Why ZIP codes have 5 numbers — and what they each mean
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June 2017 A ZIP Code is a used by the USPS in a system it introduced in 1963.
The term ZIP is an for Zone Improvement Plan; it was chosen to suggest that the travels more efficiently and quickly when senders use the code sheriff gaming slots the.
The basic format consists of five digits.
An extended ZIP+4 code was introduced in 1983 which includes the five digits of the ZIP Sheriff gaming slots, followed by a and four additional digits that reference a more specific location.
The term ZIP Code was originally registered as a by the USPS, but its registration has since expired.
The USPOD implemented postal zones for numerous large cities in 1943.
John Smith 3256 Epiphenomenal Avenue Minneapolis 16, Minnesota The "16" was the number of the postal zone in the specific city.
By the early 1960s, a more organized system was needed, and non-mandatory five-digit ZIP Codes were introduced nationwide on July 1, 1963.
The USPOD issued its Publication 59: Abbreviations for Use with ZIP Code on October 1, 1963, with the list of which are generally written with click letters capitalized.
An earlier list in June had proposed capitalized abbreviations ranging from two to five letters.
According to Publication 59, the two-letter standard was "based on a maximum 23-position line, because this has been found to be the most universally acceptable line capacity basis for major addressing systems", which would be exceeded by a long city name combined with a multi-letter state abbreviation, such as "Sacramento, Calif.
The abbreviations have remained unchanged, with the exception ofwhich was changed from NB to NE in 1969 at the request of theto avoid confusion with the Canadian province of.
The post office only credits Moon with the first three digits of the ZIP Code, which describe the SCF or "sec center.
The fourth and fifth digits, which give a more precise locale within the SCF, were proposed by Henry Bentley Hahn Sr.
The SCF sorts mail to all post offices with those first three digits in their ZIP Codes.
The mail is sorted according to the final two digits of the ZIP Code and sent to the corresponding post offices in the early morning.
Sectional centers do not deliver mail and are not open to the public though the building may include a post office that is open to the publicand most of their employees work the.
Mail picked up at post offices is sent to their own SCF in the afternoon, where the mail is sorted overnight.
John Smith 3256 Epiphenomenal Avenue Minneapolis, MN 554 16 In 1967, these became mandatory for second- and third-classand the system was soon adopted generally.
The United States Post Office used awhich it calledto promote the use of the ZIP Code.
He was often depicted with a legend such as "USE ZIP CODE" in the of panes of or on the covers of booklet panes of stamps.
In 1971 Elmira NY reporter Dick Baumbach found out the White House was not using a ZIP Code on its envelopes.
Herb Klein, special assistant to President Nixon, responded by saying the next printing of envelopes would include the ZIP Code.
Postal Service introduced an expanded ZIP Code system that it called ZIP+4, often called "plus-four codes", "add-on codes", or "add-ons".
A ZIP+4 Code uses the basic five-digit code plus four additional digits to identify a geographic segment within the five-digit delivery area, such as aa group of apartments, an individual high-volume receiver of mail, a post office box, or any other unit that could use an extra identifier to aid in efficient mail sorting and delivery.
However, initial attempts to promote universal use of the new format met with public resistance and today the plus-four code is not required.
In general, mail is read by a MLOCR that almost instantly determines the correct ZIP+4 Code from the address—along with the even more specific —and sprays an IM on the face of the mail piece that corresponds to 11 digits—nine for the ZIP+4 Code and two for the delivery point.
Forthe general but not invariable rule is that each box has its own ZIP+4 code.
The add-on code is often one of the following: the last four digits of the box number e.
PO Box 107050, Albany, NY 12201-7050zero plus the last three digits of the box number e.
However, there is no uniform rule, so the ZIP+4 Code must be looked up individually for each box.
A barcode can be printed by the sender some word-processing programs such as include the feature—but is not recommended as the address to ZIP lookup tables can be significantly out of date.
It is better to let the post office put one on when it processes the piece.
This requires more than just a simple ; must be standardized with up-to-date CASS -certified software that adds and verifies a full, correct ZIP+4 Code and an additional two representing the exact.
These steps are usually done with PAVE-certified software that also prints the barcoded address labels and the barcoded sack or tray tags.
The delivery-point digits the 10th and 11th digits are calculated based on the primary or secondary number of the address.
The USPS publishes the rules for calculating the delivery point in a document called the CASS Technical Guide.
However, when confronted with two addresses like 18 and sheriff gaming slots, often CASS will assign the same 12-digit number to two distinct mail delivery points.
