How to Address an Envelope

Posted by Judy on Dec 22nd 2016

  • List the recipient's name, the company name, street address or PO Box, and city/state/ZIP code on separate lines, in that order.
  • Secondary address information, such as suite or apartment number should be added to the end of the address line and abbreviated according to USPS standards.
  • City names should be spelled out rather than abbreviated. State names should have the standard two-letter abbreviation.
  • Use ZIP+4 to help speed delivery. USPS prefers two spaces between the state and ZIP.
  • The designation PO Box should be used only for US Postal Service boxes. Private boxes should have the designation PMB and number.
  • Mail with a dual address (both a street address and a Post Office box number) is delivered to the address immediately above the city and state (or to the Post Office box if both the street address and Post Office box are on the same line).


The US Postal Service Publication 28 has detailed guidelines for preparing the delivery address and a list of the standard USPS abbreviations