Guide to How USPS Address Validation Works

If you’re not already using the USPS address validation service, you’re falling behind! Avoid paying costly address correction fees and satisfy customer demands by validating your address list.  

Do you ever wonder why your packages don’t reach your customers? Regardless of how much technology advances, every shipper still face address correction challenges which can be costly in the long run.

According to the United States Postal Service (USPS): 

  • 17% of Americans change addresses annually 
  • 45,000,000 people move each year 
  • Approximately out of every 6 families move annually 

Thankfully you can verify your customers’ addresses with the USPS address validation service which matches your address with the United States Postal Service database to ensure your mail goes to the correct address. 

If your customer just moved or if you need to verify your list of addresses, let's discuss how USPS address validation works 

 

What is the USPS Address Validation?  

USPS address validation is a method people can take to check to see if an address is validated. If the address is "invalid" in the database, that could mean the address doesn't exist or isn't officially registered with USPS. There are also address validation APIs that also allow you to check to see if a delivery address is validated or invalid.  

 

USPS Address Validation Delivery van on the road

 

What is the Process Behind Validating an Address?  

An address needs to go through the process of parsing and standardization to be validated. After an address goes through these two processes, it is then validated once it matches its identical address in the USPS database. If the two addresses do not match, then the address may appear as invalid.  

 

Address parsing means an address is divided into individual components, including the house number, street type, street name, etc.   

Address standardization is when an address is formatted to match the standardized formatting set by the governing postal authority, which in this case is the USPS. To ensure that all addresses are inconsistent formatting, CASS-certified providers work to formally correct spelling errors, fill in missing data, and more. Then, the address enters the USPS address database following this process. 

An example of this includes simplified and abbreviated street names, such as Street becoming St.; Avenue turns into "Ave.," and so forth. 

 

Why Do Addresses Appear as Invalid?  

There are many reasons why an address may be appearing as invalid in the USPS address database. The reasons as to why this can happen are as follows:  

  • Non-existent: An address may appear as invalid if it's fake or no longer exists. An invalid response can occur if the address identifies a former business or if street names or numbers not real 
  • Incorrect Formatting: If the address isn't spelled correctly or formatted incorrectly, it can be marked as invalid because it won't match the USPS database. If incorrect information is given, such as the wrong street name, it can lead to an address being marked as invalid as well.  
  • Unoccupied Address: If no one is currently living at the address, it can be marked as invalid because no one is there to collect mail.  
  • Non-Registered Address: An address can be marked as invalid if someone hasn't verified their address with the USPS database. This invalid error can occur if people have moved and haven't registered their new home address. Without registering an address, USPS will mark the address as invalid when being searched.  

 

What is the Standard Address Formula? 

Address standardization is the process of correctly formatting addresses to ensure they match the standards of the USPS. This process includes fixing any spelling errors, formatting issues, using the correct abbreviations, capitalization issues, and more. 

Since the USPS has critical formatting requirements, this is one of the most important steps to address validation.  

 

An example of a standardized USPS address is as follows:  

121 Jones St 

Montgomery AL 36104-4945 

 

Now, businesses can manually check their address lists by going to the USPS website and processing them through CASS-certified software. Companies can also pay the USPS to check their address lists; however, there is a fee involved for using this service. However, there are also address validation services that will perform these services for you and integrate with your company's software to prevent shipping to invalid addresses.   

 

USPS Address Validation integrated on your screen

 

What are Your Next Steps for an Integrated USPS Address Validation Experience? 

Just one step! Sign up for a free product demo of ShipERP's address validation service software ShipAVM that directly integrates USPS address validation service into your ERP system. 

Various address validation service providers will analyze address lists to see which addresses are invalid and validated. ShipAVM reduces shipping costs for our clients by ensuring you know which addresses are trustworthy. When shipping products, it's essential to know if your shipments will go to the correct source. 

Checking address lists ahead of time can help save businesses money. Our address validation software checks your customer's address's legitimacy and offers alternative addresses if it's incorrect 

If an address isn't correct, we'll put a hold or block the order to prevent the item from leaving the door. This function saves you money and the hassle of dealing with shipping items and the returns processShipERP’s address validation software is written in SAP ABAP, and it directly communicates and does business with significant business players.  

 

Want to learn more about the benefits of address validation? 

 

Validate Your Shipping Addresses

Back to Blog

Related Articles

Address Validation: Successful Shippers' Secret Weapon

Ship Your Hazardous Materials with Confidence Using ShipHAZ

When your company works and ships dangerous goods, compliance is crucial to running your business....

Inside ShipAVM: The Hard-Hitter That Tackles Address Correction Fees

The supply chain world is getting more and more complex, but all shippers still deal with...