How to Address a Postcard to the USA

antique postcard image by Aaron Kohr from

Postcards are a fun way to correspond with friends and family by mail. They're faster and cheaper to write than letters, but still show that you're thinking of the recipients. Postcards are typically printed with a picture on one side and writing space on the other. They make excellent souvenirs and scrapbook fillers to help you remember vacations for years to come. Not unlike stamps, postcards are also collected by hobbyists around the world. Postcards have also been used as a cost-effective method of bulk mail for business purposes.

Address the postcard to the recipient. Write the recipient's address on the right side of the card. Most postcards include three to four horizontal lines on the right side for this purpose. Write the address by hand if there are no printed lines. Use the USA address format as follows:

Recipient's Name

Street Address (including apartment or suite numbers)

City, State, ZIP code (either five numbers, or nine numbers with a hyphen following the first five)

Add "USA" underneath the rest of the address if mailing from outside the United States. Print the address information in legible English to ensure proper delivery.

Use the left side of the postcard to fill in your correspondence. Write about your vacation or what the photograph on the reverse side depicts, for example. Include your return mailing address in the upper, left corner of the postcard if there is free space. Never write along the bottom edge of the postcard, as this is where the U.S. Postal Service affixes postal labels and printing during processing.

Find out current postcard mailing rates using the USPS's Postal Price Calculator. Purchase postcard stamps or pay for postage directly at your local post office. Affix your postage to the upper, right corner of the postcard. Most postcards will have a square or stamp-shaped picture to indicate where to affix your stamp.

Mail your postcard. Use the blue mailboxes located all over the United States, mail directly at a post office or hand your postage-paid postcard to a uniformed mail carrier.

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