How to Write Apartment Address

By: Abdullah Haroon

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There used to be a time when letters were part of our daily lives. Receiving a letter from loved ones meant happiness. Everyone used to write letters because it was the only way to show people that you cared about them.

There is now an entire generation that may never know the joy of going to the mailbox to retrieve a holiday or birthday greeting card from grandma. Once upon a time, everybody knew how to write a letter and address envelopes. Though letters are used in a more official capacity these days, it’s still important to know the proper way to send parcels, aka “snail mail.”

Properly Addressing Letters That Travel Via Snail Mail

Use the Legal Name

One of the most common mistakes people make when addressing envelopes is using a nickname instead of a legal or full name. Should the envelope get lost, the legal name is what’s used to help locate it and, hopefully, get it where it needs to go. The name should always go on the first line of the address block, which we address below (no pun intended).

The Address Block

A standard address block should follow the following format:

David William (Full Legal Name)
XYZ Main St, Building A, Apartment 3 (Full Address Including Building and Apartment Information)
New York, NY 00000 (City, State, and Zip Code)

Though there are different models practiced for apartment addresses, it’s best is to write everything out Some abbreviations are okay such as shortening ‘apartment’ to ‘APT’ and using your state’s abbreviated name (NY instead of New York). Any abbreviation you used should be an officially recognized one, not one you made up.

A Common Mistake

Those with little experience in properly addressing envelopes make the most common mistake of extending the address to the second line:

David William
XYZ Main St, Building A,
Apartment 3
New York, NY 00000

This practice is discouraged because the post office now uses automatic scanning machines during the sorting process and is not programmed to read additional street information beyond the second line. This could result in shipping delays.

Managing Additional Lines

Sometimes extra information is needed to ensure the letter gets to where it’s supposed to go. In those circumstances, the second line of the address is dedicated to special designators if someone has to send a letter in “care of” someone else.

The remaining address block would be written as normal:

David William
℅ Jacob William
XYZ Main St, Building A, Apartment 3
New York, NY 00000

Some More General Tips

Another common mistake people make is only writing the recipient’s information and not including the sender’s information. The sender’s address is crucial should the letter get lost or if it’s undeliverable and needs to be returned. Also, make sure your letter contains sufficient postage to ensure it gets to its destination.

The postage (or stamp) is basically the payment for transporting your letter, and with heavier envelopes and small packages, one stamp isn’t enough to cover the shipping costs. When in doubt, take your letter to the post office or a shipping center and ask a representative.

Why you Should Follow the Instructions

You are always sending important emails, sometimes official documents, and other times valuable items. It is for your good to follow the instructions so that the mail can be delivered to the right location. Plus, with the increased use of artificial intelligence with manual processes, it’s necessary to ensure machines can see and properly process the information on the label.


Writing letters may have become less popular thanks to email, texting, and instant messages, but it’s still important to know the basics.