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Presort Accuracy, Validation, and Evaluation (PAVE™)

The PAVE program is a process designed in cooperation with the mailing industry to evaluate presort software and determine its accuracy in sorting address files according to Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) standards.

Who is PAVE for?

PAVE is available only to presort software developers and vendors, i.e., companies that develop presort software or perform retail services for those developers.

First Class Mail
Standard Mail
Software Developer


The USPS defines a PAVE™ certified software product as a presorting product specifically written to operate on a particular platform or operating system and assigned a specific version number. Many products use different language compilers to process files within different operating systems or on different hardware platforms. Therefore, to maintain the highest quality standards, PAVE™ will certify a developer’s product that operates on a particular platform at the current version number. The developer may submit all platforms, or as many as are desired, for certification. PAVE™ will evaluate each presort product platform on its own merits and will issue a specific certification for that platform if warranted.

Note: Participation in the PAVE™ program is voluntary.

There are two types of certification.

PAVE Gold Certification

Presort products that choose to participate in both electronic and hardcopy documentation testing will receive Gold certification upon successful completion of all presort tests taken. Electronic testing allows tracking and verification of every mailpiece within a test file. Developers must append each test address record with the specific presort information as described in “PAVE Test File Description” (see Appendix A & B). Developers who support the electronic file format undergo closer scrutiny.

PAVE™ Standard Certification

Presort products submitting only hardcopy testing documentation will receive Standard Certification upon successful completion of all presort tests taken. Developers will process test files through their presort product and return hardcopy results for examination in the form of the USPS® Qualification Report, postage statement facsimiles, barcoded container labels, etc. Hardcopy evaluation is labor-intensive and limited because each individual mailpiece cannot be tracked to its ultimate location within the final presort outcome. Therefore, all Standard certified presort products will be listed after the Gold certified products in the PAVE™ Certified Developers List. Furthermore, all products submitted for Standard certification will have tests processed after the Gold certified products during the testing cycle. Re-testing fees for Standard participants are assessed after two free hardcopy attempts.

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For more information about the PAVE Product Certification, contact us at 800-238-3150 or