Online Resources and Exhibits

Illustrated Permits

Earle L. Covert

List of illustrated permits

In 2006, Canada Post introduced a customized permit indicia for bulk permit mailings. Customers could incorporate their own images in a designated area of the indicia. Few customers took advantage of the offering until 2013 when Canada Post made the terms and conditions more attractive to bulk mailers.

This page presents images of customized indicia dating from 2006 when Canada Post introduced the feature. It also includes a variety of forerunners, indicia that incorporated illustrations before 2006. The indicia are organized in alphabetical order by the name of bulk mailer in a series of pdf files. The files vary in size up to maximum of 20 MB.

The indicia in these files come from three sources:

  • Me, as a result of several years of searching
  • Fellow collectors who, like me, were attracted to these stamp-like permits
  • Non-collectors who were aware of my interest and sent me their findings

If you come across indicia not in these files, I would very much appreciate hearing from you. Please send me either:

  • A scan at 300 dpi of the front of the entire envelope if you collect illustrated indicia, or
  • The actual item or items if you don’t collect them

Email address:
Earle Covert

Postal address:
Earle L. Covert
Box 1190, Raymond AB T0K 2S0

I will update these files periodically with new discoveries that I come across and that are reported to me.

I would like to thank Dick Staecker for permission to use the numbers from his catalogue of permit indicia, Canadian Permit Postage Catalogue. The fourth edition was published in March 2016 by the British North America Philatelic Society Ltd., and is available through the BNAPS Book Department.

Illustrated permit files

The identity of the bulk mailer, if known, is listed under the permit illustration. The permits for which the mailer is not known are illustrated after bulk mailers U to Z. If you can identify the mailer, please let me know.

If there are initials under the permit illustration, they are those of the person who supplied the scan or item to me. My own initials, ELC, appear if I own the item.

The last file lists the number of each bulk mailer as it appears on the illustrated permit. In some cases, unrelated bulk mailers appear to have the same permit number. Probably they are using a common mailing house.

Dick Staecker permit numbers organized by type
Dick Staecker permit numbers organized by type
Illustrated permit forerunners
Illustrated permit forerunners (before 2006)
Illustrated Permits file - Bulk mailers A to B
Bulk mailers A to B
Illustrated Permits file - Bulk mailers C to Canadian
Bulk mailers C to Canadian
Illustrated Permits file - Bulk mailers Cancer to end of C
Bulk mailers Cancer to end of C
Illustrated Permits file - Bulk mailers D
Bulk mailers D
Illustrated Permits file - Bulk mailers E to K
Bulk mailers E to K
Illustrated Permits file - Bulk mailers L to M
Bulk mailers L to M
Illustrated Permits file - Bulk mailers N to P
Bulk mailers N to P
Illustrated Permits file - Bulk mailers Q to T
Bulk mailers Q to T
Illustrated Permits file - Bulk mailers U to Z and unknown
Bulk mailers U to Z and unknown mailers
Bulk mailers listed by their Canada Post permit number
Bulk mailers listed by their Canada Post permit number

Background information

Note: most of the material in this section is taken from Canada Post documents referenced below.

A postal indicia is a marking on envelopes sent in a bulk mailing to indicate that postage has been prepaid for the mailing. It identifies the Canada Post service used by the bulk mailer and the bulk mailer’s customer number. The indicia is printed on, or applied to, each mail item.

In 2006, Canada Post introduced a customized permit indicia for bulk permit mailings. Bulk mailers were allowed to add an image to a designated area in the permit indicia. The border of the indicia simulated stamp perforations. These design elements could give recipients the impression that a postage stamp was affixed to the envelope instead of the permit indicia printed on it. The bulk mailer’s permit number had to be inside the indicia to show that prepayment was made. This type of bulk permit mailing was not very popular because the fee was high as was the minimum number of items required to qualify for bulk mailing.

In 2014, Canada Post reinvigorated the idea of the customized postal indicia. It promoted the service offering to businesses and organizations using permit mailing in the following announcement [1]:

NEW - Effective July 9, 2014 – New Customized Postal Indicia for Addressed Admail

Our new stamp-like Customized Postal Indicia, created exclusively for Addressed Admail, lets you create eye-catching indicia to set your mail items apart from the others, reinforce your brand and add that personal touch to your mail.

The Customized Postal Indicia can be printed directly on the mail piece or embossed on the envelope or label. There are no minimum volume requirements to access this feature; however, you must meet the minimum volume requirements for Addressed Admail (500 pieces for Machineable or 1,000 pieces for Letter Carrier Presort) [Note: the minimum volume requirements have since been reduced].

While Canada Post does not charge a premium for this feature, there may be charges from your printer depending on the colours selected.

