The Coding Accuracy Support System allows the United States Postal Service to ensure the accuracy of any product that is meant to match street addresses and correct them when necessary. Anyone can seek out CASS certification, including service bureaus, mailers and vendors that want to offer this software to businesses. The USPS prefers that people use these products when possible, to ensure that five-digit coding is correct and that the ZIP+4 is adhered to when possible.
Why It’s Needed
For the most part, mail carriers get familiar with their route and will deliver mail even if the address isn’t complete or correct, as long as they can guess or are familiar with the names. You may not think that typing out the word Avenue would make a difference, but it could. Many roads are similarly named, so that Example Ave. and Example Avenue are both street names where mail can be delivered. Sending information to the first one but typing the second one could mean your mail is undelivered or that there are delays.
Therefore, it is important to have address-correcting products that you use each time you mail anything.
The problem is that there are many options out there, but you should only consider those that are certified by the USPS. CASS products don’t necessarily have to be certified, but if you want to get discounts on bulk mailings and other perks, you’ll need a certified version.
Service bureaus and vendors who provide you with this product must renew their certification each year to ensure that the product is up-to-date and includes current requirements.
Some options also include delivery validation options, to make sure that the address you have is a deliverable one. Sometimes, addresses are renumbered or renamed, and that information isn’t reflected in out-of-date products.
The information you have on file may be spelled incorrectly, may not include the ZIP code or may not include the plus four digits. While the plus-four isn’t necessary to have items delivered, it does make it easier for the US Postal Service to deliver on time, so it may be worth it to find out the plus-four and use it.
The product will also include street suffixes that have been left off, including Way, Ave., St., and more.
The product will also be able to give you certain information about the addresses, such as whether it was processed successfully, how it will be delivered and more.
USPS CASS software is available from the postal services, but also from outside vendors.
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