How To Write Apartment Address For U.S. & International (Samples)

Did you know that there’s a proper way to write an apartment address? It’s important to know how to write one down correctly because it ensures that your mail will be delivered to your unit promptly. Additionally, a properly written address makes it easier for you to file a claim for a stolen or lost package. So, how do you write apartment addresses?

How to write apartment addresses for US & International (with samples)? According to the United States Post Service (USPS),  writing an apartment address in the USA uses the following format:

  • The name of the recipient, including any professional or legal title that they might have.
  • The street address. Make sure you include the apartment number, and where one is provided, any directions information (NW, SW, NE, SE)
  • The town or city followed by the state and zip code, on one line if possible. Otherwise, you can separate the information across two lines.

For example:

John Doe

22 Anyplace Rd SE #2

Anycity NY 43210

When writing an international address, you’ll want to use a format similar to that of domestic addresses. However, it’s important to be aware of the variations in format among countries. For example, in the United Kingdom, it’s common practice (though not a requirement) to include the metropolitan area or county before the postal code:

John Doe

22 Anyplace Rd




United Kingdom

Writing an apartment address may not be as straightforward as it seems. Read on to discover some useful tips on how to write US and internal apartment addresses.

How to write an apartment address for the US

  • Use full and legal names – You must use full and legal names instead of nicknames when writing an apartment address. There are a couple of reasons why this is important:
  • If you/ the recipient recently moved into a new apartment building, you/they may not receive the mail if the nickname used is not associated with the address. A nickname may not identify you/the recipient, so it might lead to confusion. 
  • Using full and legal names will ensure that the mail is forwarded to the recipient if they’ve changed their address.
  • Write the apartment address in one line – According to the USPS, using multiple address lines when filling in an apartment address format is incorrect. After you’ve written the recipient’s name in the top line, you can fill in the rest of the information in one line. This line includes information such as:
  • The street number of the apartment building
  • The name of the street that the apartment is located
  • The building where the apartment is located
  • The apartment number

You will need to add a comma after the name of the street as well as the building letter or number. Here is an example of how to write the first line of an apartment address:

John Doe

22 Wood Street, Building B, Apartment 2

  • Use the second line of the address field as needed – The second line of an apartment address typically varies depending on the circumstances. In most cases, it’s the last line of the address, and it includes the following information:
  • City
  • State
  • ZIP Code

As per the USPS postal standards, a complete address should follow the following format:

Recipient name

Street number, apartment address, and apartment number

City, State ZIP code

An example of a complete apartment address:

John Doe

22 Wood Street, Building B, Apartment 2

San Francisco, SF 222

If you’re sending the mail or package internationally, you need to add another line to include the name of the country. Write the entire name of the country in capital letters to ensure that it won’t be mistakenly regarded as a domestic mail or package.  The following is the address format for international mail:

John Doe

22 Wood Street, Building B, Apartment 2

San Francisco, SF 222


You can also use the second line to include secondary addresses, company addresses, “in care of” addresses (abbreviated as “c/o” this can be used in case the addressee doesn’t live permanently at the provided address), or special instructions for delivery. For example, the following format lets the person know who the package is intended for:

John Doe

c/o Jane Doe

22 Wood Street, Building B, Apartment 2

San Francisco, SF 222

What if the address is too long?

You might find that you need an additional line on the envelope if your name, building name, or street name is too long. The general standard when dealing with a long apartment address is to wrap it up with similar components. For example, your name should be on one line and your street name on another. If you still need more space, you can drop it down to the next line and input the necessary details. Keep in mind that the last line should always be your city, state, and ZIP code. Here is an example of how to write a long address:

John Doe

22 Wood Street

Building B, Apartment 2

San Francisco, SF 222

How to use abbreviations in your apartment address?

If the information you need to fill in is too long, another option is to use abbreviations that have been approved by the USPS. In an apartment address, abbreviations are known as secondary address designators. They may not seem particularly important, but if you don’t use them properly, you risk your mail or package not being delivered on time.

Some of the most common abbreviations for the US postal service:

Primary Name 1Abbreviation 1Primary Name 2Abbreviation 2Primary Name 3Abbreviation 3

State abbreviations:

State Name 1Abbreviation 1State Name 2Abbreviation 2State Name 3Abbreviation 3
American SamoaASMarshall IslandsMHPuerto RicoPR
ArizonaAZMarylandMDRhode IslandRI
ArkansasARMassachusettsMASouth CarolinaSC
CaliforniaCAMichiganMISouth DakotaSD
District of ColumbiaDCMontanaMTVermontVT
Federated States of MicronesiaFMNebraskaNEVirginiaVA
FloridaFLNevadaNVVirgin Islands, U.S.VI
GeorgiaGANew HampshireNHWashingtonWA
GuamGUNew JerseyNJWest VirginiaWV
HawaiiHINew MexicoNMWisconsinWI
IdahoIDNew YorkNYWyomingWY
IllinoisILNorth CarolinaNCArmed Forces the AmericasAA
IndianaINNorth DakotaNDArmed Forces EuropeAE
IowaIANorthern Mariana IslandsMPArmed Forces PacificAP

Here is an example of how to use abbreviations when writing an apartment address:

John Doe

22 Wood Street, BLDG B, APT 2

San Francisco, SF 222

Although there is no abbreviation for the word “unit”, it’s still used as an important address designator. Also, you’ll want to steer clear of abbreviating city and street names as it can increase the risk of your mail or package being sent to the wrong address. 

