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Office of Research Services

Serving the NIH Community


Preparing Business Reply Mail (BRM)

​Business Reply Mail (BRM) should only be used for official business. BRM service enables the NIH to pay the return postage for official reply mail. The Nine-Digit ZIP Code to use on Business Reply Mail is 20814-9692. The use of any other ZIP Code on Business Reply Mail will normally delay the receipt and delivery of this mail.

For assistance with designing a NIH BRM mailer (postcard, label or envelope), please contact the Mail Customer Service Branch at 301-496-3586.

Addressing Business Reply Mail

The USPS requires Business Reply Mail to bear the permit number and the required Penalty Statement “Official Business Penalty for Private Use, $300”. The following return address format is recommended for addressing Business Reply Mail:

    Business Reply Mail Address

    NIH Institute or Center (include Division, Branch, etc.)
    Recipient’s Name (Optional)
    Recipient’s Street Address (BLDG, ST, RM, and MSC)
    Recipient’s City, State, and Nine-Digit ZIP Code

    Sample Business Reply Mail Address

    National Institutes of Health/NIAAA
    Dr. John Doe
    22 Success Pl Rm 9030 MSC 0080
    Bethesda MD 20814-9692

ICs should be aware that in addition to postage, a fee is paid for each reply received. In accordance with postal regulations, the address on Business Reply Mail (BRM) must be the address of the permit holder, which in this case will be a NIH location. Contractors distributing Business Reply Mail (BRM) on behalf of NIH must have NIH printed on the Business Reply Mail (BRM). A very important requirement of the USPS is that the unique ZIP Code 20814-9692 be used for NIH Business Reply Mail (BRM).


Business Reply Mail (BRM) envelopes, labels and post cards may not be used for any other purpose even if postage is affixed. Use of Business Reply Mail envelopes, labels or post cards for other than NIH official business is strictly prohibited and carries a penalty for private use. Special Services, for example, insurance, registered, certified, and return receipts are not available when using Business Reply Mail.​