Intro to Addresses#

If you’re new to mailing, use this section to understand addresses and address parts in USA and Canada. This intro is for use with the AddressCheck Interface.

There are quite a few parts to an address! Here we’ll break it down for you and explain what’s going on. Buckle up!

US Addresses

  • Basic Address

You’re probably familiar with the address format and components below, since they’re present in most addresses.

Take the address below as an example:

1500 E MAIN AVE STE 201 SPRINGFIELD VA 22162-1010


Component Name

How would I set this input in Address Object?


Address Range






Street Name






Suite Name



Suite Suffix









Zip Code





An address could also have a PostDirection after the suffix, which would be handled similarly.

  • PO Box

You can verify a PO Box or PMB as well! Not sure what those are? Check out the glossary for definitions!


Component Name

How would I set this input in Address Object?

PO BOX 1234

Address Line 1 or Street Address



City, State, Zip Code, Zip+4

SetCity, SetState, SetZip, SetPlus4

  • Puerto Rico - Urbanization

Did you know some Puerto Rican addresses can have the same street address and city as another Puerto Rican Address in the same Zip Code™? To cut through the confusion, the USPS® has an an extra element, called an Urbanization. An address with an urbanization is often preceded by “URB” and lists the urbanization name.to identify locations with identical street names and address ranges found within the same ZIP Code™.


Component Name

How would I set this input in Address Object?




123 CALLE 1

Address Line 1 or Street Address


SAN JUAN PR 12345-6789

City, State, Zip Code, Zip+4

SetCity, SetState, SetZip, SetPlus4

Canadian Addresses

Canadian addresses have pretty similar components to US addresses - switch out a state for a province and you’ve pretty much got it down! However, there are a couple of different components, that we will go over in more detail here.

  • Delivery Installation and Lock Boxes

Canada has two different types of addresses: Civic and Postal Installation.

Civic address types are like the basic US address that you might be familiar with (if not, check out the previous section). While Postal Installation addresses consist of a description of the type of delivery, the Canada Post delivery installation name, the municipality name, the province code and postal code. We’ll go into more detail about Postal Installation addresses now.

There are three types of Postal Installation addresses:

  • Lock box address*

  • General delivery address

  • Route service address

The Delivery Installation is generally preceded by an abbreviation such as STN, RPO, or LCD.

In Canada, a Lock Box is the equivalent of a US PO Box (and it sometimes still called a PO Box or Postal Box).

Lock Box Address


Component Name

How would I set this input in Address Object?

PO BOX 1234 STN 1

AddressLine 1 or Street Address. Delivery Installation (“STN 1”)

SetParsedLockBox, SetParsedDeliveryInstallation


City, State, Zip Code*

SetCity, SetState, SetZip, SetPlus4

In Canada, the Zip Code™ equivalent is called a Postal Code, but you will still use the “Zip” methods, so we will continue to refer to it as a zip code.

  • General Delivery Installation

A General Delivery Address will just have “GD” in one line, and the city, state, and zip code in the last line.


Component Name

How would I set this input in Address Object?


Delivery Installation



City, State, Zip Code

SetCity, SetState, SetZip, SetPlus4

  • Route Service

Route Service addresses are often in rural areas with no street address. To make up for this, these addresses will often use a rural route identifier (preceded by “RR”).

An address with a Route Service component can include a few different elements:

  • Civic Address - A normal address. See the first row below.

  • Rural Route Number - This can be the only street data element when combined with the city, state, and zip. See the second row below.

  • Delivery Installation - The third type of address, see the section above.


Component Name

How would I set this input in Address Object?


Address Line 1 or Street Address


RR 4

Route Service (also called rural route identifier)

SetParsedRouteService, or as part of SetAddress


City, State, Zip Code

SetCity, SetState, SetZip

Data Coverage by Country#


Discontinued versions#



These are common words you’ll see when dealing with address data quality.

  • AddressPlus - Melissa add-on for Address Object for U.S. Addresses only. This appends missing secondary address information to millions of business and residential addresses based on the provided last name.

  • Carrier Route - A postal carrier route is a group of addresses that receive the same USPS® code to aid in efficient mail delivery.

