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Can I get the expanded city names?

Question

Last Updated: March 26, 2013

I’m wondering if there is any way to call the XML API such that the city name returned in the suggested addresses is “expanded.” That is, a provided city name like “ST PETERSBURG” would return as “SAINT PETERSBURG”, or “LONDON HTS” would return as “LONDON HEIGHTS”.

I realize that the abbreviated names are completely valid for the postal service; however, our ERP and our business rules mandate that the city name is expanded, so it’s causing some friction between our app which uses your service and our ERP.

Answer

Currently we only return the city names as approved by the US Postal Service. It is a preference that we are looking at implementing, and we would potentially apply it to our LiveAddress API service.

However, the number of city abbreviations is relatively small and could be combined into a table that is called from your end and those abbreviated formats could be expanded. It would require a little bit of research on your part to determine which names are shortened but you would only need to determine them once.

Since we always return the standardized form of the city name, you can count on the data to be consistent. We have tracked down the USPS Publication 28 that includes a list of all of the abbreviations that they use. The abbreviations begin on page 41.