Postcards- what defines one?

Can any photo with an adress on the back be a postcard? for that matter if I just write an address and a message on a piece of paper will it be delivered?

I don’t know about a sheet of paper (an 8.5x11 sheet might require more postage) but a 4x6 or 5x7 photograph (with proper postage) should mail with no problems.

I’ve done it many times.

The USPS gives size limits for the $0.27 postage rate:

I didn’t find any explicit rules about the materials. I suspect that anything within the size limitations, made out of thin cardboard or stiff paper, and clearly addressed like a postcard with postage affixed on one side will be treated as one.

Curious thing about that size. The postcard from my voter pamphlet to send back for “vote by mail” status is clearly larger than that, implying that it requires letter postage, which is what is was probably going to get anyway. You would think an official government office would know how big to make postcards.

They’re clearly pretty liberal about the address labeling, too. I have a reminder postcard from my dentist here that has the message text on the same side as the address and return address, the “content” side given entirely over to a picture of an apple.

Actually, there’s a bit more, but just a bit:

FileNotFound | Postal Explorer

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I’ve heard of all sorts of novelty items being used as postcards.
Here are some made of wood!

Not really. They are accepted as postal mail, but not as postcards. That is, they do not get the reduced postcard rate.

Anything too small, too large, too thick, too thin, too oddly-shaped; in general, much different from a standard postcard, will not be handled at the postcard rate. It can be mailed, but at a higher (letter or parcel) postage rate.

You can mail a standard 4" x 6" photo as a postcard. I once mailed a couple hundred reprints of a photo of a political billboard to contributors who had helped fund the campaign. A message and the mailing address were printed on an oversized label, which was pasted to the back of the photo. The Post Office had no problem accepting them, at the postcard rate.

Huh? Pretty much every postcard I’ve ever seen has the message and the address on the same side, with a picture taking up the whole of the reverse.

Like this.

Yeah, you’re right, for “wish you were here” type cards, come to think of it. It’s been along time since I got a postcard that wasn’t a business correspondence, with a message on the reverse and just an address on the front.

I’ve made my own cards before. At one time there were more rules involved and I think it actually had to say Postcard along with a divider line. Can’t remember. Anyway, I use to send postcards made from 6-packs. If I found a new beer I liked I’d send the artwork as a postcard to a buddy of mine.

I really need to send more postcards.

Maybe that was the rule once, but not now. I mail a few hundred postcards each month and none say “postcard” or have a divider line. All have a pic on one side with a caption, and text and address on the other.