  • Canada Post - Canada Post (French: Postes Canada), is a Crown corporation which functions as the primary postal operator in Canada.

  • CASS™ - Coding Accuracy Support System. CASS™ is a tool created and used by the USPS® to ensure the accuracy of software that taps into their database.

  • CASS Certified™ - A CASS Certified™ service provider accurately meets the standards of the USPS® and has passed USPS® Quality Control. A service that processes addresses according to CASS™ standards will, at the very least, fill in information missing from an address, standardize it, and update it. To become CASS Certified™ the USPS® requires that service providers’ software uses DPV™ and LACS when checking addresses.

  • CASS™ Form 3553 - Form 3553 is printed by the software that is used to CASS™-certify your list. It’s not a form you fill out manually.

  • CMRA - Commercial Mailing Receiving Agency. A CMRA is a private business that accepts mail from the USPS® on behalf of third parties. A customer of a CMRA can receive mail and other deliveries at the street address of the CMRA rather than the customer’s own street address.

  • CPC Number - Custom Procedures Code Number. A CPC number is your reason for import or export, expressed as either a seven digit number or a six digit number and one letter. It describes the purpose of your shipment which in turn directly determines how your shipment is processed and ultimately if, how, when and from whom duties and taxes are collected.

  • DeliveryPlus - A feature of Melissa’s Address Object that verifies Non-USPS® Addresses that are serviced by other delivery carriers.

  • Delivery Carriers - A private courier company that provides package delivery. For example: DHL, UPS, FedEx.

  • Delivery Installation - The building (e.g. stations or office) respoinsible for delivery to a specific postal code. There are multiple types of delivery installation, like a Postal Station or Rural Post Office.

  • Diacritic Characters - A character with a diacritical mark. A diacritical mark is a point, sign, or squiggle added or attached to a letter or character to indicate appropriate stress, special pronunciation, or unusual sounds not common in the Roman alphabet. For example, Québec.

  • DPV™ - Delivery Point Validation. DPV™ is used when you check to see if the USPS® can and will deliver to the doorstep of a specific address.

  • DSF2® - Delivery Sequence File. DSF2® identifies whether a ZIP+4® coded address is currently represented in the USPS® delivery file as a known address record. This includes vacant, residential, business or seasonal address information. This allows for more targeted mailings and is one of the approved methods for sequencing mail pieces in walk-sequence when not using a simplified address.

  • eLOT - This feature appends enhanced Line-of-Travel numbers to addresses for improved presorting and greater postage discounts when used in conjunction with Melissa Data’s Presort Object

  • EWS - Early Warning System. EWS addresses are flagged by Address Check when they are scheduled for inclusion in the USPS database but are not added yet. The addresses are typically new high rises, or new housing subdivisions that are being assigned deliverable mail addresses. The EWS file when present in the Address Object directory ensures that addresses not present in the USPS master file will not be eliminated or coded inaccurately. The EWS file is updated weekly and can be downloaded via the Melissa FTP site to give you the freshest new address information.

  • First-Class Mail® - This is a USPS® provided service used to ship letters, thick envelopes, padded envelopes, and lightweight packages.

  • LACSLink® - LACS is a database maintained by 911 emergency services to make sure that a location can be found in case emergency services are needed. It keeps track of addresses that have been updated in order to match a national standard, which is used to make finding locations easier in an emergency. A CASS Certified™ system must at least reference the LACS system when processing to see if an address has been updated.

  • License - This is the license key provided to you by your Melissa representative. It is required for the object to work.

  • MAK - Melissa Address Key. This is a globally unique and persistent key for the location, even if parts of the address change. When an address is fully validated this field returns a 10-digit proprietary key for the address. With AddressKey (US and Canada only), if an address ZIP Code™ changes, the AddressKey would also change. MAK is independent and will not change. This makes MAK a good way to permanently identify and locate addresses. Once you have a MAK it can be used as an input in most Melissa services and thus is a good tool for deduping.

  • National Postal Database - This database identifies certain primary addresses as highrises, business parks, or apartment buildings.

  • NCOALink® - National Change of Address Linkage. This is a secure dataset of permanent change-of-address records from individuals and businesses who have filed a change-of-address with the USPS®.

