Filing Online User Guide

Getting Started


What do I need to do to start filing documents online?

Persons representing a participant in a Commission proceeding must become an Account Holder in order to file documents with the Commission. See Rule 121. An application to become a permanent Account Holder can be printed out from the Filing Online Accounts page (Click "Need an Account?" on the Login page). This application should be completed and signed by the Account Holder and mailed to: Secretary of the Commission, Postal Regulatory Commission, 901 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 200, West Tower, Washington, DC 20268.


Once I've registered as an Account Holder, how do I log into the Filing Online application?

You can access the Filing Online Login page by clicking the Filing Online link on the PRC Main navigation bar. You can obtain a permanent username and password by filling out an Account Holder application and mailing it to the Commission. You can also complete a Temporary Account application online to quickly file while your permanent request is pending. Temporary Accounts expire after 35 days. Once you become an Account Holder, you may file documents or comments in any subsequent docket. An Account Holder application can be printed from the Login screen.

The login screen and the entire Filing Online section of the Commission's website are secured by Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol. All transmissions between users' browsers and the Commission's web server are encrypted.

I only want to file a Comment. Can I do that without a Filing Online Account?

The best way for a person who simply wishes to file a comment with the Commission in response to a Commission Request for Comments is to apply for a Temporary Account. Go to the Filing Online login page and click the Need an Account? link in the side navigation bar; then, click the button for Apply Online for a Temporary Account. Complete the form, and you will be able to file your comments right away. The Temporary Account expires after 35 days, so if you think you might want to file comments more often, you should complete the hardcopy application and establish a Permanent Account.


Preparing a Filing



What's the easiest way to file a document online?

A filing can be submitted online in a few simple steps:

  • Select 'Create Filing Record' from the Filing Online banner.
  • Pick a docket number and check the filing party. If the appropriate docket number or party isn't listed, enter the information in the space for comments.
  • Pick the Principal Account Holder authorizing the filing.
  • Enter the document title. You may want to cut and paste the title from the actual document.
  • Use the Upload Files from Computer button to attach the electronic file containing the Host Document and any additional files.
  • If necessary, use the Create PDF button to turn a Word, WordPerfect, or Postscript file into a PDF file. The Host Document of any filing must be a PDF.
  • Click the 'Proceed with Filing' button to bring up the confirmation page.
  • Double-check the record information and all files for errors and click Submit.


Why is the party for which I wish to file not listed?

The list is limited to parties for which you or any Principal Account Holders who have designated you as an agent are currently registered. If you wish to file a document for another party, enter the name under Comments for Dockets Staff. The Dockets Staff will process the document and register your name for the party in the correct docket.

I wish to make a filing for an ad hoc coalition of parties, but only the parties I represent are listed.

Check all of the parties available and then enter the names of the parties not listed in the space for comments.

I want to file a document in multiple dockets, but I can only select one.

The Commission's Filing Online system only permits the selection of a single docket number. Enter any additional docket numbers in the space for comments.

The Authorized By pull-down box is empty.

If you are an Agent Account Holder, a Principal Account Holder must designate you as his or her agent before you can submit filings. Only Principal Account Holders who have made this designation appear in the Authorized By box. A Principal Account Holder can designate an agent on the 'Profile' page.

I was in the middle of filing my document when my computer crashed. Do I have to start over?

No, depending on how far along you were in the filing process, your filing record should be preserved on the User Activity page under Filings in Progress.


Adding Electronic Files


What electronic files should I include when submitting my filing?

At a minimum, each filing must include a PDF of the Host Document. This PDF will serve as the file original. Copies of the document in its native word processing format are welcome as are any spreadsheet or data files.

The document I'm filing consists of several word processing files. Do I need a PDF for each one?

Yes, all of the text portion of the document must be provided in PDF format. Spreadsheet or data files included in the body or appendices of the Host Document should also be converted. Multiple PDFs can be combined using the 'Assemble PDFs' button.

Does the way I name my files matter?

