The United States Postal Service (USPS) uses a standardized system for addressing mail that includes a variety of different address types. These address types are used to specify different levels of geographic precision, ranging from broad areas such as states and cities to specific street level addresses. Understanding the different types can help you understand the country's postal system and ensure that your mail and packages arrive at the intended destination.
Residential and Commercial
Residential and commercial addresses are two of the most common types of addresses in the US. A residential address is used to identify a person's primary residence, such as a house, apartment, or condominium. The address typically includes the street number, street name, apartment or unit number (if applicable), city, state, and ZIP code. A commercial address, on the other hand, is used to identify a business location, such as an office building, retail store, or warehouse. The address format for a commercial address is similar to that of a residential address, but it may also include a business name, suite or floor number, depending on the size and layout of the building.
The street level address typically includes a house or building number, a street name, and a city, state, and ZIP code. For example, 123 Main St, Anytown, NY 12345. Street addresses are used for residential and commercial buildings and are essential for delivering mail and packages.
A PO Box, or post office box, is a mailbox located at a post office. PO Boxes are often used by individuals or businesses that do not have a street address, such as rural areas or small towns. PO Boxes have their own unique address format and are typically written as "PO Box" followed by a number and the name of the post office. For example, PO Box 123, Anytown, NY 12345.
A rural route address is used for mail delivery to rural areas. It consists of the recipient's name, the name of the rural route, the route number, and the city, state, and ZIP code. For example, John Smith, RR 2 Box 123, Anytown, NY 12345. Rural route addresses are typically used for farms and ranches and are delivered by the USPS.
Military addresses are used for mail delivery to military personnel stationed overseas. These addresses have a unique format that includes the recipient's name, the unit or ship name, the APO or FPO designation, and the city, state, and ZIP code. APO stands for Army Post Office, while FPO stands for Fleet Post Office. For example, John Smith, USS Enterprise CVN-65, FPO AE 09543-1000.
Understanding the various address formats used across the US can help you ensure that your mail and packages are delivered to the correct location. If you are unsure of the correct address format to use, start by following our USPS delivery address guidelines.