Canada Post provided a template for the customized indicia on its website along with detailed postal indicia requirements and specifications. The permit indicia is available for Addressed Admail (since renamed Personalized Mail™), Lettermail and Publications Mail. The indicia must be bilingual, and Canada Post recommends that French appear first for mailings originating from Quebec. A business or organisation with a bulk mailing agreement with Canada Post downloads the template, and adds its artwork and agreement number to the template. This custom indicia is much more appealing to bulk mailers because there is no extra fee for adding an image to the indicia.

Personalized Mail horizontal indicia template Personalized Mail with Return Postage Guaranteed horizontal indicia template Postal Code Targeting horizontal indicia template
Lettermail horizontal indicia template Lettermail vertical indicia template Publications Mail horizontal indicia template

Custom indicia templates generated on the Canada Post website in 2019

In September 2015, Canada Post changed the name of two services aimed at its marketing customers and changed the wording in the permit indicia accordingly:

  • Unaddressed Admail was renamed Canada Post Neighbourhood Mail™. This service allows marketers to target, reach and activate groups of consumers based on where they live.
  • Addressed Admail was renamed Canada Post Personalized Mail™. The name was changed to better reflect that the mail piece was meant specifically for the individual.

Canada Post defines the Personalized Mail™ service as a direct marketing and advertising medium that provides its customers the ability to personalize their mailing and tailor their promotional messages to specific consumers or prospects. To be considered Personalized Mail™, all the items in a customer’s mailing must have the same purpose and goal, even if the content is not identical. The primary intention of the mail items is to motivate an individual to take action by:

  • Promoting a product, service, program or event
  • Soliciting donations or contributions
  • Reporting on financial performance, primarily for promotional purposes, or
  • Supporting a loyalty card program. This includes all mailings relating to loyalty card programs, but excludes credit and/or debit cards with or without reward points.

Mini-catalogues are acceptable as Personalized Mail™. A mini-catalogue is defined as printed matter with a list of items for sale containing item description, item numbers and/or prices. Mini-catalogues must contain a minimum of 8 pages or panels and meet Machineable Standard Personalized Mail™ service requirements.

To qualify for the Personalized Mail™ service, mailings must:

  • Be deposited and paid for in Canada for delivery in Canada
  • Meet the Personalized Mail™ definition
  • Consist of a minimum of 100 items for Machineable Mail or 1,000 items for Special Handling mail

Canada Post provides a “Return Postage Guaranteed” (RPG) option for Personalized Mail™. Items that cannot be delivered as originally addressed will be returned to the sender if:

  • The Return to Sender option was selected and paid for at the time the Order (Statement of Mailing) was created
  • The item carries the correct Return Postage Guaranteed postal indicia.
  • The item is addressed to an address which does not have a Mail Forwarding request in effect for that addressee
  • Only one return address appears on the outside of the item and that address is Canadian

The tables below provide the pricing for Personalized Mail™ effective on 14 January 2019 [4].

Category Price per item
Machinable Standard
Up to 50 g
Up to 500 g
48.5¢ 73¢ + 0.34¢ per g over 500 g
Special handling Standard Oversize Dimensional
Up to 50 g Over 50 g
Up to 100 g
Up to 500 g Over 500 g
Up to 1.36 kg
Up to 500 g Over 500 g
Up to 1.36 kg
54¢ 59¢ 68¢ + 0.34¢ per g
over 50 g
$2.64 + 0.40¢ per g
over 500 g
$1.49 + 0.18¢ per g
over 50 g
$2.90 + 0.40¢ per g
over 500 g
Price per item
Standard - Up to 50 g
Option Price per item
Return to sender1

1. Return to Sender fee per item applies upfront to the entire volume declared in the Order (Statement of Mailing). Return to Sender is not available for Dimensional Personalized Mail™ items. These items will be treated as undeliverable.


  1. Canada Post, Addressed Admail™ Overview of Changes Effective July 9 and August 18, 2014 and Other Important Reminders,, 9 July 2014.
  2. Canada Post, Addressed Admail™ Overview of Changes Effective January 12, 2015 and July 31, 2015 and Other Upcoming or Recent Changes,, 5 Jan. 2015.
  3. Canada Post, Personalized Mail (Addressed Admail™) Overview of Changes Effective Immediately and January 11, 2016, as well as Reminders, 21 Sept. 2015.
    Announcement of the change in the name Addressed Admail™ to Personalized Mail™.
  4. Canada Post, Pricing Personalized Mail™,, 16 Nov. 2018.
    Brochure that specifies the pricing as of 14 January 2019 for the Personalized Mail™ service.
  5. Canada Post, "Postal Indicia",
    Web page that allows bulk mailers to generate a customized indicia template for the Canada Post service they use.
  6. Canada Post, Customer Guide Personalized Mail™,, 14 Jan. 2019.
  7. Canada Post, Service Overview Personalized Mail™,, 16 Nov. 2018.

Copyright © 2019 Earle L. Covert
Web design copyright © 2013-2019 The British North America Philatelic Society.
The documents on this website are for informational and non-commercial or personal use only.
Documents on this website shall not be used on other websites or for commercial purposes without permission.

This page was last modified on 2019-06-29