Posts tagged ‘mail’

Punctuation is Not Allowed in Mailing Addresses

Whether it’s a personal or business letter, every piece of mail I receive has the address formatted differently. Some even have the return and destination addresses formatted differently.

Since the post office has very strict requirements for addressing a letter, they should all be exactly the same. The post office guidelines are recommended for fastest delivery and I’ve compiled a list of rules that are the most surprising or commonly abused.

Since most of my readers are in North America, I’ve compared the requirements from the US Postal Service and Canada Post — they’re very similar and they contain good practices that are applicable to sending mail in most places.

Mail is typically sorted by a machine, but if the machine can’t determine the address then it will be dropped in a bin for a human to sort it. Most of the requirements are design to make it easy for the machine to understand where you’re trying to send your letter.

No Punctuation Allowed

One rule that will surprise most people: no punctuation is allowed. I know your third grade teacher said you should put a comma between the city and the state, and maybe she was right at the time, but that’s not right anymore. Don’t use periods either, using punctuation will only slow the mail down. It’s going to be a tough habit to break, I know. There is one exception, and that is when the name of the City, Street or Town contains punctuation, such as an apostrophe (for example: St John’s). (more…)

May 4, 2010 at 12:17 am 8 comments


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