Postal Regulations

Published: September 23rd, 1996

Category: Memos

Fred Batie, Manager, Campus Mail Services

The U.S. Postal Service has implemented new rules under Classification Reform resulting in mail classification changes. The new provisions are permanent and apply to all bulk mailers. It is, therefore, important that all campus users of bulk mail services become familiar with these new standards and put them into practice in their mailings.

Mail that does not reach its destination because of an old or incorrect address causes complaints and added expense for everyone. Badly addressed mail wastes time and money. Address quality improvements mean that more mail will get to its destination on the first try, and the huge cost to the Postal Service of rehandling misaddressed mail will be reduced. The reduction in costs will be passed on to U.S. Postal Service customers.

Classification Reform requires some procedures that many departments already practice. All Zip Codes on mailings must be accurate. Effective October 1, 1996, Zip Code accuracy must be verified at least once a year. Mailers can use a variety of methods to verify the accuracy of Zip Code information. Options include:

  • Manual verification using the most recent Postal Service Zip Code Directory.
  • Using an electronic lookup service such as those available on the Postal Service Home Page (
  • Using certified address matching software.

Address quality standards require high-quality addresses that can be matched to Postal Service Address Information Systems. Below is an example of “Before” and “After” addresses reflecting 10 changes made to meet the standards of address standardization:

        BEFORE                        AFTER

Mr. & Mrs. John A. SampleMR & MRS JOHN A SAMPLE
Apartment 230                5505 W SUNSET BLVD APT 230
5505 Sunsette            HOLLYWOOD CA 90028-8521
Hollwoode Calif. 90083

The 10 changes necessary to correct the “Before” address to the “After” address in order to meet Post Service standards are:

  1. Lowercase letters put into uppercase and punctuation removed.
  2. Delivery address information, including apartment number placed on the same line.
  3. Directional (W) given in delivery address.
  4. Spelling of street name corrected.
  5. Correct suffix (BLVD) given for delivery address.
  6. Secondary address information (APT 230) placed after street address.
  7. Spelling of city name corrected.
  8. Standard state name abbreviation given (2-letter state abbreviation).
  9. Zip Code corrected.
  10. Correct ZIP+4 code given

If you have any questions, please contact Fred Batie at 392-0629.

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