The last digit is always awhich is obtained by summing all 5, 9 or 11 digits, taking the modulo 10 of this sum i.
There are generally no ZIP codes for deliveries to other countries, except for the independent countries of thetheand theeach of which is integrated into the U.
Another exception are ZIP Codes used for overseas stations of USA armed forces.
Mail to overseas is addressed as if it were addressed to a street address in The four-digit number is used as a building number, while the city in which the embassy or consulate is located is combined with the word "Place" to form a street name.
Each mission uses a ZIP+4 Code consisting of 20521 and the diplomatic pouch number.
For example, the mailing address of the U.
Unique ZIP Codes are used for governmental agencies, universities, businesses, or buildings that receive such extremely high volumes of that they need their own ZIP Codes.
Government examples include 20505 for the in ; 81009 for the of the GSA in.
Examples of private address unique ZIP Codes include the headquarters of 72716.
An example of a PO Box-only ZIP Code is 22313, which is used for PO Boxes at the main post office insuch as those used by the.
In the area surrounding that post office, home and business mail delivery addresses use ZIP Code 22314, which is thus a Standard ZIP Code.
In certain exceptional cases, a nominally Standard-type ZIP Code may, in practice, be used as one of the three other types.
For example, the ZIP Code 43210 in is listed as a Standard-type Zip codes us Code.
However, since its geographic boundaries are essentially coterminous with those of main campus, it is effectively exclusive to the university even though it is not officially a "Unique"-type ZIP code.
The main town in a region if applicable often gets the first ZIP Codes for that region; afterward, the numerical order often follows the alphabetical order.
For example, ZIP Code 42223 serveswhich spansandand ZIP Code 97635 includes portions ofand.
In general, the first three digits designate athe mail sorting and distribution center for an area.
A sectional center facility may have more than one three-digit code assigned to it.
For example, the Northern Virginia sectional center facility in is assigned codes 220, 221, 222, and 223.
In some cases, a sectional center facility may serve an area in an adjacent state, usually due to the lack of a proper location for a center in that region.
For example, 739 in is assigned to ; 865 in is assigned to ; and 961 in to.
In terms of geographic location, many of the lowest ZIP Codes, which begin with '0', are in the region.
Also in the '0' region are non-contiguous with the remainder of the '0' area, theand military addresses for personnel stationed in,and aboard vessels based in the waters adjoining those lands.
The lowest ZIP Code is in 00501, a ZIP Code exclusively for the center there.
Other low ZIP Codes are 00601 for ; 01001 forand the zip codes 01002 and 01003 for ; 01002 is used for mail in town, while 01003 is reserved for the.
Until 2001, there were six ZIP Codes lower than 00501 that were numbered from 00210 to 00215 located in and were used by the program to receive applications from non-U.
From there, the numbers increase heading westward and northward east of thesouthward west of the Mississippi River, and northward on the.
For example, 40202 is in50309 in60601 in63101 in77036 in80202 in94111 in98101 inand 99950 in the highest ZIP Code.
When a sectional center facility's area crosses state lines, that facility is assigned separate three-digit prefixes for the states that it serves.
In some urban areas, like 462 forthe three-digit prefix will often exist in one county, while, in rural and most suburban areas, the prefix will exist in multiple counties; for example, the neighboring 476 prefix is found in part or entirely in six counties: Gibson, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, and Warrick.
In some cases, an urban county may have more than one prefix.
This is the case with Allen 467, 468Lake 464, zip codes usSt.
Joseph 465, 466and Vanderburgh 476, 477 counties.
Cities like,and have multiple prefixes within their city limits.
In some cases, these may be served from the same SCF, such as inwhere the three-digit prefixes 919 and 920 are used for suburban and rural communities, and 921 for the city of San Diego itself, although all three are processed through the same SCF facility.
As a consequence, ZIP Code "areas" can overlap, be subsets of each other, or be artificial constructs with no geographic area such as 095 for mail to the Navy, which is not geographically fixed.
In similar fashion, in areas without regular postal routes areas or no mail delivery undeveloped areasZIP Codes are not assigned or are based on sparse delivery routes, and hence the boundary between ZIP Code areas is undefined.
For example, some residents in or nearwhich has the ZIP Code 47639, have mailing addresses with 47648, the ZIP Code for neighboringwhile others living in or near Fort Branch have addresses with 47639.
Many rural counties have similar logistical inconsistencies caused by the aforementioned sparse delivery routes, often known as Rural Routes or by some other similar designation.
