How To Address and Fill Out a Letter Envelope

Understanding how to fill out a letter envelope is crucial to send a physical letter package. If you don’t provide accurate information presented in the right format, your mail will not be delivered to the intended destination within the timeline you had in mind. Below, we review how to address an envelope for letters, packages, and military mail, while providing you with templates you can use.

Why Is It Important to Fill Out Letter Envelopes Perfectly?

As mentioned, filling out a letter envelope accurately helps ensure it is delivered on time and to the correct address. Here are more reasons you should complete your envelope perfectly:

  • International Delivery – Some addresses like international and military destinations are somewhat more challenging to locate. By providing accurate details on your envelope, you make it easier for your letter to reach such destinations.
  • Timely Delivery – When the information on your envelope is accurate, the deliverer finds it easier to deliver your letter or package on time.
  • Professionalism – Because the envelope is the first thing your clients see, including the correct date on it when sending business correspondence lends an air of professionalism to the exchange.

How to Address and Fill Out a Letter Envelope

Addressing an envelope is a fairly easy thing to do and usually involves providing two information pieces: the recipient and return addresses. When mailing a personal letter, the recipient address will entail three lines indicating:

  • The recipient’s name
  • The recipient’s street address
  • The recipient’s state, city, and zip code

If you are mailing a business address, the return address should contain the recipient business’s name, the recipient’s name, title, or department, the street address, and the state, city, and zip code. Here is how you will address your envelope:

Step 1: Supply the Return Address

The return address is usually not a set-in-stone requirement, but it is advisable to include it in case your letter or package is not delivered to the intended address. Start by placing it on the upper left corner of the envelope and only include the country name if you are sending the letter to a different country.

Step 2: Write the Recipient Address

Next, prepare the recipient’s address by indicating the recipient’s full name on the first line. If the letter is formal, use a title like Mrs., Ms., or Mr.. If the recipient works at a large company, indicate C/O in front of their name, which means ‘courtesy of,’ and tell the receptionist where to send the letter. Then:

  • Supply the recipient’s address and street name on the second line.
  • On the third line, indicate the city (full name), state (abbreviation), and zip code.
  • Add any other useful information like apartment or unit name.
  • Include the country if you are sending the letter internationally.

Letter Envelope Template

On top left corner:


{Sender’s Full Name}

{Sender Street Name and Number}

{Sender City, State, and Zip Code}

In the center middle part of the envelope:

{Recipient’s Full Name}

{Business/Organization Name} If applicable

{Recipient Street Name and Number}

{Recipient City, State, and Zip Code}

How to Fill Out an Envelope for Packages

Addressing a package involves much the same steps as filling out a letter envelope. However, a package is larger than a letter and usually has an unusual shape. It also often needs additional postage, which is determined by the package’s content, weight, and destination. Here is how to complete this envelope:

  • Step 1: Include the return address in the upper left corner of the envelope, with your full name and address.
  • Step 2: Indicate the recipient’s address as you would for a letter. Use a large font to make the address more legible on a large package, regardless of the shape.

How to Fill Out an Envelope for Military Addresses

If you have a loved one in the service, learning How to Fill Out a Letter Envelope for a military address is crucial. This type of envelope usually requires more information since it is more challenging to locate a military address. Here is the process to use:

Step 1: Indicate The Recipient’s Name and Rank

Military units tend to move a lot, so you have to be very specific when indicating the address information. You will need to provide the recipient’s full name – first name, middle initial, last name – because a single unit will have multiple members. Additionally, indicate the recipient’s rank.

Step 2: Identify the Recipient’s Unit

Indicate the recipient’s unit and box number to ensure your letter is delivered to the right person.

Step 3: Supply the Base Abbreviations

The base abbreviations will help identify the recipient more easily by indicating the base where the letter must be delivered. Common base abbreviations include:

  • FPO – Fleet Post Office
  • APO – Army Post Office
  • DPO – Diplomatic Post Office

Step 4: Highlight the Region and Zip Code

Finally, provide the zip code and region where the letter must be delivered. Common regions include:

  • AP: Any location in the Pacific
  • AE: Europe, Africa, Middle East, or Canada
  • AA: Any location in the Americas

Envelope Template for Military Addresses

On top left corner:


{Sender’s Full Name}

{Sender Street Name and Number}

{Sender City, State, and Zip Code}

In the center middle part of the envelope:

{Recipient’s Full Name and Rank}

{Recipient Street Address, Box Number with Unit}

{Recipient Base Abbreviations}

{Recipient Region and Zip Code}

Envelope Template for Military Addresses (Word Template)

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do you properly fill out a letter?

    To fill out a letter, start by indicating the return address in the top left corner of the page, followed by a recipient address. You can then place a stamp in the top right corner.

    Where does my address go on a letter?

    The sender’s return address should be placed in the upper left corner of the envelope.

    How do you fill out an envelope in Canada?

    Addressing mail properly in Canada allows it to be delivered to its destination promptly. Here are some pointers on how to do it:
    Write the names in block letters.
    Separate the apartment and street number with a hyphen and avoid using the # symbol.
    Use abbreviations to indicate the street type, e.g., the avenue is ‘AVE,’ street direction, e.g., ‘NE’ for North East, and province, e.g., Ontario as ‘ON.’
    Indicate the postal code, city, and province on the same line.
    Write the first and last three postal code elements with a space separating them, not a hyphen.
    Separate the city and province with one space.
    Separate the province and postal code with two spaces.

    What is considered an oversized envelope?

    An oversized envelope is a First-Class Mail sent in an envelope exceeding a 6⅛″ height, 11½″ width, or ¼″ thickness. It could also refer to a flat mail envelope exceeding ¾″ thickness, 12″ height, and 15″ length.

    How much does it cost to mail an oversized envelope?

    An oversized, square, or unusually shaped envelope stamp starts at $0.75. For context, a standard-sized, rectangular-shaped envelope stamp starts at $0.55.


    Despite the growing popularity of emails and text messages, letters are still a significant form of communication in today’s world. Consequently, understanding how to fill out a letter envelope is an important skill for when you wish to communicate with friends or family, people in the military, or businesses. This knowledge will ensure your correspondence is delivered to the right person.

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