The following (with no punctuation) is recommended in the sequence and position indicated for addressing to insure efficient handling and delivery by the USPS:

Address specifications

Address Area: The complete address should be located within this white area (no return address information). Extraneous (non-address) printing or markings should appear as high on the mail piece and as far away from the address as possible.

Barcode Read Area: Please make sure that this area remains clear of all printing. It's reserved for the bar code that will be printed by the Optical Character Reader (OCR).  

You will get the best possible service if you:

  • Type or machine-print all address information.
  • Do not use script or italic letters in your address.
  • Use black ink on a white background.
  • Ensure address characters do not touch or overlap.
  • Maintain a uniform left margin.
  • Use standard two-letter state abbreviations.
  • Eliminate all punctuation (except the hyphen between ZIP Code and plus four).
  • Use common abbreviations.
  • Use Zip + 4 Codes.
  • Make sure there is no message line below the Zip + 4 line.
  • Put return address and department code on the mail.
  • Bar code your mail.

Make sure the place where you want the mail delivered appears on the line immediately above the city, state and zip code line (i.e., 123 W MAIN ST STE 400 or P.O. BOX 125).

If both the street address and the P.O. Box are on the same line, the mail piece will be delivered to the P.O. Box.

Address Placement


Placement of the address on the face of an envelope should conform to USPS specifications as shown.


Labels for use on parcels, packages, or large envelopes must be addressed according to the recommended format. Labels must be applied parallel to the bottom edge of the envelope to be processed by the USPS automated equipment.