Address Verification Glossary

Address Autocomplete

A web form feature that suggests street addresses to users as they type an address into a form. Because an autocomplete function reduces the number of keystrokes & mistakes that a user types, it can make data submission faster and more accurate.

Address Standardization

The process of changing addresses to adhere to USPS standards. The USPS defines a standardized address as "one that is fully spelled out, abbreviated by using the Postal Service standard abbreviations . . . or as shown in the current Postal Service ZIP+4 file." (Publication 28 Section 211, USPS)

Address Verification (also known as Address Validation)

The process of confirming that an address is recognized as real and deliverable by the local postal authority. The USPS is the postal authority for the United States.

Bad Address

Any address that cannot be reliably matched to a USPS deliverable address due to missing information, incorrect information, vacancy, or inactivity.

Carrier Route

A USPS code assigned to a group of addresses to aid in efficient mail delivery. Postal carrier route codes are 9 digits: 5 numbers for the ZIP Code, 1 letter for the carrier route type, and 3 numbers for the carrier route code; 92019C005 is an example of a carrier route.


"Coding Accuracy Support System." Enables the USPS to evaluate the accuracy of software that corrects and matches street addresses.


A CMRA (commercial mailing receiving agency) is a private company that provides mailbox rental services to individuals and companies such as The UPS Store.


A political and administrative division of a state, providing certain local governmental services. Learn how to perform a county lookup by address or ZIP Code

County FIPS Code

A code representing a county based on Federal Information Processing Standards.

Delivery Point Validation

Delivery Point Validation™ (DPV®) is the process of verifying that an address is actually deliverable, meaning that mail can be sent to that address.

eLot Sequence Number

The eLot (Enhanced Line of Travel) number is a 4-digit sequence number the USPS uses to sort mail.


The process of finding geographical coordinates (latitude and longitude) for an address.


The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 is a law to protect the confidentiality and security of healthcare information and to help the healthcare industry control administrative costs. Our data is secure and can help to maintain good health insurance data.

"Locatable Address Conversion System." Matches outdated or rural addresses to their equivalent current officially accepted addresses.


"National Change of Address." The less-than-reliable, USPS-compiled database connecting residents to addresses.


"Residential Delivery Indicator." Indicates whether an address is a residential or commercial location.

Reverse Geocoding

The process of finding the corresponding address to a set of geographical coordinates (latitude and longitude).

Matches and appends known suite numbers to addresses of businesses.

Unique ZIP Code

A ZIP Code that consists of a single delivery point, pertaining to a United States Postal Service customer (like a large business or government agency) that routes all of its own mail internally.


The United States Address Management System allows the public to submit address changes. You can find your local AMS office by entering your ZIP Code here.

USPS Publication 28

The USPS's guidelines for maintaining mailing lists. You can read the full text of Publication 28 on the USPS website or in PDF format.

ZIP+4 Code

Represents a very specific postal delivery area within a 5-digit ZIP Code, sometimes as specific as a block of 5-10 houses or a single floor in a high-rise building.

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