What is an “Inactive” or No-stat Address?
The US Postal Service labels some addresses "no-stat." At SmartyStreets, we call them "inactive" addresses for clarity. (Our US address validation is based on the USPS data.)
A no-stat address or inactive address indicator is used to signify that an address is not considered deliverable by the United States Postal Service.
In this article we will cover:
- No-stat address reasons
- Does the USPS reject mail sent to no-stat addresses?
- Is the USPS no-stat status kept up to date?
- Can I request a change to the no-stat status?
No-stat address reasons
There are several reasons an address might be listed as no-stat or inactive:
- A building is under construction and not yet occupied.
- A building is being demolished and replaced.
- An apartment building's main address does not receive USPS delivery (but the individual sub-units do).
- A rural route address is vacant for 90 days or longer.
- A rural address has street delivery available, but the mail goes to a PO Box.
- An address does not receive mail delivery directly from the USPS, but is assigned a separate drop address.
Does the USPS reject mail sent to no-stat addresses?
It depends. In large cities, the USPS workers are likely to rely on the electronic mail-scanning process, which treats inactive addresses as undeliverable and sends the mail back to the sender. However, in small towns, the postal workers might rely somewhat on their own human understanding of the people and addresses in their area, in which case the mail might be delivered successfully.
Is the USPS No-stat status kept up to date?
Not really. It takes at least two months, and sometimes much longer, for the USPS to update the no-stat or inactive status of an address. Here's how the process works:
First, a postal worker notices that a change needs to be made. (This step alone takes an indefinite amount of time.)
Second, the worker needs to act on the new knowledge, submitting the update to the regional Address Management System (AMS) office.
Third, the regional AMS offices send their updates to the national AMS office once a week.
Finally, during the second week of each month, the national office begins assembling the data package that they will make available to SmartyStreets during the last few days of the month. The new data is then set up in our own systems by the first day of the next month.