TN 27 (01-11)

GN 02605.900 Postal Addressing Standards

A. Policy for postal addressing standards

1. Primary address

The Delivery Address Line and Last Line of Address on mail are validated by the ZIP +4 software.

A standardized address contains the correct city name, state and ZIP code. All suffixes, directionals, and abbreviations are correct.

All lines of the address are aligned with the left margin.

Example of a standard postal address:

MR JOHN DOE (Recipient line)
123 MAGNOLIA ST (Delivery Address line)
HEMPSTEAD NY 11550 (Last line)

NOTE: When the name of a State is used as a portion of the Primary Street Name, the standard two–letter abbreviation is recommended. However, when the State name is the complete Primary Street Name, such as OKLAHOMA AVE, then completely spell out the State name.

2. Secondary address

a. Unit designators

Secondary address unit designators are printed on mail. The preferred location is at the end of the Delivery Address Line.

The most common unit designators are:

APARTMENT

APT

BUILDING

BLDG

FLOOR

FL

SUITE

STE

UNIT

UNIT

ROOM

RM

DEPARTMENT

DEPT

NOTE: If all address information cannot be placed on a single line directly above the City, State, and ZIP Code, see b. in this section.

Examples of a secondary address:

102 MAIN ST APT 101
13 EXECUTIVE DR STE 20
1600 CENTRAL PL BLDG 4
55 SYLVAN BLVD RM 108

b. Alternate location

If you cannot continue all address information in a single line immediately above the city, State, and ZIP code, i.e., the street portion of the address require more than 22 spaces; place secondary address information on the line above the Delivery Address Line.

Example of an alternate location:

MR M MURRAY
APT C
5800 LILAC GARDENS CIR
SPRINGFIELD VA 22152-1058

3. Last line of address

a. Approved city place

All Last Line addresses are matched with the city and State. Only use the approved city place names.

b. Punctuation and special characters

Punctuation or special characters in the Last Line of the Address are not used.

Example of punctuation and special characters:

BROWN'S CROSSROADS VA
becomes

BROWNS CROSSROADS VA

c. Spelling of city names

City names are spelled out in their entirety. When abbreviations must be used, use the approved abbreviations provided in the ZIP Code Directory.

d. Format

The Last Line has at least one space between the city name, the two character State abbreviation, and the ZIP code.

4. Delivery address line

a. Components

The Delivery Address Line, as matched against the ZIP +4 software must be broken down into its individual components on the mail piece with one space between address elements.

These are:

  • primary address number,

  • street name,

  • secondary street identifier,

  • predirectional, and

  • postdirectional.

Examples of address elements:

101 MAIN ST
101 MAIN ST APT 12

101 W MAIN ST APT 12

101 W MAIN ST E APT 12

b. Street name

Punctuation is limited to periods (not for MSSICS and the SSR), slashes, and hyphens.

Periods: 39.2 RD

Fractional Addresses:

101 1/2 MAIN ST

Hyphenated Addresses:

289-01 MONTGOMERY AVE (NO space on either side of the hyphen)

5. Directional standards

a. Abbreviations

Abbreviate directionals to the appropriate one or two character abbreviation.

Examples of abbreviated directionals:

234 NW SMITH ST

678 MAIN DR S

101 N BAY DR

599 BAY BLVD SW

b. Predirectional field

If a directional word is the first word in the street name with no other directional to the left of it, abbreviate it for standardization purposes.

Examples of predirectional:

NORTH BAY ST

becomes

N BAY ST

EAST END AVE

becomes

E END AVE

c. Postdirectional field

If a directional word is located to the right of the street name and suffix, abbreviate it and locate it in the postdirectional field.

Examples of postdirectional:

BAY DRIVE WEST

becomes

BAY DR W

d. Two directionals

If two directional words appear consecutively before the street name, then the first of the two words (the left-most), becomes the predirectional. The second directional word becomes part of the primary name and is spelled out in its entirety in the primary name field.

Examples of two directionals:

NORTH SOUTH MAIN AVE

becomes

N SOUTH MAIN AVE

SOUTH EAST BAY DR

becomes

S EAST BAY DR

NOTE: SOUTHEAST BAY DR (one word) becomes SE BAY DR, as with single directionals.

e. Directional as part of street name

If the directional word appears between the street name and the suffix then it appears as part of the primary name spelled out.