In general, the Dockets Staff will not rename files, so any file names you use will appear on the PRC's website. While the Commission does not have strict naming rules (aside from a 40-character limit on length), file names usually follow certain conventions:

  • The names of interrogatories, interrogatory responses, and objections include the interrogatory number (for example: dma-usps-t12-1-3.doc, usps-ups-t2-10~23.pdf, rsp-mma-usps-t4-23_28.doc, obj-oca-usps-25a.pdf, ups-usps-10a-24-etc.pdf).
  • For other documents, the file names include at least the filing party and an abbreviation describing the type of document (for example: vp-not-lr-4.doc {Notice of filing Library Reference Number 4}, aba-mot-compel.pdf, oca-i-brief.doc, usps-resp-ord1333.pdf).
  • If the filing is witness related, the file name also indicates the witness party and testimony number (for example: oca-desig-usps-t2.pdf, postcom-cross-oca-t5.doc, test-naa-t1-Bradley.pdf).

When a filing record includes several electronic files, it is particularly important to name them accurately (examples: mpa-motion.pdf, mpa-motion-attach1.xls, mpa-motion-attach2.doc).

I uploaded the Word version of my document to produce a PDF, but I don't want to include the Word file with my filing.

After producing the PDF, use the Delete button next to the Word file to delete the file from the filing record and the Commission's web server.

When I attempt to upload a file, it hangs without an error message.

Some individuals using Netscape 6.0 and 6.1 have reported this problem. It appears to be fixed in Netscape 6.2 and later versions. Using Netscape 6.0 or 6.1 is not recommended.


Creating PDFs


How do I use the Filing Online website to create a PDF?

There are five (5) screens where you can create a PDF: the Holding Area, the User Activity page, the Create Filing Record page, the Edit Filing Record page, Upload Files From Computer page, and the Add Files From Holding Area page. Upload the files you wish to convert and click the Create PDF button. ALWAYS REVIEW the PDF file produced to assure that it accurately reflects your document. If you need to make formatting adjustments, edit your original document on your local computer, delete the document from the PRC server and re-upload your document. Re-create the PDF; this will overwrite the older PDF.

What kinds of files can I convert to PDF?

The PDF conversion software accepts Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, Excel, and Postscript files. Some Lotus files may also convert. The conversion software opens and prints the file using Word 2000, WordPerfect 9, or Excel 2000. Discrepancies may occur when the the files were originally produced with a different software version. For complex documents, try converting Postscript files.

What is a Postscript file and how do I make one?

A Postscript file is a printer file. To get a Postscript file, you must have access to a Postscript printer driver. Using your word processing software, choose the Postscript printer as if you were going to print the document and check the Print to File box. Upload the file to the Commission's website and click the Create PDF button. The Commission's conversion software may not handle all Postscript files properly. If you have difficulty, contact the Commission's computer staff.

I'm using Word 2000, but still there are differences between the PDF created by the Commission's website and the copy I made in my office.

Different printers interpret the same word processing file differently. Because the Commission's conversion software prints the file to a particular kind of printer, the PDF may not resemble hard copies created using other printers. Often the amount of text on a page changes causing lines to move to the next page. For complex documents, you may want to try a Postscript file. You can also upload and convert a file as ften as you like in the Holding Area before creating a filing record.

I would like to include a single sheet from an Excel file in my Host Document. When I converted the Excel document, the PDF contained all of the sheets.

Use the Assemble PDFs button to delete extra pages from the PDF.

When I attempted to convert my Mac Word file, I received an error message.

Make sure your Mac files include extensions (.doc for Word and .wpd for WordPerfect). The Commission's conversion software does not always recognize files missing extensions.


Assembling PDFs


How do I combine multiple PDFs?

To combine PDFs attached to a filing record or in the Holding Area, click the Assemble PDFs button. On the Assemble PDFs page, select the combination order using the pull-down boxes, enter a file name, and click the 'Assemble PDFs' button. A new PDF will be created.

Can I use the Assemble PDFs page to rename a PDF?

