: Last day to use your non-IMI postage meter. After this date, all non-IMI compliant postage meters will be considered “inactive.” 

> June 30, 2025: Indicia printed with decertified, inactive systems will no longer be considered valid postage for mailing or refunds.

> June 30, 2026: The USPS has provided this extension date for some mailers who meet specific criteria. Please contact us or your dedicated Quadient rep to learn if your business meets those requirements.

What should I do if my Pitney Bowes postage meter is decertified?

For a complete list of Pitney Bowes discontinued products and recommendations from our mail experts, visit our IMI-Ready Product Guide! Pitney Bowes is also sunsetting many other mailing products, so we included affordable solutions for envelope stuffing, address validation, and mail software. The only Quadient products that need to be replaced are the IS/IN/IM Series postage meters

List of Pitney Bowes decertified and discontinued products

Why should I upgrade now?

Avoid the last-minute rush! Switching to an IMI-compliant postage meter will keep your mail operations running smoothly with little to no downtime. Plus, the sooner you switch the sooner you can experience the benefits of IMI, like simple postage calculation, better security and advanced tracking.


Quadient IMI-Ready postage meters

Still have questions? 

Contact a Quadient Mail Expert to learn about IMI-Ready postage meters from Quadient. We’ll give you a competitive quote on a Quadient postage meter that meets all the USPS regulations.

Get IMI Ready

Intelligent Mail Indicia Fast Facts

  • Accurate: IMI helps you correct postage. No overcharges or returned mail!
  • Updated: Postage updates happen every 72 hours compared to every 90 days with previous technology.
  • Upgraded: No more special phone lines needed just for your postage meters.
  • Automated: Stops miscalculations! Postage is automatically calculated based on Service Class.
  • Informative: Transaction-level data for each mail piece...daily!
  • Modern: IMI standards go into effect June 2024. All postage meters must meet those requirements.

Understanding IMI and what it means for your business

More secure

Postal information to and from your meter is encrypted and more secure.

Better technology

Better tracking of letters and packages through the mailstream.

No overspending

No more incorrect postage or miscalculations!

Don't let decertification disrupt your business!
Contact one of our experts to trade up now. 

More resources on Intelligent Mail Indicia 

The Quick Guide to Intelligent Mail Indicia

The benefits to IMI postage technology in an easy-to-read guide! Get the fast facts and benefits for your business.

Get Your Copy Now!

Everything You Need to Know about IMI

All about IMI and why it’s good for your business in one sheet. See how it stacks up to the current postage technology.

Learn More about It!

Stay Up to Date on IMI and Important Industry News

Stay ahead of compliance dates and get other important mailing, shipping & postage rate updates in your inbox.

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