How to address an envelope

In the age of technology, where people can quickly text their friends or easily communicate with their family, it seems crazy that someone still needs to know how to address a letter. Believe it or not, however, sometimes handwritten letters are the ideal mode of communication.

what’s inside is up to you, but it’s important to follow specific guidelines for the outside of the envelope to ensure your letter is sent to whomever it’s intended for.

how to address an envelope

How to address an envelope

  1. Write the return address in the top left corner.
  2. Then, write the recipient’s address slightly centered on the bottom half of the envelope.
  3. To finish, place the stamp in the top right corner.

There are two addresses normally seen on the envelope, but technically only one is required: the recipient’s address. the return address is not required, but is recommended. If there is an error that prevents the delivery of the letter, the lack of a return address means that the post office will not be able to return it to solve any problem.

how to write the sender’s (from) address

How to write a return address

  1. Start with your full name.
  2. Write your street address on the next line. If you need, it’s okay to use two lines.
  3. Follow that line with the city, state and ZIP code of your address.

how to write the address of the recipient

How to write an address

  1. For informal letters, follow the same format as the sender’s address.
  2. If sending a letter to someone at a specific business, the first line should be the company’s name.
  3. In the next line, follow “ATTN:” or “c/o” with the individual’s name. If the letter is not to someone at a specific business, the first line should simply be their name.
  4. The next lines two should be the street address, city, state and ZIP code.
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how to format military addresses (apo, fpo, dpo)

How to format a military address


Even though they follow the same format as regular addresses, military addresses don’t use the usual city and state names that many are used to.

  1. the city name will be apo (army/air post office), fpo (fleet post office), or dpo (diplomatic post office).
  2. for state, aa (armed forces america), ae (armed forces europe) and ap (armed forces pacific), depending on the duty station.
  3. postal code is the same, but sometimes the additional code is required of four numbers for delivery.

how to write an international shipping address

How to write an international shipping address


If sending a letter to an overseas address that isn’t military, the address format typically stays the same — just with the addition of the country name as the last line.

some countries put the postal code in front of the city and country, but it varies from country to country, so check to be sure.

how to find the “zip+4” code

If you are unsure of the additional four number code, USPS has a ZIP Code lookup tool on their website.

  1. choose to search for zip code by address and enter all required information.
  2. press “search” and usps will give you the zip+4 code.
  3. how many stamps should you use

    How many stamps should you use


    Placing the stamp is easy, but knowing which stamps and how many to use is the hard part.

    for a standard 1 ounce letter sent anywhere in the united states, forever stamps are recommended because you will always be able to use them regardless of future changes in the price of stamps.

    Each ounce above one costs 15 cents, so you’ll have to use additional ounce stamps for each additional ounce. two-ounce seals are also an option.

    If you’re going to send a postcard, don’t be fooled by stamps forever. postcards have their own stamps which are usually cheaper.

    For international addresses, global forever stamps are used, and just like forever stamps, you can use them whenever you want, regardless of price adjustments.

    Irregularly shaped envelopes that might be used for square wedding invitations or graduation announcements require different stamps called non-machinable stamps. Because the square envelope cannot fit in the machine for automatic processing, the stamp costs a little more to account for the non-machinable surcharge.

    With the proper stamp, accurate addresses for both sender and recipient, and the correct placement of all three on the envelope, your letter is ready to be mailed!

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