How to use the pound sign in your apartment address?

You’ll often find that some people prefer to use the pound sign (#) when writing the apartment number. This is acceptable, but the USPS requires that you add a space between the pound sign (#) and the number. Here is an example:

John Doe

22 Wood Street, BLDG B, APT # 2

San Francisco, SF 222

How to include directional information?

If directional information is provided, make sure you include it when writing an apartment address (NE, NW, SE, and SW). Skipping the directional information increases the likelihood of your package or mail ending up on the wrong side of town as many cities have two different streets sharing the same name. Here is an example of how you can add directional information:

John Doe

22 Wood Street SE, BLDG B, APT # 2

San Francisco, SF 222

How to write an apartment address for more than one recipient

There are three main ways to correctly display the recipient name field names if there is a spouse or partne


The Doe Family

22 Wood Street, BLDG B, APT # 2

San Francisco, SF 222


Mr, and Mrs. Doe

22 Wood Street, BLDG B, APT # 2

San Francisco, SF 222


Mr. John Doe and Ms. Jane Smith

22 Wood Street, BLDG B, APT # 2

San Francisco, SF 222

Like with other formats, you’ll want to write it in one line.

If you need to change your address or have recently moved

Moving requires that you change your address in many places – from your bank to your Amazon delivery preferences. USPS will typically forward your mail from your old address, but make sure you use your legal name when you sign up for new services.  

Always include a return address

Adding a return address may seem like overkill, but it is always a good idea in the event of a non-delivery. You can apply the same apartment address format when writing a return address. It’s important to write the return address properly as it could mean the difference between having the mail bounced back to you and wondering why the person you sent it to is taking such a long time to send you a reply.

How to write a PO address

Addressing a package to a domestic Post Office (PO) Box is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is to replace the street address with the PO Box number as follows:

John Doe

PO Box 2022

Anycity NY 43210

How to write an international address

International address formats are generally similar in structure to domestic addresses, but you want to be aware of minor variations in format among countries. It may be worth taking a bit of time to clarify the correct format as this can make all the difference when shipping overseas. 

For example France, the postal code usually precedes the town or city name:

John Doe

Apartment 4

22 Anyplace Rue

43210 Anyville


In India, it’s common practice (though not a requirement) to include the state before the postal code:

John Doe

47 Anytown Road


Tamil Nadu 600 002


In Germany, an apartment address uses the following format:


Street + No. // apartment No. postcode + locality


Here is an example for Germany:

John Doe

Anyplace Str. 666 // Apartment 47

50939 KÖLN


In Spain, the street number follows the street name. Information relating to staircase, floor, door, etc., will be separated from the street number using a comma. The province name is indicated on a separate line. The format is as follows:



Street, premise, floor + door

Postcode + locality



Here is an example for Spain:

John Doe

Anyname Building

Calle Huertas 18, 4°, C

29400 Marbella



In China, it’s common for apartment addresses to use the following format:


Premises + street 

Postcode + province


Here is an example for China:

John Doe

No.1 Anyplace Avenue 

100004 BEIJING


Common mistakes to avoid

1. Avoid untidiness when writing an address

When writing an address, make sure you use clean, neat handwriting. Also, use a permanent pen or marker instead of a pencil to avoid smudges. For the best results, write with pen ink that creates a clear contrast against the package or envelope. For example, if you’re sending mail in a white envelope, a black pen is the best option. You should be able to read the address with ease from an arm’s length away. If you already have the address written down but have made some mistakes, cover it with a label and start again.

2. Do not use periods or commas

It might be tempting to use periods or commas when writing an apartment address to create a distinction between letters or words, but punctuation is not used in mailing addresses. Whether handwritten or typed, an address on an envelope that is to be mailed via the post office should not use any punctuation. Additionally, the USPS recommends that you use all caps. The address should also be centered on the envelope, and use a flush left margin.

3. Double-check the ZIP code

 Always double-check the zip code before you send the envelope or package. Writing down the wrong zip code could mean that your mail gets sent to the wrong city, or it may even get lost in the postal system. Make sure you compare the zip code you write down with the city’s official zip code so that you spot any mistakes that you might have made.

Final thoughts

Writing an apartment address properly can take time and extensive research if you’ve never had to format one before. However, if you are aware of the elements that you need to include, you can write the address as it should be. Always make sure to double-check the address for any errors before you send it in the mail so that it is delivered to the right person. With a bit more attention to detail, writing an apartment address can become as easy as writing any other address.

Melanie Asiba

Melanie is an author, and she enjoys traveling, reading, and trying out new things. In addition to writing for Apartment ABC.

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