Almost all agencies in and around the capital are assigned ZIP Codes starting with 20200 to 20599, which are ZIP Codes, even if they are not located in Washington itself.
While the itself is located in ZIP Code 20006, it has the ZIP Code 20500.
The is located inat ZIP Code 20852, but has been assigned by the Postal Service the address "Washington, DC 20555".
In similar manner, the ZIP Sheriff gaming slots for thea federally chartered independent authority, is 20001-6000, even though the physical address of the Authority's office, "1 Aviation Circle", is in.
When the USPTO was located in the neighborhood init was assigned by the Postal Service the address "Washington, DC 20231" despite being physically located in ZIP Code 22202.
However, the USPTO now uses ZIP Codes assigned to its current locations in.
The patents side of the USPTO uses a PO box assigned the ZIP+4 code of 22313-1450 for all postal communications.
The trademarks side of the USPTO uses the same ZIP+4 code for most of its mail, but the office of the Commissioner for Trademarks has its own PO box with the ZIP+4 code of 22313-1451, and some offices within that part of the USPTO use the 22314 ZIP Code.
In rare circumstances, a locality is assigned a ZIP Code that does not match the rest of the state.
In even rarer cases a ZIP Code may cross state lines.
Usually, this occurs when the locality is so isolated that it is most conveniently served from a sectional center in another state.
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June 2013 A ZIP Code's address and the city name written on the same line do not necessarily mean that address is within the boundaries please click for source that city.
The Postal Service designates one preferred place name for each ZIP Code.
This may be an incorporated town or city, a subentity of a large city or an unincorporatedor a small.
Additional place names may be recognized as acceptable for a certain ZIP Code.
Still, others are deemed not acceptable, and if used may result in a delay in mail delivery.
Preferred place names are generally the city or town in which the address is located.
However, for many cities that have incorporated since ZIP Codes were introduced, the city name is not the preferred place name.
Many databases automatically assign the preferred place name for a ZIP Code, without regard to any acceptable place names.
For example, is divided among seven ZIP Codes assigned to, or as its preferred place names; none of these seven ZIP Codes carries "Centennial" as a preferred name, and in the ZIP Code directory, Centennial addresses are listed under those three cities.
Since it is acceptable to write "Centennial" in conjunction with any of the seven ZIP Codes, one can write "Centennial" in an address in Aurora, Englewood, or Zip codes us, as long as it is in one of the shared ZIP Codes.
Acceptable place names are usually added to a ZIP Code in cases where the ZIP Code boundaries divide them between two or more cities, as in the case of Centennial.
However, in many cases, only the preferred name can be used, even when many addresses in the ZIP Code are in another city.
People sometimes must use the name of a post office rather than their own city.
One extreme example is ZIP Code 85254; it was assigned the place name because it is served by the Scottsdale post office, but 85% of its territory is inside the city limits of neighboring.
Another notorious example is an entire neighborhood of the city of known as.
Naturally, its residents prefer the more glamorous address and 90210 ZIP Code, but this regularly causes problems with an emergency response when dispatchers have to sort out whether a given home in 90210 is in Los Angeles or Beverly Hills.
Similarly,straddles and counties.
The portion within Harris County is opinion, bettendorf iowa zip code map this the ZIP Code 77071, which must use the city name of instead of Missouri City.
At the same time, a small portion of the city of Houston is in Fort Bend County in the ZIP Code 77489, and residents there must use the name Missouri City for their address even though they are in Houston.
This also occurs in some rural areas where portions of one town have their mail delivered to other post offices.
For example, while most of the town of is in ZIP Code 01070, some sections of town are in the ZIP Code area for the neighboring town of with ZIP Code 01026.
Only the preferred name of Cummington is allowed in ZIP Code 01026, so residents of parts of Plainfield must list their address as being in Cummington.
This phenomenon is repeated across the country.
The previously mentioned is an inner-ring suburb that was built out by the 1960s.
Its post office served the area that is now the high-growth southern tier of theand ZIP Codes in this area were assigned Englewood as their preferred place name.
A business community as large as downtown has grown in this area, with headquarters for many internationally recognized corporations.
These companies indicate Englewood as their location the preferred postal place namealthough they are located in other cities.
As a result, there are really two Englewoods — the city, small and with a largely residential population, and, a number of miles away, the postal Englewood, a vast suburban area of upscale subdivisions and office parks that have nothing to do with the city of Englewood yet share a split identity with it solely because of ZIP Codes.
People who say they live or work in Englewood and identify closely with it may rarely enter the city.
