PAVE is a voluntary program developed by the US Postal Service in conjunction with the mailing industry in which the US Postal Service provides testing for certain categories of presort software. These tests determine the software's accuracy in sorting address information to insure that mail is properly sorted and packaged at the time it is submitted to the postal system for mailing. Also, the software is tested for producing standardized supporting documentation.
PAVE certification is a program for software vendors to insure that the presort products provided to the mailing industry are of the highest quality. Currently PAVE certification is for software vendors only. End users achieve PAVE certification for their mailings through the use of software systems which have been certified for vendors by the US Postal Service.
Use of PAVE software is currently voluntary. End users requesting postage discounts may use PAVE-certified software or they may provide standardized mailing documents which meet postal requirements.
Mailers who are requesting postage discounts for the first time should work closely with their local post office to insure that their mailings meet all requirements. Use of PAVE certified software does not guarantee acceptance of mail prepared using that software. There are other requirements such a packaging, print quality, and so forth.