How to Address Postcards to Another Country

Written by angele sionna
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How to Address Postcards to Another Country
Mailing postcards internationally is a simple process. (antique postcard image by Aaron Kohr from

Sending international post is virtually the same as sending domestic mail. Postcards are shipped via First-Class Mail International by the U.S. Postal Service. As of 2010, international postcard postage began at 75 cents to Canada and went up from there.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Postcard
  • Pen
  • Postage

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    Selecting a Postcard

  1. 1

    Select a postcard that meets the size requirements set by the USPS. The USPS states that postcards must be at least "3-1/2 inches high or 5-1/2 inches long or 0.007 inch thick" but "not more than 4-1/4 inches high or 6 inches long or 0.016 inch thick."

  2. 2

    Be sure to also follow the USPS requirements about the type and colour of paper allowed. The USPS says cards should not be a bright colour. They should be light enough so that the address can be easily read. They must be printed on strong paper, like card stock, but not highly glazed.

  3. 3

    If you've made the postcard yourself, it must include the word "postcard" notably on it, unless it is a picture postcard.

  4. 4

    The USPS also states that it permits "clippings of any kind, illustrations or photographs, or labels other than address labels" that are made of paper to be attached to the left side of the back of the card or anywhere on the front of the card. These must be completely attached or they won't be allowed.

    Postcard Sections

  1. 1

    Address the postcard on the right-hand side of the back of the postcard. Be sure to include the destination country. This is also the portion of the card where you will put your stamp.

  2. 2

    Write your message on the left-hand side of the back of the card. The message can also be written on the front of the postcard.

  3. 3

    If you wish to include a return address, write it on the upper left portion of the back of the postcard only.

  4. 4

    On the address side of the paper, mark your postcard with the words "Airmail/Par Avion" or attach a "PS Label 19-A" or "PS Label 19-B."

Tips and warnings

  • If your postcard doesn't meet the postcard requirements it can still be mailed. You will instead pay the higher rate of the First-Class Mail International letter price, so long as it doesn't exceed, says the USPS, "4-3/4 inches high or 9-1/4 inches long."
  • Be sure to calculate and attach the correct postage for mailing your postcard abroad. You can do so at, at any automated U.S. postage machine or by going into any U.S. post office.

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