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How are physical addresses handled if they are not mailable?

Question

Last Updated: April 8, 2013

We are considering using SmartyStreets as our API to standardized and validate address in our enrollment process. As we are in the retail electricity space, we will have both Service Addresses and Mailing Addresses. Service Addresses may not be mail deliverable. How will Smarty Streets handle physical addresses? Will it standardize the address (e.g. change Street to St)?

Answer

Excellent question.

Here's a little address 101 for you:

Every street has a range of possible addresses. The street you live on may have a range from 100 to 400. That doesn't mean there are 400 valid addresses on that street but that any address between 100 and 400 could be valid. Build a new house and it will be assigned a number within that range and only within that range. That's the end of address 101.

Any address that you submit to us, whether it is mailable or not (if we know about it) will get standardized. Our source data comes from the USPS data, so if they don't have street delivery to a certain town (only PO Box delivery) then we also don't have street level data for that town. An real address in that town would not show up at all in our system.