Address Verification

How To Write An Address International

By 10 April 2024May 26th, 2024No Comments
how to return mail to sender canada post

How To Write An Address International

“How to fill out international shipping address?” The question often confuses businesses with a vast number of international customers and partners. International addresses are unique because their format can change depending on the destination country.

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Furthermore, companies have so much confusion regarding international business mail that most of them don’t know how to address international mail. They are unsure about the address format they need to use and the specifics they need to include in the addresses.

Here, we explain how to write an address on an envelope in international mail through Canada Post. This article takes you through the standard address format specified by Canada Post for sending international letters.

Furthermore, it also explains the specifics you need to include in your international address and the most efficient method for sending international mailers.

How to Write US Addresses For Your International Mailers?

Every year Canada Post receives a massive number of international mailers. A significant number of the international mail Canada Post receives is bound for the US. Even when it comes to business mail, many companies use Canada Post to reach out to their customers or clients in the US.

US Address Example

207 E FLEUR ST S APT 013
WASHINGTON DC 20013-3669

As you can see in the example above, the US address consists of four lines.

First Line

The first line of the US address should contain the addressee’s name. Businesses must make sure that the addressee’s name matches perfectly with the address. A misplaced addressee’s name could mean that your business mail goes undelivered, and Canada Post returns it to you.

Second Line

On the second line of the US address, you should write the delivery address. In the example above, the delivery address is “207 E FLEUR ST S APT 013.” It contains essential information about the postal address, such as the apartment number, street name, etc.

Third Line

The third line of the US address usually contains three things:

  • City name
  • State abbreviation
  • ZIP Code

It is worth noting that business letters can use a partial ZIP Code for sending mailers. However, an incomplete or partial ZIP Code may lead to delayed deliveries and a high return mail rate. Hence, it is always advisable to use the complete ZIP+4 code for sending postal mailers to the US.

Many businesses employ address verification tools like PostGrid for sending international mailers because it provides the complete ZIP+4 code for every US address. It can even correct minor errors in your mailer’s ZIP Code automatically.

Fourth Line

The fourth and last line of the international postal mail should include the country name. Here, as we are talking about the post mail to the United States of America, you can write the country name as” USA.”

Specifics To Include In US Addresses

The example above gives you a broad idea about the US address format, especially when mailing from Canada. However, it does not explain the specifics you can include in the address. For example, you may be concerned about the address format for office addresses.

Businesses might worry that they can’t use the organization’s name in the address. Some may be unsure about adding Predirectionals. Following are the specifics that you can include in the US address for your mailers.

  • Person Name: If you are sending personal mail or want to send it to a specific person in an organization, you should include their name. Your mailer may not reach the recipient if you only use the organization’s name in the address.
  • Organization/Company Name: If you send your business mail to a business address in the US, you should provide the organization name right after the person or addressee’s name. Suppose you are not sure about the person’s name. In that case, you can just stick with the organization’s name.
  • Primary Address Number: The primary address information is essential for your US address. It points to the location of the delivery address through precise details such as the building number.
  • Predirectionals And Postdirectionals: The US postal address on your mailer can also include the Predirectionals. They are words that precede the street name and indicate the direction of the thoroughfare.

For example, if an address says something like “North Lane,” the directional word “north” is Predirectional. It can also use abbreviated forms such as N, NE, S, SE, SW, NW, etc. Similarly, any directional information that follows the street name is a Postdirecional.

  • Street Name: The street name or road name helps the postal service provider identify the relevant street/road in your address. Remember that the street name forms a part of the delivery address. Make sure to include the street name to ensure timely delivery of your mailers.
  • Street Suffix: Think of the street suffix as a part of the street or road name. It describes your address’s type of road or street, such as street, avenue, highway, lane, etc. Usually, most US addresses use abbreviations for the suffix.
  • Secondary Address Identifier: The primary address number can get your mailer as far as the correct building of the addressee. However, you need a secondary address identifier such as the apartment or suite number to deliver your business mailers accurately.

Points To Note When Writing US Addresses

Ensure you follow the guidelines listed below for all your US postal mail.