Yes, pick '1' in the Order box of the PDF you wish to rename. Enter the desired name and click the Assemble PDFs button. When the new PDF is created, return to the previous page and delete the old PDF.

I want to delete pages from a PDF.

To create a new PDF including only selected pages, pick '1' in the Order box next to the PDF. Add the desired pages in the Range box (Example: 1, 5-8, 10). The pages do not need to be in order and you can include a page multiple times (Example: 1, 3, 2, 1, 4-10). Enter a file name and click the Assemble PDFs button to produce the new PDF.

When I filed hard copy documents I sometimes included printed pages from spreadsheets in my filing document. Do I have to paste the tables into my word processing file now?

No, you can use the Assemble PDFs page to add individual pages from one PDF into another by combining them in stages.

For example, pretend you want to insert two tables from an Excel spreadsheet, data.xls, into pages 9 and 14 of your 20-page Word document, testimony.doc. First, create PDFs from testimony.doc and data.xls. If you are concerned about page numbering, add blank pages as placeholders to the Word file before converting. Then, create the new PDF on the Assemble PDFs page in parts. Pick '1' as the combination order for 'testimony.pdf' and enter '1-8' as the range. If the first table you wish to include appears on page 1 of data.pdf, pick '2' as the order for data.pdf and enter '1' as the range. Enter a name for the new PDF such as part1.pdf and click the Assemble PDFs button to create a new PDF.

Next, repeat the process. Pick '1' as the order for part1.pdf. Pick '2' as the order for testimony.pdf and enter '10-13' as the range. Pick '3' as the order for data.pdf and enter the page number of the table as the range. Enter part1&2.pdf as the new name and click the Assemble PDFs button.

Finally, create the finished PDF. Pick '1' as the combination order for the file you just created, part1&2.pdf, and pick '2' as the order for testimony.pdf. Enter '15-20' as the range for testimony.pdf. Enter a name for the finished PDF such as TestimonyFinal.pdf and click the Assemble PDFs button. When you return to your filing record or the Holding Area, delete the PDFs you used to create TestimonyFinal.pdf.


Using Filing Online


Does Filing Online work with every browser?

Filing Online does not work well with Netscape 6.0 or 6.1. Netscape 6.2+ and Netscape 4 are fine.

What is the difference between a Principal and an Agent Account?

A Principal Account is designed for users who assume responsibility for the contents of material being submitted and authorize its submission. Agent Account Holders may submit filings on behalf of a Principal Account Holder, but they may not authorize a filing. An Agent Account Holder may not submit a filing until a Principal Account Holder designates him or her as the Principal Account Holder's agent.

Why would I want an Agent Account?

An Agent Account is particularly useful in an office with multiple attorneys where an assistant often makes the final preparations for filing the document. The Agent Account Holder can submit filings on behalf of all of the attorneys who have designated him or her as an agent without logging in under different usernames. Each Principal Account Holder can access the filings he or she has authorized.

How do I designate an agent?

Only Principal Account Holders can designate agents. To designate an agent, click Profile on the Filing Online banner. In the box labeled Your Agents, enter the username of the Account Holder you wish to designate and click the Add Agent button. Both Principal and Agent Account Holders may act as agents.

How do I view the status of my filings?

On the User Activity page, there are two boxes. The Filings in Progress box shows filings not yet submitted to the Commission. The Submitted Filings box includes all filings submitted during the last seven days. If a filing is marked pending, the Dockets Staff has not yet reviewed the filing. After the filing is accepted, the status will hange to filed.

What is the Holding Area?

The Holding Area is a place for you to upload and convert files without creating a filing record. It can be used to check the conversion of documents not ready for filing or to keep files that need to be added to multiple filings. Files older than seven days will be cleared from the Holding Area.




What sort of security does Filing Online use?

The Filing Online section of the Commission's website is password protected. Additionally, it uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol to establish an encrypted connection between the Commission's web server and your browser.

I forgot my password. What should I do?

Contact the Dockets Staff to get a new one. Whenever you receive a new password, it's a good idea to change it immediately.