What Does Insufficient Address Mean at USPS? (Full Guide)

Maybe you sent a letter only to have it returned to you weeks later. Or maybe you’ve been waiting on a package, but the tracking information says “Undeliverable as Addressed – return to sender.”

Far from being a simple annoyance, deliveries not going through can spell major trouble. But what is the reason for an Insufficient Address marking? If you’d like to find out, keep reading to see what I learned!

What Does Insufficient Address Mean at USPS in 2022?

Undeliverable as addressed (UAA) is the term used by USPS to describe mail that cannot be delivered due to an issue with the address. In many cases, UAA refers to an address mistake made by the sender, such as an incorrect zip code, apartment name, house number, or street name.

If you’d like to find out why USPS marks an address as insufficient, why USPS says an address is written incomplete, and so on, keep reading this article to learn more useful facts and tips!

Why Does USPS Say An Address Is Insufficient?

There are many reasons why USPS will say an address is insufficient, but in most cases, sender error is to blame.

Sender error could mean that someone wrote the wrong zip code, apartment building name, house number, or street name, deeming it insufficient for mailing. 

As well, a piece of mail will also be considered to have an insufficient address if any part of the mailing address is missing, or if the address listed is illegible.

Why Does USPS Say My Address Is Incomplete?

USPS considers any piece of mail that’s missing part of the address (whether by omission or illegibility) as having an incomplete address. 

For reference, a complete mailing address includes the following information:

  • Recipient’s name or organization name
  • Street address (post office box or street address, but not both). You must also include a directional (e.g. NE for North East) if applicable.
  • City, state and zip code
  • Return address*

It’s important to note that a return address is not required, though it will ensure that you’ll get any undeliverable mail sent back to you.

What To Do When USPS Says Insufficient Address?

What To Do When USPS Says Insufficient Address?

If USPS is unable to deliver mail due to an insufficient address, they will use the return address on the mailpiece and attempt to return it to the sender.

If the mailpiece is addressed incorrectly and has no return address, it will be handled either by your local post office or sent to the Mail Recovery Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

In order to take care of the situation, the first thing to do is check in on your item at your local post office, as they may be able to give you more information about the whereabouts of your item or they may have the package on hand.

However, if the local post office doesn’t have your package and you haven’t received it within 7 days from the date of mailing, you can submit a search request through the Missing Mail application on USPS.com.

As well, you can call your Consumer Affairs representative at 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) and have them complete a search request on your behalf, or you can submit a request in person at your local post office.

How Do I Verify My Address With USPS?

Address verification is a particularly important task for businesses that do a lot of shipping, in order to make sure they have accurate information on their contact lists to provide accurate deliveries and lower overall shipping costs.

Still, private individuals may also wish to verify that their address is correct if they’ve recently moved to a new home or have experienced interruptions in mail delivery.

Therefore, while businesses with a large contact list may favor a batch address verification software, private individuals will find the USPS address verification tool more than sufficient. 

Why Isn’t My Address Verified With USPS?

There are several reasons why your address may be coming up as “unverified” or “invalid” by USPS.

For an address to be valid, it must match a corresponding address in the official USPS address database. Therefore, if your address contains any incorrect data, it won’t match the data in the USPS database and will be considered invalid.

Other times, an address will not validate because the address is marked “vacant” by USPS. What’s more, a new address, an unregistered address, or an address located within a postal code primarily serviced by PO boxes won’t validate either.

How Do I Get USPS To Validate My Address?

Getting USPS to recognize your address isn’t difficult, but it may take a few months, so the sooner you start, the sooner you can resume normal mail delivery.

Addresses in the United States are managed by the United States Address Management System (AMS).

This system allows the public to submit address changes, and you can find your local AMS office by entering your city and state or ZIP Code here.

After entering your information, you’ll be provided with the address and phone number of your local AMS office, and they will help you get your address added or corrected in the system.

To find out more, you can also check our related posts on how long does USPS change of address last, what to do if USPS is delivered to the wrong address, and USPS package going wrong way.

Conclusion

USPS categorizes an insufficient address (or UAA) as an address that is either written incomplete, states the wrong zip code, wrong street name and any other information deemed inaccurate or unclear.

Therefore, in order to prevent mail being sent back due to UAA, you’re recommended to double check address information before writing it out on your package, as well as before sending the package to ensure all the stated information is accurate.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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