What is the difference between a Mailing Address and a Physical Address?

A mailing address is where you get your mail, but it doesn’t always match your physical address.

2 minute read

Mailing addresses and physical addresses serve different purposes. A mailing address is primarily used for sending and receiving mail, while a physical address refers to the exact geographic location of a property. Sometimes, a location may have a mailing address that differs from its physical address due to various reasons.

Physical address – an address referring to a place’s exact location, regulated by an administrative area such as a municipality, county, or state.

Mailing address – an address primarily used for sending and receiving mail, regulated by a postal authority such as the USPS.

Why does my address have a separate physical and mailing address?

Physical and mailing addresses are established and registered independently of each other. A physical address reflects the precise location of a property, assigned by local authorities. On the other hand, a mailing address is created for the convenience of postal services, often based on postal routes and delivery logistics.

Locations like businesses, apartment complexes, private gated communities, or government buildings might have separate mailing addresses that differ from their physical addresses. In the United States, this separation is primarily for mail sorting efficiency and delivery convenience for the USPS.

When to use your mailing address vs. your physical address

For sending and receiving mail, use your mailing address. Your physical address should be used for identifying yourself within legal documents, property deeds, and tax records. In cases where you know a private carrier can reach your physical location, you might also use this address when receiving packages.

Verifying a mailing address

If you have a mailing address and need to ensure its accuracy, we provide a user-friendly demo tool for address verification.

About Firstlogic

With a licensing structure permitting unrestricted record processing per server, Firstlogic DQ software is a great fit for businesses handling substantial address databases. As a provider of USPS CASS-certified software, we employ authoritative data sources to maintain address accuracy, recency, and uniformity.