  • Non-USPS® Address - This is an address that is not served by the USPS®. These types of addresses are infrequent, but they do exist. They may still be serviced by other delivery carriers. These addresses will also not return the same level of information as a USPS® serviced address.

  • Parse - When Address Object parses an address it breaks it into 9 possible categories of: Range, Pre-Direction, Street Name, Suffix, Post-Direction, Suite Name, Suite Number, PMB Name, and PMB Number.

  • PAVE™ - Presort Accuracy, Validation, and Evaluation. PAVE™ is a common platform made by the USPS® to measure the quality of presort products. PAVE™ software certification is provided by the USPS® to determine the accuracy in presorting address files that are destined for bulk mail services through the Post Office™. Presorted mailing is quicker and easier for the Post Office to process, so they provide discounted pricing for mail that is accurately presorted.

  • PMB - Private Mailbox. These allow individuals or offices a private mailbox to simplify internal mail distribution, retain privacy, or have convenient hours of mail pickup. PMBs can be rented as needed through a CMRA, which may be more cost-effective than renting a box at the post office.

  • POSTNET™ - Postal Numeric Encoding Technique. This is a barcode symbology used by the USPS® to assist in directing mail.

  • Post Direction - The part of the address giving directional information for delivery. Located after the street name. (e.g. N,S,SW, etc.)

  • PO Box - Post Office™ Box. These are locked mail holding boxes at a Post Office™ location. They can be for personal or business use.

  • RBDI - Residential and Business Delivery Indicator (RBDI). RBDI can identify whether an address is a business or a residence. This may be of valuable importance for shippers who use carriers that charge differently for residences and businesses.

  • Result Codes - Each record in the response has a results field that contains a series of result codes that carry a tremendous amount of information about the output. The result codes are delimited by commas. One way we recommend using result codes is as a filter between good and bad records. Determine which codes indicate a good record for your purposes and then filter out all the records that are returned without those codes. A good simple example would be if good records are those that return an AS01, AS02, or AS03 code (these codes generally indicate a valid address record). When you process a number of records through the service you can then parse the output and filter out all of the records that do not return one of those codes in the results field.

  • Route Service - Canada Only. These are often addresses in rural areas with no street address. Instead this rural route number will be used to locate the address.

  • Secondary Address - This is information more specific than the building number. This can include suite numbers, unit numbers, and residential apartment numbers. It could also refer to a private mailbox (PMB) at a Commercial Mail Receiving Agency (CMRA).

  • SOA™ Form - Statement of Accuracy Form. This is generated when you enable SOA™ processing on your process and will be required by Canada Post.

  • Standard Mail® - Also known as bulk mail. Must be less than 16 ounces and be at least 200 pieces or 50 pounds. It is cheaper than other USPS® mail types but ships slower, on a time available basis. Often mail pieces shipped this way will be advertising, flyers, catalogs, etc.

  • Suite - A sub identifier for the specific location of an address within a building. This can be part of the secondary address.

  • SuiteLink® - SuiteLink® gives you the ability to append missing suite information based on the Company Name. This was added by the USPS® in 2009 as part of the requirements in order to pass CASS™ Certification.

  • Urbanization - An area, sector, or residential development within a geographic area. In Puerto Rico, identical street names and address number ranges can be found within the same ZIP Code. In these cases, the urbanization name is the only element that correctly identifies the location of a particular address. Generally, the abbreviation URB is placed before the urbanization name.

  • USPS® - United States Postal Service®. The USPS® is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for providing postal service in the United States, including its insular areas and associated states.

  • ZIP Code™ - Zone Improvement Plan Code. ZIP Code™s designate delivery routes and areas. There are three main parts of the 5-digit ZIP Code™—the national area, the region or city, and the delivery area.

  • ZIP+4® - In 1983 the USPS® changed its ZIP Code™ system to include the new ZIP+4®. A ZIP+4® Code uses the basic five-digit code plus four additional digits to identify a small delivery segment such as a street, a city block, a group of apartments, or even an individual address that receives a high volume of mail. The ZIP+4® Code is not required and is usually calculated automatically when the mail is sorted and processed.

Known Issues#


Release Schedule#

Release Date Schedule