Postal standards and abbreviations

Envelopes and mailing labels: standard format

  1. Use all capitals.
  2. Use no punctuation except a hyphen between the 5-digit and + 4 Zip code.
  3. Follow the line arrangement shown in this example:

    ELBERT F POWELL
    POWELL PRINTING CO
    STE 412
    5800 BRATTLE ST
    CAMBRIDGE MA 02169-1058
    USA
  4. Use standard abbreviations for street address, secondary address, and city/state/zip lines as specified below.
  5. Except for such universal forms as "Co.," and "Inc.," DO NOT abbreviate recipient, company, or institution names unless you must do so to avoid line wrapping. When it is necessary to abbreviate, use the "ad hoc" abbreviations specified below.

Abbreviations, city, state, zip line

Use the following rules consistently for all U.S. and Canadian addresses.

  1. Use standard 2-letter abbreviations for U.S. states and Canadian provinces.
  2. Do not abbreviate any part of the city or town name:

      NORTH AUGUSTA SC (not N Augusta)
      SAINT LOUIS MO (not St Louis)
      FORT MYERS FL (not Ft Myers)
      SOMERS POINT NJ (not Somers Pt)

Abbreviations, street address line

  1. Use the following abbreviations consistently in the street addresses of all envelopes and mailing labels.
  2. Except for the ordinal numbers* (2nd, 4th, etc.), do not abbreviate the formal names of streets:
      123 NORTH ST (not N ST)
      321 HARBOR BLVD (not Hbr Blvd)
      1400 THREE RIVERS DR (NOT 3 Rivers Dr)
      * but: 525 7TH AVE (not Seventh Ave), 12 S 12TH ST (not S Twelfth St)
Apt Apartment NE Northeast
Ave Avenue No. (omit this word)
Box (becomes PO Box) NW Northwest
Bldg Building Park Park
Bur Bureau Pkwy Parkway
Byp Bypass Pass Pass
Cswy Causeway Path Path
Cay Cay Pike Pike
Ctr Center Pl Place
Cir Circle Plz Plaza
Ct Court Pt Point
Cv Cove PO Post Office
Cr Creek Rdg Ridge
Cres Crescent Rd Road
Crst Crest Expy Expressway
Curv Curve Rdwy Roadway
Dr Drive Rt Route
8th Eighth Row Row
E East, eastern Rue Rue
Est Estate RFD Rural Free Delivery (becomes RR)
Ext Extension RR Rural Route
Fls Falls S South, southern
5th Fifth 2nd Second
1st First 6th Sixth
4th Fourth 7th Seventh
Fwy Freeway SE Southeast
Gdn Garden SW Southwest
Gdns Gardens Spur Spur
Grn Green Sq Square
Grv Grove Sta Station
Hbr Harbor St Street
HC Highway Contract Route (Star Route)    Strm Stream
Hts Heights Ste Suite
Hwy Highway 10th Tenth
Jct Junction Ter Terrace
Key Key 3rd Third
Keys Keys Trl Trail
Knl Knoll Tpke Turnpike
Ln Lane Walk Walk
Mnr Manor Way Way
Mt Mount W West, western
Mtn Mountain
9th Ninth
N North, northern

Abbreviations, secondary address unit

Apt Apartment
Box Box
Bldg Building
Dept Department
Fl Floor
No. Number (omit this word)
# Number or space (omit this symbol)
Ofc Office
Rm Room
Ste Suite
Unit Unit

Abbreviations, ad hoc

Admin Administration Lab Laboratory
Apt Apartment Lang Language(s)
Assoc Associate Ldg Lodge
Assn Association Libr Library
Asst Assistant(omit this word) Lit Literature
Attn Attention Loc Location, local
Bd of Ed Board of Education Ltd Limited
Bl Block Mnr Manor
Bldg Building Mfg Manufacturing
Bur Bureau Mtg Meeting
Capt Captain Metro Metropolitan
Ctr Center Mid Middle
Chair Chairman, chairperson MS Middle School
Cir Circle Mt Mount
City City Mtn Mountain
Colg College Mtwy Motorway
Col Colonel Mus Museum
Cdr Commander Natl National
Comm Commission No. Number
Cmnty Community Ofc Office
Co Company Org Organization
Cond Condominium, condition Phil Philosophy
Conf Conference Plz Plaza
Coop Cooperative Pt Point
Corpl Corporal Port Port
Corp Corporation PO Post Office
Cty County Pr Prairie
Curr Curriculum Pres President
Dept Department Prof Professor
Dev Development Psych Psychology
Dist District Pvt Private
Div Division Pub Public
Dr Doctor Qtr Quarter
Educ Education RR Railroad
Elem Elementary Rcvng Receiving
Engl English Regl Regional
Ens Ensign Rep Representative, republic
Est Estate Rsrch Research
Expy Expressway Ret Retired
Ext Extension St Saint
Farm Farm Sch Bd School Board
Fax Fax Sci Science
Flat Flat Sec Sector, section
FPO Fleet Post Office Sr Senior, Sister
Fwd Forward Sgt Sergeant
Gdn Garden Shpg Shipping
Gdns Gardens Src Source
Gen General Sq Square
Govt Government Sta Station
GPO Government Post Office Strm Stream
Hbr Harbor Supt Superintendent
Hon Honorable Sys System
Hqtrs Headquarters Tel Telephone
HS High school Twp Township
Hts Heights Univ University
Inc Incorporated US United States (adjective)
ISD Independent School District USA United States of America (noun)
Inst Institute, institution Vil Villa
Instr Instruction, instructor Vis Vista
Jr Junior &, #, c/o Eliminate these marks
K Kindergarten

Addresses: IRA post office boxes

  1. Use the following address as standard for materials sent to 800 Barksdale:

      IRA
      800 BARKSDALE RD
      PO BOX 8139
      NEWARK DE 19714-8139

  2. Use the following address for POSTAGE PAID #9 RETURN ENVELOPE:

      IRA
      800 BARKSDALE RD
      PO BOX 6021
      NEWARK DE 19714-9900

  3. Use the following addresses for POSTAGE PAID 4 x 6 POST CARD:

      IRA
      800 BARKSDALE RD
      PO BOX 8139
      NEWARK DE 19714-9874

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