Example of directional as part of a street name:

BAY WEST DRIVE

becomes

BAY WEST DR

6. Suffixes

a. Abbreviations

The suffix of the address should conform to the standard suffix abbreviations listed in the ZIP Code directory.

b. Two suffixes

If two consecutive words on the suffix table are in the address, abbreviate the second of the two words according to the suffix table and place it in the suffix field. The first of the two words is part of the primary name. Spell it out in its entirety after the street name on the mail piece.

Examples of two suffixes:

789 MAIN AVENUE DRIVE

Becomes

789 MAIN AVENUE DR

4513 3RD STREET CIRCLE WEST

Becomes

4513 3RD STREET CIR W

7. Numeric street names

Numeric street names, i.e., 7TH ST, or SEVENTH ST should be output on the mail piece exactly as they appear in the ZIP Code directory.

8. Highways designations

Standardize county, State and local highways as follows:

HOUSE/LOT RANGE

HIGHWAY NAME

934

COUNTY RD 20

1072

STATE RD 20

333

STATE RT 20

789

US HIGHWAY 20

1991

TOWNSHIP RD 20

9. Rural route address

a. Format

Output rural route addresses on mail pieces as: RR N BOX NN. Do not use the words “rural,” “route,” “number,” “No.,” or the “#” symbol.

Examples of rural route address:

RR 2 BOX 152

RR 9 BOX 23A (No space between 23 and A)

b. Leading Zero

A leading zero before the rural route number is not necessary.

Example of leading zero:

RR03 BOX 98D

becomes

RR 3 BOX 98D

c. Hyphens

Hyphens are only printed as part of the box number when indicated as part of the address.

Example of hyphens:

RR 4 BOX 19-1A

d. Designations RFD and RD

Change the designations “RFD” and “RD” (as a meaning for rural or rural free delivery) to RR.

Example of designations RFD and RD:

RFD ROUTE 4  87A

becomes

RR 4 BOX 87A

e. Additional designations

There should be no additional designations, such as town or street names, on the Delivery Address Line of rural route addresses, because street names used together with route and box numbers can create potential matching difficulty.

Example of no additional designations for rural route address:

RR 2 BOX 18 BRYAN DIARY RD

becomes

RR 2 BOX 18

10. Highway contract route addresses

a. Format

Highway contract route addresses are output on a mail piece as: HC N BOX NN. Do not use the words “highway contract,” “route,” “number,” “No.,” “star,” or the “#” symbol.

Examples of highway contract route addresses:

HC 68 BOX 152

HC 68 BOX 23

b. Leading zero

A leading zero before the highway contract route number is not necessary.

Example of leading zero:

HC068 BOX 98D

becomes

HC 68 BOX 98D

c. Hyphens

Hyphens are only printed as part of the box number when indicated as part of the address.

Examples of hyphens:

HC 68 BOX 19-2B

d. Star route designation

Change the designation “STAR ROUTE,” which usually refers to highway contract route, to “HC.”

Example of star route designation:

STAR ROUTE 68 BOX  45

becomes

HC 68 BOX 45

e. Additional designations

Do not show any additional designations, such as town or street names, on the delivery address line of highway contract route addresses.

NOTE: Street names used together with route and box numbers can create potential matching difficulty.

Example of no additional designations for highway contract route addresses:

HC 2 BOX 18 BRYAN DIARY RD

becomes

HC 2 BOX 18

11. Post office box addresses

a. Format

Post office box addresses are output as PO BOX NN on the mail piece.

Examples of post office box addresses:

PO BOX 11890

PO BOX G

b. Leading zero

There are situations where a PO BOX number is preceded by significant leading zeroes.

Example of leading zero for post office box addresses:

Mail piece: PO BOX 00145

c. Designations

PO BOX addresses often appear with the word “Caller,” “Lockbox,” or “Drawer.” Change these to PO BOX as output on a mail piece.

Example of PO BOX designations:

ABC COMPANY DRAWER L

becomes

PO BOX L

d. Dual addresses

Avoid