Inthe ZIP Code for a town usually indicates the ZIP Code for its corresponding township, as nearly all of Indiana's small town post offices have rural routes.
For example,has 130 distinct municipalities, yet many of the county's residents, and even some residents of adjacent counties, commonly use as their postal address.
Many ZIP Codes are for, portions of cities, or other entities that are not municipalities.
For example, ZIP Code 03750 is forbut Etna is not a city or town; it is a in the town ofwhich itself is assigned the ZIP Code 03755.
Another example is ZIP Code 08043, which corresponds to the census-designated place ofbut serves the entirety of.
This is also the case ina portion of which is served by the 12603 ZIP Code based in the neighboring.
The rest of LaGrange is served by the LaGrangeville Post Office.
LaGrangeville is itself not a town at all, but a section of LaGrange.
Furthermore, non-municipal place names may also share ZIP Codes with municipal place names.
For example,is commonly referred to in most mailing databases asa census-designated place within West Windsor.
Postal designations for place names become de facto locations for their addresses, and as a result, it is difficult to convince residents and businesses that they are located in another city or town different from the preferred place name associated with their ZIP Codes.
Because of issues of confusion and lack of identity, some cities, such asan located entirely inside the separate city of have successfully petitioned the Postal Service to change ZIP Code boundaries or create new ZIP Codes so their cities become the preferred place name for addresses within the ZIP Code.
Postal designation confusion may have financial implications for local governments because mail volume is one factor used by the U.
Census Bureau to estimate population changes between decennial census enumerations.
A typical example iswhose preferred place name is.
Paddock Lake is incorporated as a village within the town of Salem, even though there are more people in the village of Paddock Lake than there are in the unincorporated parts of the town of Salem.
Further confusion is caused becausewhich is also a village in the town of Salem and is of similar size and status to Paddock Lake, has its own ZIP Code and post office.
In another case, the U.
FCC denied a now FM a move requiring a change in its to, largely because it was not a city until in late 2005despite being the seventh-largest place in the state by.
The FCC cited the use of "" on letters of support from local organizations, even though the USPS forced them to use Atlanta for 30328 until well after incorporation took effect.
Currently "Sandy Springs" is only acceptable, despite none of 30328 being in Atlanta, or anywhere else outside the Sandy Springs.
This even applies to the ZIP Code used only for PO boxes at the Sandy Springs main post office.
Because ZIP Codes and their associated place names can ignore county lines, problems may occur where are based on location within a county.
For example, the area served by 30339 straddles the — line in Georgia.
The Cobb County portion of this area includes in the southeast of that county; the Fulton County portion lies within the city limits of Atlanta.
Every street address in Vinings is labeled SE, and has a on the Cobb County grid according to the distance from the in the of.
However, because the USPS demands the use of Atlanta, Vinings addresses are written such that they appear to be in southeast Atlanta, instead of in the opposite northwest side.
Typically, the new codes become effective once announced, and a grace period e.
In rapidly growing communities, it is sometimes necessary to open a new sectional center facility, which must then be allocated its own three-digit ZIP-code prefix or prefixes.
Such allocation can be done in various ways.
For example, when a new sectional center facility was opened at in Virginia, the prefix 201 was allocated to that facility; therefore, for all post offices to be served by that sectional center facility the ZIP Code changed from an old code beginning with 220 or 221 to a new code or codes beginning with 201.
However, when a new sectional center facility was opened to serveno new prefix was assigned.
Instead, ZIP Codes in the 207 and code vegas code in zip ranges, which had previously been assigned alphabetically, were reshuffled so that 207xx ZIP Codes in the county was changed to 208xx codes, while 208xx codes outside that county were changed to 207xx codes.
Because whose postal area includes has its own prefix, 209, there was no need to apply the reshuffling to Silver Spring; instead, all mail going to 209xx ZIP Codes was simply rerouted to the new sectional center facility.
On the other hand, may cause a post office to close and its associated ZIP Code to be deallocated.
For example, 's ZIP Code, 17927, was retired in 2002, and ZIP Codes for 1476414771 and 14773 in New York were prevented from going into use in 1964 in preparation for the 's completion.
Because of the 191 prefix, which is found only in apart from that lone exception, auto insurance companies charged higher city premiums to residents of that suburban location.
For that reason, residents petitioned the USPS for a 190-prefix ZIP Code, which is common to the inner-ring Pennsylvania suburbs of that city, and, after several attempts that were initially disapproved by the USPS, Elkins Park was finally reassigned to the 19027 ZIP Code.
ZIP Codes also change when postal boundaries are realigned.
