How to Write International Address the Right Way to Ensure Accurate Deliveries
The United States Postal Services delivered 129.2 billion mail items in 2020! This figure includes all domestic and international postcards, letters, and parcels that the USPS successfully mailed out.
Thousands of customers send mail to international locations via the USPS every year. But, worldwide mailing needs them to learn how to write international addresses correctly.
You cannot use the same US mailing address format you use to send mail within the country. Instead, you should use a format that matches the guidelines of the destination country’s postal organization.
Understanding how to address international mail also helps you ensure that your mail reaches the right destination. It fast tracks the mailing process and allows the postal workers to send your items on time.
Keep reading this guide to know how to address an international letter the right way. Also, we will discuss the different ways to send international mail through the USPS.
Let’s get started!
Prime Guidelines to Know While Addressing International Mail
The USPS has a set of guidelines for international addressing to help you send mail to global destinations effortlessly, including:
- Write all your mailing addresses in capital letters. It is advisable to also write the recipient’s name with the address in all caps.
- Make sure that your addresses do not exceed five lines. If they exceed this limit, try clubbing two or more lines to shorten them.
- While learning how to write an international address on an envelope or package, first cross-check the address with the receiver.
- All delivery addresses must be typewritten or printed using blue or black ink. Avoid using light colors on dark-colored paper stock.
- Prevent the use of pencils and pens for addressing international mail. Remember that handwritten addresses are prone to scrubbing, erasing, and other such issues, making it hard to complete deliveries.
- Always write the recipient’s full legal name on the first line. A legal name refers to the name that appears on the person’s government ID. It includes their first name, middle name or initial (if any), and last name. For example- Mona S Collins.
- When you learn how to write address international, the prime thing to know is that your addresses must appear legibly. Any scratches, spelling mistakes, ink blotting, etc., can lead to delivery failures.
- Use Arabic numerals and Roman letters for addressing international mail. Plus, take care that they are placed lengthwise towards one side of your letters or packages.
- After knowing how to write your address for international mail and using the correct format, you need to fill a separate slip enclosed with packages.
- Mailing addresses with Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, or Cyrillic characters must have an interline English translation. If you don’t know the English version, write the foreign language using Roman characters.
- When you understand how to write an address for international mail, you will notice that all international addresses have the country name on the last line. It tells the postal workers where to redirect your mail without checking the postal codes. Make sure to write your destination country’s name in uppercase letters (avoid using abbreviations).
- If you want to use Foreign Postal Codes while addressing international mail items, place them above the country name. Check whether your destination country’s guidelines need you to place the postal code before the city or town.
The above guidelines enable you to know how to write an international address on a letter properly. You can also access the Universal Postal Union website to check if your destination country has additional formatting requirements. However, please note that this step can work well only if your destination country is a United Nations member.
How to Address International Mail
There are different standardization rules, alignments, and address formats for each destination country. However, you can use one standard, customizable format for international addressing, as written below:
Line 1: Recipient’s full name
Line 2: House number and street address/ PO box address
Line 3: City name followed by province, state, or county name and postal code
Line 4: Country
But, it is not enough to only refer to this format for addressing international mail and packages. Please remember that these aspects could differ considerably from country to country.
Hence, let us learn about the above-mentioned elements in detail to learn further how to write your address for international mail:
- House number: It could also be a floor or suite number.
- Street address: Your recipient address may or may not have a street address. Sometimes, it may consist of a PO box number that replaces the house number and street address.
- City name: When exploring the different ways how to write an international address on an envelope, you may come across towns and municipalities. Not surprisingly, some countries use these terms instead of ‘cities.’
- Postal code: Postal codes also go by various names in different countries, like ZIP codes in the US, postcodes in the UK, etc.
