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USPS® Move Update Standards

Effective November 23, 2008, the United States Postal Service® put into effect the new Move Update standards. In an attempt to reduce the amount of undeliverable mail (UAA – undeliverable as addressed) received annually, the USPS® has:

  • Increased the minimum frequency of Move Update processing from 185 calendar days to 95 calendar days prior to the date of mailing.
  • Extended the revised Move Update standards to includ all Standard Mail (letters, flats, parcels, and non-flat machinables)

All mailings entered on November 23, 2008 or thereafter must be updated with an approved or alternate method of address correction.

Authorized methods include:

  • NCOALink processing
  • FASTForward MLOCR processing (letter mail only)
  • OneCode ACS (Address Change Service) in conjunction with Intelligent Mail barcode and a mailer ID
  • Address Change Service used with an ACS participant code and an appropriate on-piece ancillary service endorsement
  • Use of an appropriate on-piece ancillary service endorsement without ACS

Alternate methods include (valid for First Class® mail only):

  • Legal Restraint Method – mailer demonstrates a valid legal reason which prevents changing customer address information without approval
  • 99% Accurate Method – mailer demonstrates that their internal list management maintains address quality at 99% or greater accuracy for change of address

Mailers using an alternative address format such as “John Doe or Current Resident,” “Occupant,” or “Postal Customer” are not subject to the Move Update standards. Alternative address formats cannot be used on mail pieces with any extra service such as Delivery Confirmation, with any ancillary service endorsement, or mail addressed to an overseas military post office.

Mailers using addresses that are newly acquired, as in the case of (but not limited to) new movers, new businesses, and new homeowners are advised to use the alternative address format as these new addresses cannot be processed via traditional Move Update approved methods.

Any addresses that are acquired from a list broker must be accompanied by the appropriate NCOA documentation upon entry to the USPS® (unless an alternative address format is used).

Please contact your Account Representative for more information on Move Update and AccuData’s NCOA and data hygiene services.