The USPS uses address validation software to validate and verify every single physical postal address in the country. The database is based on the CASS-Certified—Coding Accuracy Support System—and enables the USPS to verify the accuracy and validity of all addresses. The CASS-certified systems is available free to all bulk mailers, postal service bureaus and any software vendors that use USPS to assess the quality of addresses for authenticity. The ZIP code is given a +4 digit addendum, such as 97505-2682, signifying the carrier route area and validation the address as genuine and occupied.
Vacant homes do not generally receive mail because the USPS marks those addresses as vacant on their database. Once a family, individual or business moves to another location they are required to register their change of address with the USPS via a form. The form is then submitted and the USPS redirects all mail to their new location. Once a vacant property is occupied the new owners, tenants or lessees can file their own form for the change of address and the property is then ‘released’ back into the database as occupied, meaning mail can then be delivered once again.
Benefits and Uses
Having the correct address saves time, money and human effort by reducing the amount of mail that is classed as non-deliverable. It also reduces the amount of unsort mail and increases the volume of mail that can easily be delivered to a physical address. The correct location of an address is classed under the ‘standardization’ method within the system. This works by verifying the correct street number, street name, city name, State name and ZIP+4 code. Address verification software also benefits from a feature that autocorrects spelling errors in addresses on the system. For instance, if you were sending a package or letter to Microsoft and your typist spelled it ‘Micrsoft, Redmend, WA’ the system would auto-detect the error and change it to the correct address of ‘1 Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA, 98502-8300’. This clever feature validated the correct address and therefore reduces the chances of that piece of mail being deemed ‘undeliverable’ by the USPS.
The address validation software also makes allowances for abbreviations that tend to be commonly used. Shortening an address from ‘street’ to ‘st’ or ‘square’ to ‘sq’ can easily be incorporated into the reading of the lable, making the mail deliverable. The same applies to cities with the same name but in different States. For instance, ‘Springfield, Oregon’ is different from ‘Springfield, Kentucky’ simply because of the different ZIP code allotted to that States city. This can all help your business by saving you time, validating your mailing list and helping you reach your clients and customers no matter where they move to.
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