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National Change of Address

Updated: Nov 20, 2018

Choosing to run your mail list through the National Change of Address database is a great investment for your mailing! Not only will your mail be more likely to be delivered properly the first time, you won't be sending unwanted pieces to customers that don't fit your demographic.

by Candice Pennings


People move, you gotta keep up!!

National Change of Address (NCOA) is a process required for bulk mailing. We provide this to help you get your mail pieces into the hands that you desire. So, how this works is when a person moves, they update their mailing information with the post office, also when a person passes away or even when the city changes the name of a street. We will take your addresses and run them through those lists of address updates, if your client or prospect has had changes in the past 2 weeks up to 48 months it will update in our system. And if you ask nicely, we'll even send the list of who's addresses have changed for your own company records!! :)


Showing your customers that you are up to date on their most basic info, such as their home address, will speak volumes about your company and their importance to you. It doesn't sound like much, but have you ever opened a letter that had a super old address on it? Neither have I...

Occasionally there are NCOA returned addresses, this means that the address is not deliverable and has been removed from the mailing. If you ask for the removed mailing list, there will be these numbers in a column, and this is a simplified explanation of what they mean.


These codes are removed:

  • Return Codes 10-13 and 17 - These records have poor address quality, something is missing or incorrect.

  • Return Codes 21 and 22 - These codes have an invalid city, state or zip combination, or they're simply not found in the address database. Sometimes it can take a while for new buildings or homes to show up as valid, we can't mail them at the time, but later on they could be perfectly fine to send out. These codes could also be from an address change that is more than 48 months old, those will not get updated and produce code 21. This is the most common code.

  • Return Codes 23, 26, 27, 28, & 33 - None are deliverable

  • Return Code 23 - The addressee's move is confirmed, but the new address was not given.

  • Return Code 26 - The PO Box has been closed, and no forwarding address was supplied.

  • Return Code 27 - A change of address form was submitted, but no forwarding address was provided.

  • Return Code 28 - Customer has moved out of the country.

  • Return Code 33 - Address flagged as non-deliverable.

  • Return Code 98 and 99 - Address is non-deliverable due to Non-USPS zip code or unexpected error in the address.

  • DPV Confirmation N - Address is "N"ot valid; even if it may have a return code that shows it is deliverable, this is will override that code and make the address undeliverable. DPV stands for Delivery Point Verification.

These codes are usually mailed:

  • Return Code 31. These addresses matched to a record and are valid postal addresses.

  • Return Code 32. These records are missing a suite or apartment information. The deliverability of these relies on the individual postal carrier.

  • Return Codes 36, 37, 38 & 39. A move or address update is confirmed. Records with one of these codes have been updated with the addressee’s new address.


Questions? Please call or you can visit: http://www.nationalchangeofaddress.com/faqs.html

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