  • Use at least a single space between each element in the address.
  • Always use the full city name.
  • Place the city name in the second last line of the address block.
  • Canada Post prefers the two-letter state abbreviation instead of the full state name.
  • Provide the state abbreviation on the second last line of the address after the city name.
  • Use two spaces for separating the ZIP Code from the state abbreviation.
  • You can use a five or nine-digit ZIP Code for the address.
  • Make sure that you use a hyphen between the fifth and sixth digits when using a complete nine-digit ZIP Code.
  • Provide the country name on the last line of the address block.
  • Keep the last line of the address reserved for the country name alone and don’t include any other address element in it.
  • When it comes to international mailers sent to the US, you can use the abbreviation “USA.”

How To Write An Address For International Mail?

Below, we discuss how to write an international address according to the standards specified by Canada Post. Before we look at an example for an international mail address, you should know that the size of the address block can vary.

However, the number of lines in the address block can never exceed six. Canada Post delivers to practically every other country globally, and some addresses may be longer than others. Hence, it is worth remembering the number of lines you can use in the address block.

International Address Example

Take a look at the example below to get a broad understanding of the international address format for sending business mail via Canada Post.


420 SKY ST



The basic international address example above consists of four lines.

First Line

As you can see from the example, the first line of the international address is the addressee line, where you write the recipient’s name. The addressee can be a person or a company based on who you send the message. Make sure to check if the addressee’s name matches the postal address in your database before writing the addressee’s name.

Second Line

Usually, the second line of the international address is the delivery address for your mailer. In the example above, the second line is “420 SKY ST” for an address in the UK. Like the US address format we discussed earlier, you also have essential information, such as the street name on the second line.

Third Line

The third line of the address block on an international mailer contains the municipality name, state, province, and postal code. Remember that the postal code can vary for different countries, and they go by many names.

Postal codes go by the name ZIP Codes in the US, whereas it is called postcode in the UK. In the UK, the postal codes are alphanumeric, like the one you can see in the example above. The postcode in the example above is “N5V 1A3,” an address in London.

Managing and storing postal codes of your business-related addresses can be difficult, and they are often prone to errors. Hence, most companies use an advanced international address verification tool like PostGrid. It can provide accurate and verified postal codes for your international addresses.

Fourth Line

The address block’s fourth or last line is always for writing the country name. When writing the country name for your international mailer, you need to ensure that you don’t use abbreviations. In other words, you must always use the full country name for your international mailers.

Even in the example above, you can see that the country name is the “UNITED KINGDOM” and not the “UK.” Similarly, it would be best to use the full country name for all international mailers. So, suppose you want to send business letters to the UAE. In that case, the country name should be the “United Arab Emirates” and not the “UAE.”

You should provide the country name below any information, such as the municipality or city name and postal code. The last line of the address block should be exclusively for the country name. You should not include any other address element in it. Additionally, make sure to use capital letters for the country name.

How to Write an Address For International Mail Using an Address Verification Software?

Businesses that regularly use bulk mail often depend on automated address verification tools like PostGrid for sending international mail. A system like PostGrid can verify your address database and standardize your addresses as per the standards of the postal service provider.

PostGrid has access to the official address database of numerous countries, including the US, UK, Australia, etc. It can verify your address database and correct minor errors and typos that are prone during the address collection process.

Using an automated direct mail system like PostGrid for validating, printing and mailing your international letters enables you to ensure a zero-error process. Hence, you no longer need to think about how to write an address internationally because PostGrid takes care of it for you.

Also Read: Direct Mail Examples


Companies with numerous international customers or partners are often worried about their direct mail communications. International addresses can be complex and hard to manage, which results in a more significant margin of error.

Errors and omissions in international addresses can lead to financial and time loss for businesses. The best way to bypass such a problem is to employ an advanced address verification tool like PostGrid. It has access to the official address database of all major countries, including the US, UK, and Australia.

Furthermore, you can even use PostGrid’s automated printing and mailing system to automate your international mail fully. The system even corrects minor errors and typos in your international addresses to ensure maximum deliverability of your postal mail.