Address Format Guidelines


Author: Mary Elizabeth.     Published on: June 1st, 2022

Address Format Guidelines

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Address Format Guidelines

On the surface, mail and shipping may not seem that complicated. You put something in an envelope or box, write down the address, place a stamp or pay a nominal shipping fee, and off it goes to successfully reach its destination with no possible complications. Right?

Unfortunately, the world of shipping and logistics is a bit more complicated than that. There are numerous points that can be handled by technology, some that must involve human interaction, and all have to be transported by land, sea, or air.

At the very foundation of successfully mailing or shipping something is the one thing that’s required in every city, state, and country across the world — the address.

 

What is an Address?

An address is an assigned location to peoples’ homes, businesses, or meeting places. In the United States, an address usually starts with a number representing that specific location’s order on a street. Next, a street name or highway designation is listed. Lastly, the city, state, and ZIP code trail the end.

In the case of a multi-family dwelling such as an apartment building, there’s usually a second line that indicates the apartment or suite number for a location. Secondary address lines are also common for large multi-tenant office complexes or other situations where more than one person or business may reside at a singular location.

Additionally, in the case of a street that’s broken up into sections — often denoted by a directional letter such as N for North or S for South — the directional letter usually immediately follows the location number but precedes the street name.

 

How to Format an Address for Mail

*Note: The recipient of the parcel should be located directly above the address (see examples below). For businesses, the business name is written above the address. If there are multiple people who receive mailings or shipments at an address, such as a business, the top line can also be used as an attention line, and a second line below can list the name of the business (see examples below).

 

Residential Address Examples

A typical single-family American residential address may look like:

TOM HARRY

123 MAIN ST

DANVILLE VA 24541

A typical single-family American residential address within a multi-family dwelling such as an apartment or duplex that is also located on a sectioned street may look like:

JOHN PAUL

456 S MAIN ST APT B

DANVILLE VA 24541

 

Business Address Examples

MIKE ROFUN

WOODLAND CREATURES CLEANERS INC

789 MAIN ST STE 9D

DANVILLE VA 24541

Of course, “ST”, short for street, is not the only road type available. A few of the most common road types include “RD” for Road, “AVE” for Avenue, or “BLVD” for Boulevard.

 

How to Format an Address for Mail

According to the USPS, there are some best practices and guidelines to adhere to in order to ensure prompt deliveries. A few of these best practices include:

  • Use all capital letters
  • Do not use punctuation
  • Use only one space between the city and state, but two spaces between the state and ZIP code
  • Place the address and postage on the same side of the mail piece

 

Address Standardization Tools

If your business ships anything, through the USPS or other shipping carriers, investing in address standardization tools can help to prevent lost or non-deliverable packages. At SmartSoftDQ, we’ve been handling address formatting and standardization for over 20 years.

If you’re ready to learn how to save time, money, and heartache on your shipping process, contact one of our friendly address experts today!

 

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