Everything You Need to Know About How to Send Mail – Postal Posts

shipping tips

envelopes, boxes and packaging

Letters, bills, greeting cards, and other documents can be sent in standard white, manila, or recycled paper envelopes. these envelopes, along with stationery and first-class prepaid postcards and envelopes, can be purchased at most post offices.

Larger items can be mailed using your own box, a USPS-provided box, or ReadyPost® boxes available for purchase in Post Office lobbies.

Items that need extra protection can be shipped in waterproof, padded paper, or bubble-lined envelopes. For most mailing needs, our line of readypost® mailing products can solve the most unique mailing problems and are available for purchase online and at our post offices.

direction for success

recipient address

Print or type your recipient’s name, including organization name, if applicable.

Print or type the recipient’s mailing address. use either a PO Box or a postal address, but not both.

be sure to use a specific address (for example, nw for northwest), if it is included in the address. there may be more than one main street.

Print or type the apartment or suite number (if applicable). the correct apartment or suite number helps ensure delivery to the correct location.

return address

Your return address lets the postal service and your recipients know where a piece of mail originates. a return address is required under specific shipping circumstances. however, to ensure proper handling of any return mail, it is recommended that you place a return address on your mail piece.

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preparing the return address of your envelope or package:

print or write your return address in the upper left corner on the front of the envelope or package.

print shipping and return addresses on the same side of your envelope or card.

type or print clearly with pen or permanent marker so the address is legible from an arm’s length. do not use commas or periods.

If you are using a Priority Mail product, please print or type your return address in the “from” space of the box or on the USPS-provided address label.

need a label?

If you’re not at a post office, you can print and pay for your Express Priority Mail and Priority Mail mailing labels online using click-n-ship.

International Postage Labels can be purchased online for Global Express Guaranteed, International Express Priority Mail, International Priority Mail, and First Class International Parcel via Click-n-Ship. some items may require customs forms.

package tracking

Need to track the progress of your package? USPS tracking is provided free of charge for domestic priority mail items with a tracking number. you can choose to receive updates by email or text message.

You can also set delivery instructions for incoming packages with tracking numbers using your free My USPS account.

plus, you can arrange free package pickup online for most packages.

military mail

Ship to a military address? military addresses must display full name with middle name or initial.

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the delivery line (the second line from the bottom in the address) should show the word “unit”, “cmr” or “psc” and the number; and assigned section number.

replace the city name with apo, fpo, or dpo, and the state with aa, ae, or ap. be sure to include zip code+4.

Military mail sent to overseas stations may require customs forms. see military guidelines.

city, state and zip code

Using the correct zip code helps deliver your mail efficiently and accurately. zip codes are easy to look up online or with our mobile app. simply visit usps.com on your mobile device or download our app, usps mobile®.

once there, you can find the correct spelling of a city name and other abbreviations for commonly used street and state names.

remember, the employees at your local post office will be happy to help you with your shipping needs.

happy shipping!

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