Proper address format is
important to make sure your mail can be processed on automated mail
processing equipment. The mail piece address must be readable by
optical character readers (OCR's). Failure to comply to address
formats and type will slow down the delivery of your mail.
is a list of how to address mail:
1 - The top line
should be the attention@ line - the name of the individual person and
title if a company.
2 - The next line includes the name of recipient or organization.
3 - The next to last line should be the delivery address (or P.O.
Box number) followed by apartment or room number, by
department name, etc. (If this additional information will not
fit on the delivery address line, it should be placed on the
above, not below,
the delivery address.
4 - The last line should include city, state and zip code.
5 - On international mail the last line (under city,
province/state/territory, and postal code) should be the name of the
country spelled out in capital letters. Never use abbreviations for
country names, which must be in English.
(See pages from Mailroom Guide)
For the best possible
service, you should use all capital letters, eliminate all punctuation
and use common abbreviations listed at the end of this guide. All mail
preferred typed, but handwritten addresses are acceptable if they are
legible. When using window envelopes, make sure the entire address can
be seen, even if the contents of the envelope shifts.
following is a list of Do's
1) Use light-colored envelopes. Black ink on white background is
2) All lines of address should have a uniform left margin. This gives
the OCR a fixed field
to scan the address.
3) Use all capital letters.
4) The typewriter or printer should leave a clear space between each
character. If characters touch each other, the OCR can=t tell where
one letter ends and another begins.
5) In the last line of the address, spell out the city name in its
entirety and use the appropriate two character state abbreviation
(never spell out the state).
6) Place a full space between words. Two spaces are recommended
between the state and zip code.
7) Use correct address abbreviations, street designators, directions,
and secondary address unit indicators.
8) Make certain the address is not slanted. Be extra careful when
using labels, make sure they are horizontal with the envelope. A
slanted address can't be read by OCR.
1) Do not use italia (script) print. Dot matrix print is very hard for
OCR to read if dots don=t touch each other.
2) Do not use punctuation except for hyphen in Zip + 4 digit code.
3) Do not use name of building in place of street address.
4) Do not use intersections such as ABird and 107th Avenue@.
5) Do not use dark colored (red) envelopes.
6) Do not use envelopes made from parchment or onionskin paper.
7) Do not print anything below the address block. This area must be
kept clear from bar-code and optical scanning.
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