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Should addresses be in UPPERCASE?

Question

Last Updated: March 15, 2013

I heard that addresses must be in all caps or UPPERCASE in order to qualify for bulk mailing discounts. Is that the case?

Answer

In order for address verification to be effective, it has to comply with accepted standards. The US Postal Service does not require that addresses be UPPERCASE in order to qualify for bulk mailing discounts. According to the USPS Publication 28, which is the guide on postal addressing standards, they prefer that the address be UPPERCASE but it's not a requirement.

Years ago, when they relied a lot more on Optical Character Recognition (OCR) the uppercase characters made it faster for the machines to read. However, since the entire address can now be represented by the barcode that is required for bulk mail discounts, the printed address is now just a backup delivery method. The preferred source for the address data is in the barcode.

Our address verification service now returns the address in an enhanced proper casing. That means that letters that should be capitalized are now capitalized. Proper nouns and contractions are also considered in the data that we output.

Here's an example: Input: 100 WESTERLY ST MCDERMOTT, TEXAS 90210 Output: 100 Westerly St McDermott, Texas 90210

If you do need to have everything in UPPERCASE, the Excel UPPERCASE function does exactly what you would expect. If you are working with our API then you already know that there is an uppercase function in the language you are using. It's easy to go to all uppercase. It's not as easy to go to proper case, that's why we're now giving it to you in proper case.