Customer Support Ruling

Occupant Addresses

UPDATED May 2003

PS-048 (602.3.0)

This CSR discusses the use of address designators on mailpieces using the occupant address or simplified address format.

This is in reference to the use of the addressee designator "To the Teenage Girl At:" on mailing pieces.

Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 602.3.3 authorizes the use of an addressee designation, such as "Postal Customer", "Occupant", "Householder", and "Resident" instead of the actual name of the person at the delivery address on mailpieces using an occupant address format.  The examples given in that regulation are preferred because they are universal designators.

The use of less general addressee designators is not encouraged; but if a customer insists on their usage, we will not refuse the mail so long as the addressee designator is in acceptable taste and does not invite general controversy.

DMM 602.3.2 provides that for mailpieces using a simplified address format, other designations (e.g. "Food Buyer", "Voter") are not permitted.  The prohibition against the use of other designations is only for mailpieces intended for general distribution through rural or star route delivery and boxholder addresses when city or village carrier service is not provided (i.e., simplified address format).  This more rigid requirement is necessary for the simplified address format, since the selective distribution to more specific addressee categories is not possible as it is when the street and number is used in an address.

The Postal Service does wish to accommodate the needs of our customer whenever possible.  If good taste and noncontroversial addressee designators are used, we will not refuse mail bearing occupancy address formats with substitute designations for the word "Occupant".  For mail using a simplified address format, no substitute designations may be used.

Sherry Suggs


Mailing Standards

Headquarters, US Postal Service

Washington, DC  20260-3436