Use U.S. Postal Service style for mailing addresses. Use AP style in text. In other applications, such as invitations, posters and tables in reports, accommodate readability.
Addresses in text
When to abbreviate versus spell out:
- In expository text, only avenue, boulevard and street are abbreviated (Ave., Blvd., St.) and only when used as part of a numbered street address.
- All other street suffixes (drive, road, alley, etc.) are spelled out in all instances.
- Capitalize a street suffix when part of a street name without a number, but don’t capitalize it when used alone or with two or more street names: Mill Avenue, Rural and Baseline roads.
When to spell out numbers:
- Spell out and capitalize First through Ninth when used as street names; use figures and ordinals for 10th and above. See Numerals.
Superscript, th or th:
- Do not use superscript formatting for ordinals (see Formatting).
- ✅ Do: Meet me on the northeast corner of Hickory and Walnut boulevards.
- ✅ Do: Dupont Circle is a traffic circle, park neighborhood and historic district in Washington, D.C.
- ✅ Do: My office is at 7 Fifth Ave. and his is at 100 21st St.
- ✅ Do: Send your inquiry to: Admission Counselor, Arizona State University, 100 University Way, Lake Havasu City AZ 86403.
When showing an address in the block style of a mailing address or in usage that could prompt a reader to consult a GPS device (as within a footer), conform to the U.S. Postal Service address standards.
- Do not use punctuation on any line, including between city, state and ZIP code.
- Use specific abbreviations for street suffixes (refer to the USPS comprehensive list of suffix abbreviations).
- U.S. states: Use the USPS two-letter abbreviations (uppercase, no periods) when addressing correspondence for mailing, using full addresses, including ZIP code.
- See format sample below.
- ASU campus addresses follow the same line order as the U.S. Postal Service standards.
✅ ASU address example:
Arizona State University
PO Box XXXXX-XXXX
City State ZIP+4
✅ External address example:
Wile E Coyote
123 E Acme St
Dynamite AZ 09876-5432
Note: For the outside of actual envelopes and labels, USPS requests all uppercase type in a sans serif typeface.
Additional examples and addressing tips are listed on the USPS website.
- Spell out the names of all 50 states, even when used with the names of cities or military bases.
- Note: The two-letter state abbreviations — Tempe AZ — is appropriate only in mailing addresses and data tables. It is never acceptable in text.
- Commas: Place a comma after the state name unless ending a sentence. Refer to The Associated Press Stylebook for additional punctuation rules.
- When state is used with of, it is not capitalized: the state of Arizona.
- Do not capitalize state when used as an adjective: state Rep. William Smith; the state Transportation Department; state funds. The same principle applies to city: the city of Tempe.
In mailing addresses
See Mailing addresses above.
In short-form listings of political party affiliation
- (R-Ariz.) note the uppercase and lowercase constructions with periods in the table below.
- Even in the case of party affiliation, these states are not abbreviated: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas, Utah.
For clarity with similar states and city names
New York vs. New York City and Washington state versus Washington, D.C.
- Use New York state when necessary to distinguish the state from New York City (city is capitalized, state is not).
- Use state of Washington or Washington state when necessary to distinguish the state from the District of Columbia. (Note: Lowercase "state" to avoid confusion with a university.)
- Washington should be used in most story references to the U.S. capital because of the name recognition globally.
- Use Washington, D.C., with the added abbreviation only if the city might be confused with the state.
- In this case, use Washington, D.C., on first reference to the nation’s capital, Washington on subsequent references.
- Do not use District of Columbia as a reference, unless referring to an official designation, such as a local government name.
- Note: Always use two commas and periods.
Refer to The Associated Press Stylebook for other uses and examples.