For example, concurrent with the above-noted change in Montgomery County, Maryland, and under pressure from the then-mayor of, the USPS realigned the postal boundaries between Washington, D.
Previously, many inner suburbs, such as and, and had been in the Washington, D.
As a result of the change, ZIP Codes in Maryland beginning with 200 were changed to new ZIP Codes beginning with 207, 208, or 209, depending on their location, and ZIP Codes straddling the D.
For example, 20016 Bethesda became 20816, while the Maryland portion of 20012 Takoma Park became 20912.
ZIP Codes are used not only for tracking of mail but also in gathering geographical statistics in the United States.
The calculates approximate boundaries of ZIP Codes areas, which it calls ZCTAs.
Statistical census data is then provided for these approximate areas.
The geographic data provided for these areas includes the and of the center-point of the ZCTAs.
There are approximately 32,000 ZCTAs.
The reason that there is not one ZCTA for every ZIP Code is that PO Boxes are excluded, since only populated areas are sheriff gaming slots in the Census data.
The Census Bureau provides many statistical data sets for ZIP Codes, but does not keep up-to-date datasets of all ZCTAs.
Complete datasets providing a similar approximate geographic extent are commercially available.
ZIP Codes are inherently discrete or point-based data, as they are assigned only at the point of delivery, not for the spaces in between the delivery points.
Census Bureau then interpolates this discrete data set to create polygons, or areal features representing the approximate extent of the ZIP Code to use for mapping and data presentation.
ZCTAs are not to be confused with ZIP Codes, and they are not updated as frequently as ZIP Codes.
However, for many research and planning purposes, they are very useful and can be used with ZIP Code data.
Besides providing purchasing-pattern data useful in determining the location of new business establishments, retailers can use directories to correlate go here ZIP Code with the name on a credit card to obtain a consumer's full address and.
ZIP-Coded data are also used in analyzing geographic factors in risk, an insurance and banking industry practice pejoratively known as.
This can cause problems e.
California outlawed this practice in 2011.
Although the website of the has a "Find Your Representative" feature that looks up congressional districts based on ZIP Codes alone, it often returns multiple districts corresponding to a single ZIP Code.
This is because different parts of one ZIP Code can be in different districts.
One proposal to eliminate the possibility of extreme partisan calls on using zip codes as the basic units for redistricting.
This software processes a user-input ZIP Code and returns a list of store or business locations, usually in the order of increasing distance from the center of the input ZIP Code.
As the ZIP Code system is confined to the U.
Postal network, websites that require ZIP Codes cannot register customers outside the U.
Many sites will either purchase postal code data of other countries or make allowances in cases where the ZIP Code is not recognized.
ZIP Codes are regularly used on the Internet to provide a location in situations where an exact address empire ok zip code not necessary or desirable but the user's municipality or general location is needed.
Examples in addition to the store locator example listed above include weather forecasts, television listings, local news, and most general-purpose sites, by default, search within a specified of a given ZIP Code, based on other users' entered ZIP Codes.
When a merchant collects the entire address, the ZIP Code is an important part of AVS.
In some cases, the ZIP Code is the only thing used for AVS, specifically where collecting a signature, or other information is infeasible, such as or.
Smithsonian National Postal Museum.
Retrieved 7 March 2013.
Retrieved July https://money-free-games.website/zip-code/yonkers-ny-zip-code-map.html, 2009.
Retrieved 19 June 2017.
The Trustees of Indiana University.
Retrieved July 10, 2009.
United States Postal Service.
Archived from PDF on April 19, 2009.
Retrieved July 10, 2009.
Retrieved December 15, 2018.
Diplomatic Pouch and Mail Division of the U.
Retrieved April 1, 2015.
Federal Citizen Information Center of the U.
Archived from on July 14, 2009.
Retrieved July 10, 2009.
For years, consumers have written to Pueblo, Colorado 81009 for timely, practical information they trust.
Retrieved Oct 4, 2017.
Retrieved Oct 4, 2017.
Retrieved September 23, 2018.
Retrieved September 23, 2018.
Retrieved July 10, 2009.
That's mind-boggling as there are over 42,000 ZIP codes in the US.
Retrieved 5 February 2013.
Retrieved February 11, 2011.
Retrieved Aug 6, 2014.
Retrieved 4 November 2018.
Retrieved 17 October 2013.
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Lucky Zip codes
As of 1963, zip codes' numbers are determined by a few factors: the area, the regional postal facility and the local zone. The first number of the five-digit code signifies the region which the.
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