Address Verification

Formatting Street Addresses

By 12 March 2024April 14th, 2024No Comments
formatting street addresses

How Can Formatting Street Addresses Boost Shipping Efficiency?

Addressing an envelope or postcard seems easy, but it can be tricky for many. The United States Postal Service (USPS) requires senders to follow its mailing address format, making formatting street addresses essential.

formatting street addresses

This blog discusses the correct USPS format with many examples for your reference. Also, we propose an alternative approach to manually cross-checking addresses to help you save time, effort, and resources.

Let us begin!

How to Format Street Address With and Without ZIP Codes?

All countries have a specific format that senders should follow. USPS also has guidelines to help you send something within the US without delivery delays, mail returns, or lost items.

Please note that mentioning the ZIP code in your delivery address is necessary for shipping something. Otherwise, it is only a location, not a postal address, where the USPS can deliver something.

Here’s how formatting street addresses without ZIP codes would look like

78 Main Street, Detroit, Michigan

The Post Office does not accept mail items having addresses without ZIP codes because it needs them to route deliveries.

Thus, you must learn how to format a street address with ZIP codes to avoid hassles.

Find below an example-

78 Main Street, Detroit, Michigan – 48127

But wait!

It still needs formatting to become eligible for shipping according to the postal official websites.

Let us cover it in the next section!

Correct USPS Mailing Address Format

The shipping address is crucial for sending a postcard, letter, or package.

Knowing the proper street address format allows you to ensure accurate deliveries.

Here’s the USPS-prescribed format that you can use:

Address line 1: Recipient’s name

Address line 2: Unit or apartment number and street address

Address line 3: City, state, and ZIP code

Here’s an example:

STEVE PARKER
129 MAPLE DR
NEW YORK CITY NY  10005

Also, let us consider an example of shipping to a commercial address:

LIAM KELLY
MILLER ASSOCIATES
5810 KENSINGTON CT
CONCORD NH  03305

The second line moves to the third, and so on, when formatting street addresses for commercial locations. You can mention the company name below the recipient’s and add all the other information on the following lines.

USPS automated mail sorting machines read your delivery addresses from the bottom up. Hence, correctly writing the last two lines helps ensure the carrier drops off your items at the correct destinations.

Adding any information after the last two lines, like your tagline, attention line, or slogan, can misdirect your mailings. Hence, try avoiding them while formatting street addresses to avoid confusing the machines.

Different Address Format Types With Examples

Many shippers have a common question—How to ensure proper street address formatting in Excel?

First, you must know the correct format for mailing to different location types.

You can encounter many address types on your mailing list, like commercial, PO box, or international.

PO Box Address

PO box addresses have a different format than street addresses. 

You should mention the PO box number instead of your apartment number and street name. 

Here’s an example:

HENRY COPELAND
PO BOX 7823
EMLYN KY  40769

You can also use the PO box street address format– where you mention each address component on a different line. For example,

LAYLA AHERN
901 SECOND ST
PO BOX 80390
SAN FRANSISCO CA  94115

International Address Format

You may need to ship items to Canada, Australia, and other countries. Thus, knowing global address formats can come in handy.

Canada street address format:

Recipient’s name

Civic address number and street address
City, province or territory abbreviation, and postal code
Country name

Find below an example:

RYAN CAMERON
707 NW GRAND AVE
MONTREAL QC  H1T 3J5
CANADA

More Examples!

Below, we have mentioned a few more examples with the suite number, building number, or attention line. Also, we will discuss how to format addresses for mailing to an Army or Fleet Post Office.

Here’s an example of using an apartment street address format with the building number:

SCOTT CHRISTIE
ABC COMPANY
12 SLYVAN BLVD BLDG 8
LAS VEGAS, NV  89104

Now, let us cover a postal address with the suite number:

APRIL JONES
1630 2ND DR STE 64
PASADENA, CA  91114

Note: BLDG and STE are abbreviations for building and suite, respectively.

Below is an example of a numbered address with the attention line:

ATTN: RICHARD SMITH
49 ROCKY LN
HOUSTON TX  71001

Finally, here’s an example of a military address format:

SGT. KEITH SERRAO
UNIT 1879 BOX 257
APO AE 09876

Postal Guidelines on Formatting Street Addresses and Quick Tips

USPS has many guidelines and tips for formatting a physical address for shipping mailers. They help you use the correct format and ensure mailing efficiency.

  • Use capital letters
  • Avoid adding punctuation
  • Align your mailing and return address toward the left
  • Use dark-colored inks on light-colored paper
  • Put the postage and address on the same side of your envelopes or parcels
  • Keep the address parallel to the longer side
  • Leave one space between the city name and state abbreviation
  • Leave two spaces between the state and ZIP code
  • Always mention the attention line above your mailing address
  • Put the suite or house number above the street address if you can’t fit it on the same line
  • Use the correct abbreviations for street directional, names, and states

Here are the USPS-approved abbreviations you can use:

Street Types Abbreviations
Avenue AVE
Apartment APT
Building BLDG
Boulevard BLVD
Court CT
Circle CIR
Center CTR
Drive DR
Expressway EXPY
Extension EXT
Freeway FWY
Fort FT
Highway HWY
Island IS
Lane LN
Junction JCT
Mountain MT
Place PL
Parkway PKY
Road RD
Saint ST
Square SQ
Spring/ Springs SPG/ SPGS
Suite STE
Street ST
Turnpike TPKE
Terrace TER

Also, you may need the following abbreviations for street directional when formatting street addresses:

Street Directional Abbreviations
North N
South S
East E
West W
North East NE
North West NW
South East SE
South West SW

Address Normalization or Standardization: How Can It Help?

You may have heard the term ‘address standardization’ or ‘address normalization’ a few times.

It refers to converting addresses into consistent, reformatted formats of the national postal authority, helping you mail accurately and prevent mail returns.

We follow the USPS guidelines in the US. Other countries use the instructions from their postal organizations, like La Poste in France, Canada Post in Canada, and Royal Mail in the UK.

It lets you verify your address data when formatting addresses to improve accuracy, deliverability, and cost-efficiency.

PostGrid’s Address Verification Services: Your Partner in Formatting Street Addresses

PostGrid’s address validation API and software allow you to parse, standardize, and verify mailing lists within seconds. 

You can verify 200k addresses simultaneously, facilitating quick results and time-saving processes.

Also, PostGrid is CASS-certified and uses the NCOA data files. It enables us to cross-check your addresses against the USPS authoritative database. 

Gone are the times when you needed to worry about “how to format a street address.”

Now, you can avail of features like

Get a demo for more details on formatting street addresses and how we help smoothen the process!

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