How To Address Mail

How to write the address correctly on your letters and parcel.

When addressing your UK mail:

  • avoid using full stops or commas
  • start each line on the left (do not centre the lines)
  • you don’t need to write the name of the county if you have included the post town and postcode

Addressing UK mail

When sending mail to someone in the UK, you should write the address as follows:

  • Line 1: name of the person you’re sending the item to 
  • Line 2: house number and street name
  • Line 3: locality name, if required
  • Line 4: post town, printed in capitals
  • Line 5: full postcode, printed in capitals on a separate line

Addressing international mail

Addressing formats vary by country, but ideally you should include:

  • Line 1: name of the person you’re sending the item to
  • Line 2: building number and street name
  • Line 3: name of the city or town
  • Line 4: name of the province, state or department and postal code
  • Line 5: name of the country, in capitals

When addressing international mail:

  • write the country name last and in capitals 
  • write your address on the back of the envelope so it’s easy to return your item if there’s a problem delivering it
  • start each line on the left (do not centre the lines)
  • For all international items, except International Economy, don’t forget the Air Mail sticker

There are 3 basic rules when addressing international mail:

  • include the relevant international postcode
  • for European destinations, postcode goes to the left of the town: e.g. 11780 ATHENS
  • always write the town and country in capital letters, with the full country name appearing last in the address (no abbreviations)

Return address

If you would like your undeliverable items to be returned to you, please put your UK return address on each item. We will return any undeliverables free of charge.

Please note that your return address must be in the UK. A return address in the receiving country is not permitted.


Do you need a customs form?

If you are sending a package to a destination outside the European Union, you will probably need to add a customs label to the item.

  • For items with a value up to and including £270, you must attach a completed and signed CN22 label as near as possible to the top left hand corner on the front of the item, without obscuring the address. 
  • For items with a value over £270, you must attach the top part of the CN22 and a CN23 form in a plastic wallet (SP126).

In both cases, you will need to sign to certify that the item does not contain any dangerous articles prohibited by postal regulations. Please ensure that, when your item has a CN22 affixed, you have written the name and address of the person who signed the CN22 on the front of the package.

CN22 and CN23 customs labels are available from your local Post Office® branch.

What to do next

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Can we help?

For more advice, call:

0345 7 22 3344

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8.30am-2pm, Sat

Closed Sun and bank holidays