Address Validation FAQ

What is UPS Address Validation?

UPS Address Validation compares an address to a standard database of address possibilities. A successful validation attempt indicates that the address information you provided exists in the database.

Validating your shipping address can help ensure prompt and accurate delivery of your package. However, an exact match does not guarantee that the physical address exists, or that the intended company or recipient occupies the address provided.

The following examples demonstrate results you may receive when attempting to verify an address:

Example 1: Accurate Address: In this example, you are attempting to confirm an address of one of your regular customers in Chicago.
Address Entered:
3258 N. Sheffield Ave.
Chicago IL, 60657
UPS Address Validation Response:
3258 N. Sheffield Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657-2211
Proper UPS Address:
3258 N. Sheffield Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657-2211
Result: The address you entered matched the database. UPS Address Validation verified your address and provided the ZIP+4.

Example 2: Invalid Postal Code: In this example, you are attempting to ship your package to a hotel in Beverly Hills, and you inadvertently mistype the postal code.
Address Entered:
9882 Santa Monica Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
UPS Address Validation Response:
9882 Santa Monica Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212-1605
Proper UPS Address:
9882 Santa Monica Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212-1605
Result: UPS Address Validation found the address in the postal code 90212, not in 90210.
Explanation: Using your original address may have resulted in shipping delays and an Address Correction charge.

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Why should I use UPS Address Validation?

Validating a shipping address confirms that the address you enter is recognizable by our shipping and delivery systems, thereby helping to ensure the prompt and accurate delivery of your shipment.

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How do I validate an address?

To validate an address, enter as much information about the intended recipient as you can. Required information is indicated by bold text. You will need to include street, city, and state information or a postal code. For the most accurate match, please provide as much information for the optional fields as possible (for example, Company and Suite/Room/Floor). Select Validate, and then review the response.

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Will using UPS Address Validation eliminate address corrections?

No. An exact address match against UPS Address Validation confirms that an address exists in a standard database of address possibilities. However, since the address database uses ranges of street and suite numbers, it is possible that a physical address may not exist for a street or suite number within a given range.

UPS Address Validation is provided to assist you in obtaining a valid address. It is still the shipper's responsibility to ensure that the address information provided is accurate.

The following examples illustrate instances where you would not be able to accurately validate an address using UPS Address Validation:

Example 1: Street Number Is Within Valid Range -- No Corresponding Physical Address Exists: In this example, you are attempting to ship your package to a residence in Atlanta, Georgia.
Address Entered:
209 Devonwood Dr.
Atlanta, GA 30328
UPS Address Validation Response:
209 Devonwood Dr.
Atlanta, GA 30328-1908
Proper UPS Address: No such address exists. House numbers on Devonwood Drive are 205, 210, 215, 220, 225, etc.
Result: The address you provided exists within the range of "valid" addresses, but there is no physical address for 209 Devonwood Drive. In this case, your shipment might have been delayed, and you may have been billed an Address Correction charge.
Explanation: The database contains street numbers as ranges; it does not contain an address for every point within a valid range.

Example 2: Business Has Moved: In this example, you are attempting to ship your package to a business that has moved.
Address Entered:
625 W. 55th Street
Floor 5
New York, NY 10019
UPS Address Validation Response:
625 W. 55th Street
FL 5
New York, NY
10019-3560
Proper UPS Address: The company has moved across town.
Result: You are presented with what appears to be a valid address, when in fact, the company has recently moved. In this case, your shipment might have been delayed, and you may have been billed an Address Correction charge.
Explanation: UPS Address Validation does not verify that the business or individual listed exists at the address provided. It only validates that the address exists in the database.

Example 3: Malls and Office Parks: In this example, you are attempting to ship your package to an office park in Santa Monica, California. The only address information you have is the office park name and the suite -- you do not have street information.
Address Entered:
Arboretum Courtyard
Suite 100
Santa Monica, CA 90404
UPS Address Validation Response: Address Not Found
Proper UPS Address:
2120 Colorado Ave.
Suite 100
Santa Monica, CA 90404-3561
Result: UPS Address Validation could not find an address for the information you provided.
Explanation:

  • When shipping to malls, office parks, and other locations that have a physical name, you should use the street number and name to validate the address.
  • The preferred address on your shipping label is the full street address. You can also include the location's physical name (for example, Arboretum Courtyard) along with the street address on your shipping label.
  • If you do not have a street address, please contact the intended recipient of the shipment to obtain their address.

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Why do I get multiple addresses?

If an exact match cannot be found, UPS Address Validation may provide you with a list of alternative addresses to help you determine the correct address. If you are not presented with an acceptable alternative, please contact the intended recipient of the shipment to verify that you have an accurate address.

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What do I do if my address will not validate?

If an exact match cannot be found, UPS Address Validation may provide you with a list of alternative addresses to help you determine the correct address. If you are not presented with an acceptable alternative, please contact the intended recipient of the shipment to verify that you have an accurate address. The address information you entered may be incomplete, incorrect, or newer than the information currently in the database.

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How can I improve my match rate?

To improve your match rate:

  • Provide as much address information as possible
  • Ensure proper spelling
  • Avoid the of use characters such as periods or commas

Providing additional address information such as prefixes and suffixes -- for example, 123 North Main Street, 15 Elm Street NE -- will greatly improve your match rate.

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Will UPS Address Validation help distinguish between residential and commercial addresses?

No. UPS Address Validation does not distinguish between residential and commercial addresses. Please refer to the following example:

Example: Home-based business: In this example, you are attempting to ship to a customer who runs a business out of her home. Since you are shipping to her business, you mark the shipment as "Commercial" in your shipping system.
Address Entered:
15922 Burt Street
Omaha, NE 68118
UPS Address Validation Response:
15922 Burt Street
Omaha, NE 68118-2222
Proper UPS Address:
15922 Burt Street
Omaha, NE 68118-2222
Result: Your UPS bill will have an adjustment for the difference between Residential and Commercial delivery.
Explanation: A delivery to a home is considered a residential shipment, even if business is conducted within the home.

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Why doesn't the name of the recipient I am shipping to appear in the address?

UPS Address Validation does not perform occupant validation. It compares the submitted address (street, suite number, city, state, and postal code) against a standard database of address possibilities to determine if a valid match exists.

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Can I validate a Post Office Box?

Yes. A Post Office (P.O.) Box will validate. However, UPS cannot deliver to a P.O. Box. You should make every effort to obtain a street address. Should you choose to use a P.O. Box, the phone number of the intended recipient must be provided. A package addressed to a P.O. Box may experience delays, will not be covered by any UPS Service Guarantee, and will incur an Address Correction charge. Also, we cannot accept APO and FPO addresses.

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Does UPS Address Validation support non-U.S. addresses?

UPS Address Validation currently validates addresses for the United States and Puerto Rico.

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Is a validated address required for all shipments tendered to UPS?

While not required, we encourage the use of a validated address to help ensure timely and accurate package delivery.

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Who can I contact at UPS regarding address validation?

Please contact your UPS Account Executive if you have questions about address validation.

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How can I update my shipping system with the validated address?

You can print the validated address for reference or view the UPS Address Validation Web page and your shipping system interface side-by-side on your screen and enter the information into your system manually.

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Will using UPS Address Validation speed the delivery of my shipments?

UPS Address Validation does not increase the speed of delivery. However, it can help reduce the occurrence of incorrect addresses, which could otherwise delay your shipment.

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