How to Address Envelope in the USA: Ultimate Guide

The Problem...

I couldn't really figure out how to address my envelope so I did a whole lot of research to send my letters out the right way all over the world. 

Let's Send These Letters!!!

Here's MY MEGA GUIDE on how to send your letters to most places. Here's everything you need to know when addressing your envelope in the US.

6 Easy Steps:

Senders Fields 
1.) Senders Name
2.) Abbreviations
3.) Senders Address
Your Fields
4.) Your Name
5.) Your Address
6.) Stamp Placement

Senders: Name

When addressing a United States envelope be sure to position the senders fields in the center of the envelope.  Start with the person you're sending to's name.

Senders: Abbreviations

Abbreviations are used when trying to get really specific on who's going to be receiving the postage. One example of an abbreviation is instead of stating chief executive officer using the term CEO.
Be sure to write the title and name of the person you are writing to under the corporation's name it should look something like this. CEO and Founder Rodger Stacey another abbreviation you might want to use is "c/o", short for in care of.
If sending to an individual at a corporate entity you can put an "attention line abbreviation" example: Attn: Rodger Stacey.
The "Attn" abbreviation is best used when you know your letter will be passed between multiple people and a potential business you are applying for. For example if you are riding into a restaurant to inquire about a position to a head chef the letter might be passed between the mail room and other places so to be safe you can put "c/o" or "Attn" to ensure the person you actually want to read the letter gets a look at it.

Senders: Address

After you figured how you want your senders name to be written on the envelope either with or without an abbreviation it's time to address your letter.  
Start with the street number followed by the name of the street like this:
Then write the city-state and zip code/area code of the person you're writing to. For the states it's okay to use postal abbreviations just be sure they are all accurate you can check for them in the chart below be sure that they are written in capital letters and without periods or any form of punctuation as this could confuse USPS.
State
Abbreviation
Postal Abbreviation

Alabama

Ala.

AL

Alaska

Alaska.

AK

America Somoa

 

AS

Arizona

Ariz.

AZ

California

Calif.

CA

Colorado

Colo.

CO

Connecticut

Conn.

CT

Delaware

Del.

DE

Dist. of Columbia

D.C.

DC

Florida

Fla.

FL

Georgia

Ga.

GA

Guam

Guam.

GU

Hawaii

Hawaii.

HI

Idaho

Idaho.

ID

Illinois

Ill.

IL.

Indiana

Ind.

IN

Iowa

Iowa

IA

Kansas

Kans.

KS

Kentucky

Ky.

KY

Louisiana 

La.

LA

Maine

Maine.

ME.

Maryland

Md.

MD

Marshall Islands

 

MH

Massachusetts

Mass.

MA

Michigan

Mich.

MI

Micronesia

 

FM

Minnesota

Minn.

MN

Mississippi

Miss.

MS

Missouri

Mo.

MO

Montana

Mont.

MT

Nebraska

Nebr.

NE

Nevada

Nev.

NV

New Hampshire

N.H.

NH

New Jersey

N.J.

NJ

New Mexico

N.M.

NM

New York

N.Y.

NY

North Carolina

N.C.

NC

North Dakota

N.D.

ND

Northern Marianas

 

MP

Ohio

Ohio.

OH

Oklahoma

Okla.

OK

Oregon

Ore.

OR

Palau

 

PW

Pennsylvania

Pa.

PA

Puerto Rico

P.R.

PR

Rhode Island

R.I.

RI

South Carolina

S.C.

SC

South Dakota

S.D.

SD

Tennessee

Tenn.

TN

Texas

Tex.

TX

Utah

Utah.

UT

Vermont

Vt.

VT

Virginia

Va.

VA

Virgin Islands

V.I.

VI

Washington

Wash.

WA

West Virginia

W.Va.

WV

Wisconsin

Wis.

WI

Wyoming

Wyo.

WY

Your Fields

Now for the return address, this is where you'll be adding your information just in case your letter doesn't get to the person you're sending it to as addressed.

Your: Name

When addressing a United States envelope be sure all of your fields are positioned in the top left corner of the envelope. Start with your name as displayed below:

Your: Address

Start with the street number followed by the name of the street like shown below be sure your information is completely accurate so in the worse case if your letter doesn't make it to who your sending to, it will at least make it back to you so you will know and can fix the address to re-send it.

Stamp Placement

Lastly stamp placement: your stamp should go on the top right corner of the envelope this covers all payment for the journey/delivery of your letter through postage services.

Stamp Prices

Stamp prices fluctuate every couple of years so your safest bet would be to get forever stamps if you are sending mail domestically. You get a roll of 100 forever stamps and the value you initially purchase them at will stay the same regardless of the price the stamp changes to. A 49 cent stamp from the 80s will get your letter just as far as a 59 cent stamp purchase today, so definitely opt to get forever stamps when purchasing stamps to send with your letters. First class international stamps postcard stamps are currently $1.15 so if you wanted to send your mail abroad either make sure you have international stamps that look like these on your envelope or put three $0.59 cent postage stamps on your envelope to be safe.

Sending mail to Military ?

Sending mail to military ? Make sure all mail you are sending to any military base has all the details required to make sure your message or parcel gets to the hand of your loved one these fields include but are not limited to full name ( middle initial to be safe) PSC number unit number ship name after writing City name you could put APO (Air/Army Post Office), FPO (Fleet Post Office) or DPO (Diplomatic Post Office) depending on your loved one's vocation serving state can be included or replaced by AA (AA stands for),AE (stands for) or AP (stands for) because of (explanation).Lastly the ZIP code of the location full zip code if applicable. Sending postage internationally is quite similar but it's all dependent upon the location let's go a - z with the countries and see how they address their letters compared to the u.s. (domestic postage).

International Mail

If you are trying to send your letter out of the states be sure to know that there might be more aspects of their address fields then typically in the U.S. For instance if you were to be sending a letter to the United Kingdom they have post codes that looks like this: 
So when sending your postage to somewhere specific like London, be sure to get as much information about the receiving party's living situation as possible especially if they're not located in the states more details on how to address your letter foreignly or domestically stay tuned.

Send Letters Easy!!!

If you want to send your friend a letter in a couple of minutes without having to go through the hassle of actually writing and mailing it Text A Letter makes it super easy to not only have it written and sent but will also have your photo hand drawn by a bunch of talented artist check out how to make a letter with them here.
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