Processing Acknowledgement Form (PAF)
Requirements and Clarifications
WHY IS THE PAF REQUIRED?
NCOALink® Service Providers licensees are required by their license agreement
with USPS® to acquire a Processing Acknowledgement Form (PAF) for each of
their customers. The PAF is not a requirement for the NCOALink End User
The PAF is an essential part of the NCOALink process because it enables USPS
and the mailing industry to comply with the Privacy Act of 1974 by way of a
written request to use COA information for mailing purposes. Specifically, section
552a of Title 5 states in part:
“No agency shall disclose any record which is contained in a system of records
by any means of communication to any person, or to another agency, except
pursuant to a written request by, or with the prior written consent of, the individual
to whom the record pertains”
The NCOALink PAF:
Identifies those mailers to whom USPS has disclosed change-of-address
information via the use of NCOALink processing.
Ensures mailers’ acknowledgement use of the COA data is restricted.
May protect the licensee if a mailer uses the processing results for
reasons that abuse the intended use of the product such as creating a list
of new movers.
The service provider licensee must acquire this form from each customer before
they can perform NCOALink processing. This form must be completed and signed
by the mail list owner, the NCOALink licensee and, when applicable, any third
parties that are a part of the transaction between the list owner and the licensee.
The PAF must be renewed annually and the NCOALink licensee must retain a
copy for six years and must make it available to USPS upon request. (Source:
MailPro September/October 2008 pages 12-13).
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FORM(PAF) GUIDE
United States Postal Service®
National Customer Support Center (NCSC)
February 29, 2016
Unit Packaging and Mailing
119 Enterprise Dr
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Business hours 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.