How To Write An Apartment Address In Correct Way (NYC Example)

Most people don’t teach others how to write addresses. And why would they? It seems intuitive, right? Wrong.

Learning to write apartment addresses correctly isn’t typically on anyone’s to-do list. Schools don’t teach it; employers certainly don’t ask for it, and what are the chances that your parents told you it was time to have THE TALK… about writing address? Not likely.

At this point, you might be thinking: ‘well, if no one else seems to care about writing addresses properly, why should I?’.

You shouldn’t.

Yea, you heard me.

writing address on cardboard box

You shouldn’t care about writing apartment addresses correctly if you don’t mind having your mail or package returned to you or misplaced and unclaimable.

If you do mind, and would prefer a seamless experience delivering a package, then boy do we have the perfect blog post for you.

In this post, we’ll keep it short, simple, and helpful enough to get it in one go. Everything you’ll learn applies to writing addresses on envelopes and online.

Benefits of writing apartment addresses correctly

  1. It is one less thing to worry about when sending an urgent package. Imagine having a deadline to meet, only to have the package bounce back to you after the deadline. Sounds like a nightmare you can keep from coming true by writing the address properly.
  2. You can avoid any headaches from filling out official forms. Someone once made me feel like an idiot because I filled my address incorrectly. True story. It was rude on her part but very embarrassing for me. Save yourself the possible shame and learn the write addresses correctly. Asides from that, forms for government identification and the like need correct information. If you don’t know how to present such information, it could be taken to mean something else.
  3. It would be easier to file a claim if your package gets lost or stolen.
  4. You can sleep better at night knowing you’ve saved one more person the stress of figuring out where a package is supposed to go, thanks to confusing or incomplete addresses. Most people don’t care about the delivery man. But he is in charge of your package. He would find it easier to send it back to you and save his time.

Now that you know what’s in it for you, let’s get to the ‘how to’ part.

How to write your apartment address correctly

Addresses within the U.S. are typically written in 3 lines. According to the United State Postal Service (USPS), here’s what each line is for:

  • The first line is for the addressee’s (delivery address) name.

If it’s not already obvious, you should stick to full legal names and not nicknames or short forms. This will come in handy if the recipient does not receive the mail directly, e.g., if the mail is dropped off at the lobby in an apartment building. This will also come in handy if you change your address.

  • The second line is for street addresses or post office box numbers.

Depending on the kind of address, this line typically contains the street number, name of street, name of the building, and apartment or unit number.

  • The third line should be for the city, state, and Zip code (in that order). Other information you can put on this line is town name, province, county, and other subdivisions. You don’t have to include all of the above, just the ones necessary or available for the delivery address.

Here’s an example of a correctly written address:

Isabella Swan  

7168 Orange Avenue, Diamond House, Apartment 3B

New York, NY 10457

Here’s an example of an incorrectly written address:

Isabella Swan  

7168 Orange Avenue,

Diamond House, Apartment 3B,

Bronx, New York, NY 10457

Note that though the Bronx is one of the boroughs in New York City, its inclusion is not necessary on the address because it would be determined from the zip code.

Exceptions to Writing Apartment Addresses

  • A common misconception is that street addresses with apartment numbers should be split into 2 separate lines like this:

Isabella Swan  

7168 Orange Avenue, Diamond House, 

Apartment 3B

New York, NY 10457

This is unnecessary as the USPS recommends you stick to one line and separate the apartment number with a comma. Here’s how to write the address with the apartment number:

Isabella Swan  

7168 Orange Avenue, Diamond House, Apartment 3B

New York, NY 10457

However, if you find the address is too long for one line, you can use abbreviations.

Isabella Swan  

7168 Orange Avenue, BLDG 4, APT 3B

New York, NY 10457

If that still isn’t enough, you’ll have to include a new line after all.

  • A new second line can be introduced for company addresses, secondary addresses, in care of addresses, etc.

Here’s what that looks like:

Isabella Swan

River Brooke Company

7168 Orange Avenue, Diamond House, Apartment 3B

Bronx, New York, NY 10457

Or

Isabella Swan

C/O Justin Moon

7168 Orange Avenue, Diamond House, Apartment 3B

New York, NY 10457

  • A fourth line would be necessary if you’re sending your package out of the country. The country name should be written in upper case.

Here’s what that would look like:

Isabella Swan  

7168 Orange Avenue, Diamond House, Apartment 3B

New York, NY 10457

UNITED STATES

  • If you are sending to more than one recipient at the same address, maintain the first line for both their names e.g.

Mr. and Mrs. Swan

7168 Orange Avenue, Diamond House, Apartment 3B

Bronx, New York, NY 10457

Or 

Isabella Swan and Ms. Rose Peterson

7168 Orange Avenue, Diamond House, Apartment 3B

Bronx, New York, NY 10457

Abbreviations

Here are some helpful abbreviations or designations you may need to use. They will come in handy if you have limited space to fill out your information.

Description Abbreviation/Designator
Apartment APT
Blank, unable to determine*
Building BLDG
Department DEPT
Floor FL
Front FRNT
Hanger HNGR
Key KEY
Lobby LBBY
Lot LOT
Lower LOWR
Office OFC
Penthouse PH
Pier PIER
Rear REAR
Room RM
Side SIDE
Slip SLIP
Space SPC
Stop STOP
Suite STE
Trailer TRLR
Unit UNIT
Upper UPPR

Pro Tip

When in doubt, check leases or utility bills! If you can’t figure out just how many details you should be fitting into these lines, chances are someone has figured it out for you.

You can refer to leases, utility bills, or other records that include the address you’re attempting to write.

That’s it! It’s as simple as line 1, line 2, and line 3.

Go out there and make USPS proud.

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