2005-05-06 / Columnists

From The Rockaway Postmaster’s Desk

By George P. Buonocore

George P. Buonocore 
George P. Buonocore When we give directions to family and friends, we spare no detail to help them find their way.

Does this sound familiar: "Turn left at the gas station, go four blocks and turn left again, then look for the driveway just past the third oak tree on the right."

Take the same care with your mail says Postmaster George P. Buonocore of the Rockaway Post Office.

Make sure you include all of the details necessary for us to deliver the cards, letters and packages you send.

Here are some tips that can help us deliver for you.

When handwriting an address on an envelope or package, print legibly, in permanent ink, and in capital letters if possible. When using a computer or typewriter, use 10- or 12-point type and a sans serif font (such as Arial). Avoid typefaces with swirls or other ornate features. If we can't read it, we can't deliver it. Always include the apartment or unit number, building number, and any other information that helps distinguish them. Put the apartment or suite number on the same line as the street name and number where possible ("1330 Main Street, Apt. G7").

Sometimes a directional (N, E, SW) is the only thing that distinguishes the destination from another address just like it clear across town ("310 SMITH ST N" vs. "310 SMITH STS").

Save the last line for the city, state, and ZIP Code™. If you know the correct ZIP+4® code, use it.

Use the abbreviation for the state if you know it.

Always include a return address in the upper left hand corner, and make sure it's as complete as the delivery address.

When writing to a specific individual's attention, put his or her name on the second line, above the address lines:

ABC Company

Attn: Sally Smith

200 Jones Ave. SE

Anytown, USA 12345-6789

"Was that the second oak tree or the third?" Even the smallest mistake can mean a big difference in handling your mail. If you dial the wrong telephone number, you don't get the correct person on the other end. The same holds true for your mail. One wrong digit in a ZIP Code can be difference between Connecticut and California. For more information on proper addressing, or to check your state abbreviation or ZIP Code, visit your local Post Office™, call 800-ASK-USPS (800-275-8777) or go to the Postal Service™ web site at www.usps.com.

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