How to Address and Fill Out a Letter Envelope (+ Example and Formats)

How to Address and Fill Out a Letter Envelope (+ Example and Formats)

Understanding how to fill out and format 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.

With the introduction of email, messaging, and social media, it has become less common to send a letter or postcard using the post office or what some people affectionately refer to as snail mail. However, there are situations where you want to use the old fashion method to communicate. Wedding invitations, thank you notes, postcards, formal letters, and business correspondence are often sent using the Post Office or courier.

Ensuring that the proper address is placed on the letter in the correct location along with your return address will ensure that the letter arrives at the correct destination and in a reasonable amount of time. The recipient can also quickly review who the letter is from by referring to the sender’s address located in the upper left corner.

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.

What Is a Letter Envelope Format?

The format of the letter envelope is easy to follow. Always place the address information on the front of the letter and not on the side where you seal the letter closed. The sender’s information is placed on the front of the letter on the upper left side. The stamp is always placed on the upper right side of the envelope again on the front of the letter. Finally, the recipient’s address is placed in the center of the envelope. More details to come.

How to Address an Envelope (Video)

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 Format

On top left corner:


{Sender’s Full Name}

{Sender’s Street Name and Number}

{Sender’s City, State, and Zip Code}

In the center middle part of the envelope:

{Recipient’s Full Name}

{Business/Organization Name} If applicable

{Recipient’s Street Name and Number}

{Recipient’s City, State, and Zip Code}

Letter Envelope Format

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 Packages

Addressing a Business Letter Envelope

Whenever you are mailing a letter using a business format, the letter address should be professional and follow business formatting.

The general format is the same:

  • Place the sender’s name and address in the upper left corner
  • Place the recipient’s name and address in the center of the envelope
  • Place the postage required on the envelope on the upper right side

The major difference between a business letter and a personal letter is recognition of the business the person works for:

  • Underneath the person’s name, include the title and the full name of the company
  • Use the company’s address, including city, state, zip code
  • Additional postage may be required for letters with more weight than usual.

Sample Address (Business Letter Envelope)

The address placed on the business letter should be configured as follows:

(Mr. Mrs. Or Ms.) (First Name, Last Name)

(Title of the person the letter is addressed to)

(Company Name)

(Company Street address)

(Business Suite Number if Applicable)

(City) (State) (Zip Code)

(Country) – Optional

Addressing a Business Letter Envelope

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 Format for Military Addresses

On top left corner:


{Sender’s Full Name}

{Sender’s Street Name and Number}

{Sender’s City, State, and Zip Code}

In the center middle part of the envelope:

{Recipient’s Full Name and Rank}

{Recipient’s Street Address, Box Number with Unit}

{Recipient’s Base Abbreviations}

{Recipient’s Region and Zip Code}

Envelope Format for Military Addresses

Addressing an International Mail

The basic information is the same for international mail, with the exception that you must include the country the letter is being sent to and the country of the sender. Various countries utilize different formats for addressing their letters. Take a moment to determine the proper format for the country your letter is addressed to

For example, the Canadian postal system does not use a zip code of five numbers. The Canadian system uses a six-letter format with a combination of numbers and letters. Otherwise, letters addressed to Canada can follow the same format as previously discussed.

Don’t forget to include the country name in your letter address.

Sample Address (Mailing to Other Countries)

The address placed on the letter should be configured as follows:

[Mr. Mrs. Or Ms.] (First Name, Last Name)

(Street address)

(Apartment Number if Applicable)

(City) (State) (Equivalent of zip code e.g. Postal Code in Canada)


Addressing an International Mail

How to Send Your Letter or Postcard?

Now that your letter or postcard is properly addressed, it is time to send the letter or postcard in the mail. Postcards come in a variety of formats, usually indicating where the sender’s information is to be placed, and the recipient’s name is addressed. Next, you must calculate the amount of postage required. If in doubt, visit the local post office and request the clerk to weigh your letter and affix the required postage.

Large envelopes with multiple pages included may require additional postage. Affix the correct amount of postage for the type of letter you are sending. Once the letter is prepared, properly addressed, and the postage is applied, drop the letter at the post office in a designated collection box.


The following are several of the frequently asked questions many people have when it comes time to send a letter via the traditional snail mail approach.

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.

Where do you put attention on an envelope?

If you do not know the name of the person in a company, you may decide to send your letter to a specific position. In place of the person’s name, use the word “Attention” and then follow that with the title of the position you want the letter to be sent to.

What side of the envelope do you write the address?

Always write the sender and recipient address on the front of the envelope. This is the side opposite to where you closed and sealed the letter.

How do I know how many stamps I need?

The value of the stamp required for a standard letter changes from time to time. Check with your local post office to confirm how much postage you need for a standard letter containing one or two pages or a postcard.

Larger envelopes or letters containing many pages must be weighed to determine the number of stamps to be added. Visit the local post office and ask the clerk to determine the number of stamps needed for your envelope.

Letters will be returned to the sender if there is insufficient postage placed on the envelope.

How many stamps do I need for 4 oz.?

The cost to send a letter weighing one ounce that is a standard size of five inches by three and a half inches and no thicker than ¼ inch is $.55. or fifty-five cents. It must be a uniform thickness, rectangular, and bendable. If it does not fit these requirements, a machine cannot process the envelope, and you will need to pay extra.

Assuming your letter meets these requirements, each ounce costs fifteen cents per ounce. Therefore the total cost would be $1.00.

How do you write an apartment address in one line?

Sending a letter to someone living in an apartment requires the sender to include the apartment number on the address. Include the street address and unit number on one line in the following format:

[street address] , [unit number]
e.g., 129 Diane Cres, apartment 905

What size is envelope C5?

International envelopes must follow a standard size that is acceptable to all postal organizations and can be processed using mechanical processes. The size of a C5 envelop is – 6-3/8 inches by 9 inches.

Which is bigger C4 or C5?

The size of a C5 envelope is – 6-3/8 inches by 9 inches. The size of a C4 envelope is – 12-3/4 inches by 9 inches.

Is A5 the same as C6?

The size of a C6 envelope is – 4.5 inches by 6.4 inches. The size of an A5 envelope is – 5.8 inches by 8.3 inches.


The majority of communication takes place today using social media, messaging, and email. It is fast, convenient, and inexpensive. However, there are many times when you need to send a postcard, a get well letter, a thank you letter, or just a note to say hello. Business letters are still common since they provide an official receipt for many transactions.

  • It is always important to use the full and proper address for both the sender and the recipient. Failing to include the unit number, the street type, or the zip code will usually end up with the letter returned to the sender.
  • Business letters should be professional, and that applies to the address placed on the letter for the recipient. Include the recipient’s title and the name of the company along with the proper salutation, i.e., Mr., Mrs., or Ms.
  • The sender’s address should always be included on the upper left-hand side of the envelope. Including the sender’s address is useful for two reasons. If the letter has to be returned to the sender for any reason, the post office has an address to work with. In addition, the recipient can copy the sender’s address into their address book for future reference.
  • Applying the correct postage is a must if you want the letter to arrive at its destination. Irregular size letters overweight letters will usually cost more to mail. If in doubt, check with your local post office.
  • The international letter must include the country the letter is being sent to and the equivalent of the zip code used by that country.