|USPS Home | Postal Explorer Home|
Quick Service Guide 602
Basic Standards for All Mailing Services
June 7, 2010
The delivery address specifies where the USPS is to deliver a mailpiece. The address must be legible and complete on the side of the mailpiece that bears the postage.
Placement and location: see 202.2.0 for letters and cards, or 302 for flats.
The placement of the address can determine mailability of the mailpiece and/or price and eligibility. For Periodicals, Standard Mail, Bound Printed Matter, Media Mail, and Library Mail flat-size pieces mailed at automation, presorted, or carrier route prices, the address must:
Complete Addresses (602.1.4)
The address must include:
The address on automation price mail must be sufficiently complete to enable matching the current USPS ZIP+4 File when using current CASS-certified address matching software (708.3.0). Standardized address elements are not required.
Return Address (602.1.5)
A return address tells the USPS where the sender wants the mail returned if it is undeliverable.
A return address is required on certain types of mail. Preferred return address placement is the upper left portion of the mailpiece or the upper left part of the address area—on the side of the piece bearing postage. Mail qualifying for Nonprofit Standard Mail prices must have the name and return address of the authorized nonprofit organization either on the outside of the mailpiece or in a prominent location on the material being mailed (inside the mailpiece) (703.1.5).
Alternative Addressing Formats (602.3.0)
Simplified addressing: simplified address format ("Postal Customer") is used when general distribution is requested to each boxholder or family on a rural route or highway contract route at any post office or to each Post Office boxholder at a Post Office without city carrier service. Government agencies may also use simplified addressing for official matter being sent to all stops on city carrier routes and Post Office boxholders at Post Offices with city carrier service.
Occupant addressing: mailer may use "Occupant" (instead of a recipient's name) with a complete delivery address on mail intended for selective distribution.
Exceptional addressing ("Or Current Resident" in addition to the addressee's name): indicates that mailpiece should be delivered to the current resident if addressee has moved. Exceptional addressing may not be used on certain types of mail.
The following guidelines for addressing a mailpiece are in USPS Publication 28, Postal Addressing Standards:
Pub. 28, Postal Addressing Standards
1. For MLOCR FASTforward users, the name of the recipient must appear in the OCR read area.
Dark shaded area indicates "free space" for nonaddress printing.
Light shaded area indicates preferred clear zone to enhance readability.