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How to Write an Apartment Address: 8 Step Guide

September 27, 2022
Learning how to write an apartment address is pretty simple. Continue for a step-by-step breakdown on correctly formatting an apartment mailing address.

How to Format an Apartment Address

It can be tricking learning how to write an address with an apartment number. Use these tips to write a perfectly formatted mailing address for apartments.

STEP 1: Place Your Delivery Address In the Center of Your Mail

Placing the delivery address in the center of your mail is standard. This is the location mail sorters and carriers look to. To avoid any confusion, always center the delivery address on your mail.

Apartment Address Tip: Ideally you want to use as few lines as possible for the delivery address.

STEP 2: Begin with the Full Name of the Recipient

Make sure to use the recipient's legal name before writing an apartment address. Mail and packages might not arrive to the recipient if you use a nickname that isn't associated with their apartment address.

For example:

Jane Doe

123 Main St, Building E, Apartment 2

New York, NY 11111

Apartment Address Tip: Using legal names for apartment addresses is also wise, as they’ll send any forwarded mail to the correct location.

STEP 3: Use the Second Line For the Building and Street Name

If you talk with USPS, they'll tell you that using multiple address lines for writing an address with an apartment number is incorrect. The street number, apartment address, and apartment number go on the second line.

For example:

Jane Doe

123 Main St, Building E, Apartment 2

New York, NY 11111

Apartment Address Tip: Remember to add a comma after the street address when you address a letter to an apartment.

STEP 4: Add the Apartment Unit Number on the Same Line as the Street Name

Most people don't use the second line for its intended purposes. The USPS says people should reserve the second line for special designators like "care of" or special handling instructions.

Here's an example:

Jane Doe

123 Main St, Building E, Apartment 2

c/o John Doe

New York, NY 11111

Apartment Address Tip: Keep your apartment unit number on the same line as the building and street name.

STEP 5: Include the City, State/Province, and ZIP Code Below the Street Name

The general standard is to wrap an address line with similar components. So, for example, your name should all be on one line with your street name on another.

The last line should always include your city, state, and ZIP code.

For example:

Jane Doe

123 Main St, Building E, Apartment 2

New York, NY 11111

Apartment Address Tip: You should only drop down to an additional line and put your building or apartment number there if you are short on space.

STEP 6: Add Recipient’s Country If Shipping Internationally

If you’re wondering how to write a letter to an apartment overseas, it’s simple - just add the country after the ZIP code. You don’t have to include the country for domestic mail.

For example:

Jane Doe

123 Main St, Building E, Apartment 2

New York, NY 11111, USA

Apartment Address Tip: It’s redundant to write the same country for the recipient and return address. Save yourself time and space and skip it unless you need it!

STEP 7: Remember to Write Your Return Address

Now, it’s time to focus on your return address. Place your return address in the top left corner of your mail and follow the same apartment address example.

For example:

John Smith

456 Ocean Ave, Building A, Apartment 9

Los Angeles, CA 90001

Apartment Address Tip: Follow the same formatting for your recipient’s apartment number for your return address.

STEP 8: Add Postage Based on Rates

The last step is to make sure you have the correct amount of postage based on current rates. Again, you can stop by your local USPS to ensure you have the correct amount before mailing it off.

Apartment Address Tip: Skip the line and check online for the most updated mailing and shipping prices.

Common Mistakes When Writing an Apartment Address

Now that you know how to format apartment address details for mail, it’s important to address some common mistakes.

Using Commas and/or Periods in the Apartment Address

Avoid using any commas or periods unnecessarily in unit addresses.You should only use these punctuation marks when separating building and unit numbers for both recipients and return addresses.

For example:

Jane Doe

123 Main St, Building E, Apartment 2

New York, NY 11111

Including City and Street Abbreviations

Avoid shorthand, including abbreviations, for any city or street names. You can sometimes use abbreviations, though we’ll get to that later.

Forgetting Neat Handwriting

Remember your mail carrier needs to be able to read your writing to ensure proper delivery. Take the time to write neatly, or consider printing a label as an alternative option.

Inserting the Wrong ZIP Code

If you learn how to write a letter to an apartment but put in the wrong ZIP code, it won’t be delivered properly. Pay close attention to these numbers to get them right the first time.

How to Use Abbreviations in an Apartment Address

The abbreviations of BLDG for building or APT for apartment are called “secondary address designators.” Don’t format them incorrectly, as doing so can delay your mail and packages.

Here are some of the most common designators for the US postal service:

Apartment - APT (Example: 123 Main St, Building E, APT 2)

Building - BLDG (Example: 123 Main St, BLDG E, APT 2)

Floor - FL (Example: 123 Main St, BLDG E, FL 1, APT 2)

Suite - STE (Example: 456 Main St, STE 8)

Room - RM (Example: 789 Main St, Building E, RM 2)

Department - DEPT (Example: 123 Main St, DPT 257)

Unit - Unit (Example: 123 Main St, Building E, Unit 2)

In the case of "Unit," there is no abbreviation. However, it still serves as a critical address designator.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to write an apartment address, you can finally impress the USPS. They'll love your new-found knowledge of that second apartment address line and everything in between. They might also just deliver your mail to you in a timely fashion.

And, don’t forget, if you ever need to file a claim for package theft, your new skill will come in handy.

These are enough reasons to master the art of the apartment address format!

Apartment Address FAQs

What Happens if You Don’t Put the Apartment Number on the Envelope?

If you don’t include the apartment number on the envelope, the mail carrier won’t know which mailbox to deliver it to. In this case, the mail will likely be returned to the sender.

How Do You Write an Address That Has Both a Building and Apartment Number?

You can add the building number before the apartment number, if it’s included in the address.

For example:

Jane Doe

123 Main St, Building E, Apartment 2

New York, NY 11111

How Do You Write the Floor Number in an Address?

A floor number in an apartment address will come before the unit number.

For example:

Jane Doe

123 Main St, Floor 1, Apartment 2

New York, NY 11111

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AUTHOR
Justin is a Content Manager and contributing author at Apartment List, helping people navigate the world of renting. Justin previously spent his time earning his BBA in Marketing from Boise State University. Read More
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