USPS Address Check: What You Should Know?

USPS address check, that’s a phrase you don’t think about very often. But you should, because verifying your address is a vital component in you receiving your mail on time and were you want it. And you might find it surprising that not a lot of people do this and it is one of the key reasons mail gets lost or misdelivered. So, in this article, I will explain why doing the USPS address check is important and also what exactly does this entail.

What is postal address verification?

Postal address verification is a process. This process is used in order to check the validity and deliverability of a physical mailing address. In the United States, the system is very well tuned and thus, for an address to be valid (or in other words, mailable, as in mail can reach that respective address), it has to be CASS-certified. That means that that certain address exists in the comprehensive list of mailable addresses. This list is part of the Address Management System.

Be careful and do not confuse this system with the Address Verification System that is in place for credit cards. So in other words, if your credit card provider has verified that you have the same address on the credit card account with your billing one that does not mean automatically that your address is valid and has deliverability. These are two different processes.

What should you look for?

In order to have your address certified as deliverable and get it CASS certified, you first have to standardize it. This means to convert your address into a standard format that is accepted by every Postal Office in the United States. What this means exactly and what you should look for is to find out if there is any missing information from your address, you should add the ZIP code and you should be able to produce in the end a complete and correct address that contains the street address, the city, the state and the Zip code.

If you run this process and you discover that the address where you are currently living is not validated, what you have to do is contact the nearest Post Office and follow their instructions in order for your address to be validated and added to the system. It is the only way to receive your mail correctly and on time. And, in order to facilitate this process and make it simpler, here are a couple of things you should look out after when you are trying to achieve the best results with validating your address:

Abbreviation

If you want to use abbreviations in your address, you have to keep in mind that there are certain abbreviations that are approved by the USPS and you should try to always use those that are approved. For example, the approved and standardized abbreviation for avenue is AVE and you should use that in your address if applicable.

Spelling correction

This is one of the biggest problems when it comes to addresses and one of the first things you should check. There are a lot of cities and streets that have similar names and you have to be very careful as any mistake like this will most likely lead to undeliverable mail or mail being delivered into wrong places. Usually these work out in the end because people don’t receive their mail and complain or receive someone else’s mail and report it, but it is best if you take care of this from the start as to avoid problems down the road.

Uniform city names

This is a little bit more complicated, and all you have to keep in mind here is that CASS-certified software accepts and uses as standard city names that are “preferred” or “acceptable”. That means New York City for example is standardized to New York. Usually, the system manages to correct these names on its own but it doesn’t hurt to take a look yourself.

Completion

This is one of the simplest things to do and yet one of the biggest problems when it comes to addresses. In order to be valid, an address has to be complete, and that means that it has to have a street name, a city name, a state name and a ZIP code. If you want to ease the process of validating your address, be certain to include all this information from the get go. It’s not that hard now is it…?

Statistics

The USPS address check is a very important process because, even if the numbers seem very high, this is the reality. People move, people change cities, people relocate very often. In fact, here are some numbers:

17% of Americans change addresses every year. That is a lot of people that move from one place to another every year. But that’s not all, because these 17% are those that change their addresses in every give year. Actually, the number of people that move is much larger, and stands at 45 million people that move each year. What this means is that basically, approximately one out of every six American families moves each year, thus creating confusion for the postal workers if they don’t check their addressees and update that information.

Why is this important?

When you change your address or if you are a business and you buy or rent a list of addresses in order to mail customers that does not mean automatically that those addresses are correct, updated, checked or “certified”. And if you use those addresses without having them checked first and updated, you run the risk of not having your mail delivered and that can create backlog and hurt your business.

And that is why it is very important to do a USPS address check and update where necessary with the correct information. This can be done very easily since the Postal Service is providing you with a lot of ways to check the accuracy of those lists.

If you need help

In case you need assistance with this process and you don’t know exactly what to do, or in case you encounter problems along the way, in order to receive assistance, you simply have to call the National Customer Support Center (NCSC) at (800) 238-3150.