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Is Move-Update/NCOA Required?

Question

A postal worker at my local post office informed me that I can't mail out a mailing without first doing the move update (National Change Of Address) thing first. Is that something you provide?

Answer

Move Update (NCOA) is a way of ensuring that the name of the person or business matches the name of the person actually living at that address.

There has been a lot of confusion and misinformation surrounding NCOA since it became a "requirement" in November 2008. The biggest misunderstanding is that it is a requirement for all mailings. This is false. It is only a requirement if your mailing meets specific conditions. You can exempt yourself from this "requirement", and the significant additional costs it imposes, by adding a single line to the address on the pieces of mail you send out. Simply place a phrase such as "or current resident", "or current occupant", "valued customer", or something similar by the name of the person or company.

For example, the national retail chain, Target, does the following on each mailpiece of their mailings:

VALUED TARGET CUSTOMER
BOB SMITH
123 MAIN ST
ANYTOWN, US 12345-6789

By doing this, they have achieved personalization, by having the name of the customer on the mailpiece, but at the same time, they have exempted themselves from significant additional expense of having to maintain and recertify their mailing lists every 95 days.

If you absolutely, positively must have NCOA performed, be aware that is usually costs at least $200 in "setup fees" and then a varying price per address. We do not provide the NCOA service. You'll find some NCOA providers here.