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How to Write an Apartment Address

Rob Whiting
Boom Team

Knowing how to write your address properly might seem like a given, but you might be surprised to learn that there are a lot of people who don’t know how to write their address correctly! It’s not enough to simply know your complete address and write it down however you wish; there is a proper format that should be followed.

If you don’t know how to write your address correctly, we’ve got you covered! Here is everything you need to know about proper address writing.

Why Is It Important?

First things first, why is it so important that you know how to write your address correctly? Surely it shouldn’t matter as long as you write your apartment number and building address, right?

Well, no. There are three reasons why you should learn how to write your apartment address correctly.

Getting Mail on Time

The most obvious reason why it’s important for you to know how to write your address correctly is that it’s essential in making sure that you get your mail on time. Any snail mail that is shipped through the United States Postal Service (USPS) needs to have the proper address format to avoid any delays in delivery.

Filling out Official Forms

Whenever you’re filling out official forms, you’ll be asked for your address. Putting down the correct address properly eliminates the chances of your forms getting rejected. This is especially true if you are applying for any form of government identification such as your driver’s license or passport. Your complete home address will be required, and you will need to ensure that you write it down correctly.

Filing a Claim for Lost or Stolen Packages

Finally, putting down the correct address makes it easier to file a claim for any lost or stolen packages. Whether the USPS has misplaced your package (which can happen) or it has been stolen (which also unfortunately happens), putting down your address properly can help expedite the claim process.

The Proper Address Format

According to the USPS, the proper way to write down your apartment address is as follows:

[Full and Legal Name]

[First Line of Apartment Address]

[Final Line of Apartment Address]

Let’s break down each part.

Full and Legal Name

When writing down an address, you should never use a nickname. You should always write down the full and legal name of the recipient. It is the only way that the USPS can deliver mail to a person, especially if the recipient has moved to a new address. If the courier is not familiar with the recipient, they have no way of knowing who a person is based on a nickname.

Furthermore, if the recipient has changed their address, they can still have their mail forwarded to them if their complete and legal name is written on the package. They can also pick up their package at the postal office, and they will need to show an official ID to claim it.

First Line of Apartment Address

After the recipient’s name, the next part of the address is the first line. The first line usually contains the following information:

  • The street number of the building
  • Name of the street where the building is located
  • Name of the building where the apartment is located
  • Unit number

There must be a comma after the name of the street and the building letter or number. Here’s an example:

John Doe

123 First Street, Main Building, Apartment 1

Final Line of Apartment Address

Typically, the final line of the apartment address contains the following:

  • City
  • State
  • Zip Code

So, to complete the address above, the whole address should be written as:

John Doe

123 First Street, Main Building, Apartment 1

New York, NY 11111

If you are sending the package to another country, you will need to add the name of the country as another line at the bottom of the address. For international mail, the entire country name must be written in capital letters.

Thus, your address would look like this:

John Doe

123 First Street, Main Building, Apartment 1

New York, NY 11111


What about Alternative Apartment Address Formats?

There are circumstances when you can write apartment addresses in alternative formats. If the recipient’s name and address are long, you can write them in three lines instead of just two. After writing the recipient’s name, the first line should contain the street number and name while the second line contains the building number and unit number. The last line should contain the city, state, and zip code. Here is an example:

John Doe

123 First Street,

Main Building, Apartment 1

New York, NY 11111

What is a Secondary Address Designator?

A secondary address designator refers to abbreviations used to shorten locations. They are used to make the address more specific to increase the likelihood of successful delivery. If the recipient lives in an apartment complex, you should use a secondary address designator to pinpoint their exact unit.

Here are some of the common secondary address designators used by the USPS:

  • Suite - STE
  • Room - RM
  • Apartment - APT
  • Department - DEPT
  • Floor - FL
  • Building - BLDG

Take note that “Unit” can also be used as a secondary address designator, but this term does not have an abbreviation.

Can You Use a Number Sign?

Yes, you can use a number sign when referring to the apartment number. However, make sure to add a space between the number and the sign. This is how it should look:

John Doe

123 First Street, Main Building, Apartment # 1

New York, NY 11111

Does a Return Address Have the Same Format?

Yes! When writing a return address, make sure to use the same format to prevent your mail from getting bounced back to you.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to write an apartment address correctly, make sure that you write it clearly as well. Clean, neat, and legible handwriting is the key to getting your mail delivered on time! Always use a pen or permanent marker when writing the address to prevent smudging or erasures while the package is in transit. You should also choose an ink color that stands out against the package color.

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