Find below some examples of how to write international addresses on packages and letters:
CHANDLER J GILBERT
2089 BAKER ST
LONDON W1U 6RN
PO BOX 752
SYDNEY NSW 2108
1212 PARKDALE AVE
OTTAWA ON K1Y 1J2
It may be complicated to know how to write a postcard address international, but it can help you save loads of effort and time. Some other tips that might help you are:
- The delivery address must always appear in the middle of your envelope or address label
- Affix one or more postal stamps enough to cover your delivery costs on the top right-hand corner
- Place the return address towards the top left-hand corner on the same line as your stamps
While addressing international mail, take care to write the addresses and affix the stamps on the front side of your package or envelope.
How to Write a Return Address On an International Letter
The USPS recommends writing a return address on all international mail items for security reasons. Also, it can help you get your mail back if it does not reach your recipients due to certain reasons.
Some people know how to write an international address, but they forget to mention their return address. Thus, the postal employees have difficulty tracking down the sender and returning undelivered mail. As a result, they discard such items, and the sender isn’t even informed.
Hence, you should also know how to write an international address for the USA. Below is an example of the USPS address format that you can use for your return address:
17 AIRPORT FWY
DALLAS TX 75261 6204
There is no need to mention the country name in your return address. Some other USPS guidelines to keep in mind for knowing how to write a US address for international mail are:
- Use abbreviations for writing state or county names
- Leave two spaces between the abbreviation and ZIP code
- Avoid using initials instead of the recipient’s name unless it is an adopted business name
- Write the city, state, and ZIP code the same way as you do while addressing international mail
- Refrain from using punctuation marks
Which Type of Stamps Do You Need to Send International Mail?
After knowing how to write address for international mail, it is time to affix your stamps. You need Global Forever Stamps to send all types of international letters and parcels.
The number of stamps you need depends on the postage rate of your item. One Global Forever Stamp costs $1.30, so you need two stamps if your postal fee is $2.60. Luckily, these stamps never expire, and you also don’t need to pay any surcharges in case of inflation.
If you are still struggling to understand international mail how to write addresses and calculate postage, try PostGrid’s direct mail services. They can help you create your items, print, address, and mail them in an automated way.
Why Do You Need to Know How to Address an International Letter?
Now that you know how to write a US address internationally, you should also be aware of the reasons that make it a crucial step. Firstly, the USPS cannot determine whether your international delivery address is valid and correct.
Thus, it is hard to tell if your item will be delivered to the correct address or returned to you.
Also, it may not help you access Foreign Postal Codes that you need for addressing international mail. So, you may find it impossible to know how to write address for international packages without contacting all your recipients personally.
You can use PostGrid’s address verification API or software in such cases. They can effortlessly help you with international address transliteration, standardization, and validation.
Some of the other features of our address verification services include:
- On-demand and bulk validation: You can validate any number of mailing addresses in one go with just a few clicks. PostGrid’s API is scalable and can accommodate your growing needs.
- Address autocomplete: Don’t know how to write address for international shipping? No problem! PostGrid’s address validation API can help you auto-complete addresses within a few keystrokes. This way, you can access high-quality, deliverable mailing addresses in seconds.
- SERP and CASS certified: PostGrid is certified by SERP, CASS, and other world-renowned programs. These certifications help PostGrid access authoritative databases and help you know how to write international addresses.
- Zero-code integration: With our zero-code integration feature, you can integrate our API into your CRM without technical expertise. The entire process is simple and speedy, allowing you to get started right away.
PostGrid’s address verification solutions can help you skip the part where you need to know how to write address on international mail.
We understand it can be daunting and complicated to remember the postal address formats of several countries and abide by the guidelines. Thus, all you need to do is integrate our API into your system and start standardizing and validating your addresses.
Sending international mail needs you first to understand how to address an international letter. You must follow the postal guidelines as laid down by the postal organization of your destination country. Most of the time, the format is almost the same, but there are some minor details that you need to take into consideration.
If you want to save time, costs, effort, and mail efficiently, try Postgrid!
Request a demo now to see how we can help you with addressing international mail!