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Addressing Mail

The standards for addressing campus and non-campus mail are identified below.

Contents:


Addressing Campus Mail

The campus mail delivery system is based upon department names. To ensure accurate and timely delivery, address all your campus mail using the department name, not a room number or building name.

  • When confusion is likely (e.g. the School of Medicine and the School of Veterinary Medicine have similarly named departments) the school or college name should be included.
  • Smaller units within a department must include the main department name in their address.
  • Abbreviations should not be used to address campus mail.

Examples of PROPERLY addressed campus mail:

Jack Jones
Theatre & Dance

Joyce Doe
Surgical & Radio Sci
Sch of Vet Med

Examples of IMPROPERLY addressed campus mail:

Mary Jones
Everson Hall

Joe Shmoe
Rm 103A
University Svcs Bldg

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Addressing Domestic Mail

There are many factors that affect the mail delivery timelines, but the most common cause of a delay in delivery is improper addressing. By following a few simple rules, you can eliminate needless delays.
 

How Addresses Are Read

Mail Services and the U.S. Postal Service read addresses from the bottom up. If an address has both a street address and a Post Office Box, the U.S. Postal Service will deliver to the address closest to the bottom.

On mail addressed to locations within the United States, the bottom line should contain the city, state and Zip Code + 4. To find the right zip code, use the USPS lookup.

Abbreviations are common in addressing, but it's important to make sure that you only use abbreviations accepted by the USPS. They provide online lookups for official abbreviations in these categories: street suffixes, states and secondary units (e.g., suite).
 

Use Only One Label

There should be only one address label on each package. Remove or mask out any old addresses.
 

Addressing for Automation

The U.S. Postal Service has automated letter sorting equipment which uses an Optical Character Reader (OCR) to electronically read the address and print a bar code on your letter. The bar code allows high-speed sorting machines to route your letter rapidly. By placing your address within the designated area, the OCR can read the address. The OCR can only read the address if it is written by machine or typed. It is requested that all addresses be printed in capital letters without punctuation for accurate OCR reading. The guidelines which follow are encouraged by the U.S. Postal Service but are not required. OCR processed mail may be delivered more quickly and accurately than manually processed mail.

Return Addresses

All mail, except interdepartmental mail, must have a return address. There are many ways that return addresses are written on campus, but there is only one way that will receive the highest level of service from the U.S. Postal Service and Mail Services:

NAME OF DEPARTMENT ID # XXXX
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
ONE SHIELDS AVE
DAVIS, CA 95616-5270

Any other format may result in a delay. It is important to note the line "ONE SHIELDS AVE" and its placement directly above the bottom line "DAVIS, CA 95616-5270." This is the equivalent of our street address. Mail addressed this way will be delivered directly to the university from the Sacramento Sectional Center Facility. If any other line is second from the bottom, the mail will be delivered first to the Davis Post Office where it is forwarded to Mail Services. This typically results in a one day delay in delivery.

Include your ID number in the return address. All outbound Postal Service and United Parcel Service mail must include a valid 4-digit account number that has been approved by Mail Services. It is preferred that this account number be adjacent to the department name in the return address. This information is needed so that Mail Services can accurately charge for postage and services.

UCDMC Return Address: The UC Davis Medical Center has many units in and around the Hospital complex. Many of these units have separate street addresses; however, all units at the Medical Center can have mail returned with the following address:

NAME OF DEPARTMENT ID # XXXX
UC DAVIS MEDICAL CENTER
2315 STOCKTON BLVD
SACRAMENTO, CA 95817-2201

Zip+4

For most addresses there is a 4-digit extension that goes with the standard 5-digit zip code. The Postal Service calls this expanded number Zip+4. By including the Zip+4 number in addresses, the Postal Service can process mail more efficiently. You can find the full zip code for any address on the USPS Zip Code Lookup.
 

Address So That Longest Side is Horizontal

It is preferable to address mail so that the longest side remains horizontal. In some cases, the U.S. Postal Service will add a surcharge to mail that has the longest side vertical. Unless you are using an address label, the return address should be in the upper left corner and the address should be below and to the right of the return address.

See also Preparing Letters & Flats or Preparing Packages/Parcels.

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Addressing International Mail

International mail has special addressing requirements that are important to follow:

  • Addresses must be in ink or typewritten.
  • Use Roman letters (A,B,C, etc.) and Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.).
  • Write or type the address lengthwise with the longest side horizontal.
  • Include an address label inside all parcels.
  • The name of the sender and the addressee must not be in initials unless it is an adopted trade name.
  • A complete return address including Zip Code is required.

The bottom line of the address must show only the country name written in full in English, without abbreviations, and in capital letters. For example:

MR JACQUES MOLIERE
RUE DE CHAMPAIGN
06570 ST PAUL
FRANCE

MS JOYCE BROWNING
2045 ROYAL ROAD
LONDON WIP 6HQ
ENGLAND

The exception is for Canada, where the Postal Code may be the bottom line. Either of the following are acceptable:

MS HELEN SAUNDERS
1010 CLEAR STREET
OTTAWA ON K1A 0B1
CANADA

MS HELEN SAUNDERS
1010 CLEAR STREET
OTTAWA ON CANADA
K1A 0B1

For more on International Mailing Services, visit the following:

Did you know there are restrictions and prohibitions for international mailings? Certain items are always prohibited. In addition, you should be aware of the size limits, special prohibitions and/or restrictions for the destination country.

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Using One Shields Ave for UC Davis On-Campus Addresses

The address of One Shields Avenue is the official campus address, in recognition of one of the campus founders, Peter J. Shields.

When users establish organizational information in KFS and establish a customer profile in AggieBuy, they must designate billing and shipping addresses. Once established, these addresses are populated into various purchasing documents (i.e., Requisition, Purchase Order, etc.).

KFS and AggieBuy orders automatically include the One Shields Ave designation as part of on-campus deliveries.  KFS and AggieBuy customers do not need to manually enter the One Shields Ave information in  KFS or AggieBuy.

KFS users need only enter the following information in the Edit Purchasing/Accounts Payable Info section of the Organization document:

Address Line Item Billing Address Format: Shipping Address Format:
Attention: Individual's Name Individual's Name
Address Line 1: Department Name Department Name
Address Line 2: University of California, Davis Building and Room Number
City: Davis Davis
State/Zip Code: CA 95616-5270 CA 95616-5270

The department name must be the full name, not acronyms, since many departments share the same acronyms. (Note: These formats only apply to departments physically located on the Davis campus.)

UCD Buy users should refer to the Setting Your Customer Profile help resource in UCD Buy for information on properly entering a shipping location.

Incoming campus deliveries addressed solely to One Shields Avenue will be delayed or returned to the sender if there is no department name included.

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