Correct Way to Address Envelopes

envelope image by Peter Baxter from <a href=''></a>

When sending mail, it is important to properly address the envelope to ensure the mail gets delivered to the correct place. If the envelope is not addressed properly, there may be confusion within the postal services that can delay or hinder your mail delivery. Furthermore, the return address must be labeled on the envelope correctly in case there is a problem with delivery and the envelope needs to be returned to the sender.

Print the delivery information in the center of the envelope. Make sure the envelope is addressed on the front side and not the side where the envelope is sealed.

Put the first and last name of the recipient on the first line. If the envelope is being sent to an organization but you want it delivered to a specific person, put the organization's name first, then right below it put “ATTN: Person’s Name.”

Write the street address of the recipient on the next line. Include the street number, street name and any apartment or building numbers. If there is a directional element included with the street address (such as North, Northwest, South, etc.) make sure to include that as well.

Put the city, state and zip code on the next line. Use the state abbreviation rather than spelling out the entire name of the state.

Put the return address in the top left corner of the envelope. Write the sender’s full name on the first line, street address on the second line and city, state and zip code on the third line.


  • If the envelope is going to a post office box, address it the same way but put the post office box number in place of the street address.

    Write clearly when addressing an envelope so there is no confusion by the postal workers.

    Put the stamp in the top right corner of the envelope.