ZIP+4 Code Lookup | How to find yours and what it means

ZIP Plus 4 Explained

ZIP+4 Codes (or ZIP Plus 4 Codes) are the final 4 digits of a full nine-digit ZIP Code.
The 9-digit ZIP Code consists of two sections. The first five digits indicate the destination post
office or delivery area. The last 4 digits represent specific delivery routes within delivery areas.

ZIP plus 4 codes assist the USPS in effectively sorting and distributing mail.

Full 9-digit ZIP Code Lookup

We make it easy to perform USPS ZIP+4 Code searches. Choose your option below to lookup a ZIP+4.

Table of contents:

How to Find My ZIP+4 Code

You can also easily find out your own ZIP+4 last 4-digits by watching this video which shows you how to do it
in under a minute.

How Full ZIP Codes Are Used

Knowing what the last four digits of a ZIP Code are all about requires knowing what ZIP Codes themselves are all about. The Zone Improvement Plan was something
that the USPS came up with to make it easier to ship letters and packages across the country. It helped divide
the country into different “zones” according to how mail was distributed,
which
accelerated sorting and delivery.

As the US population has increased and scattered, it’s been necessary to expand on the system, to make room
for
everybody and their dog. That’s where the “plus 4” part comes in. We’re getting ahead of
ourselves, though, so let’s
start with the basics.

USPS Five-Digit ZIP Codes

ZIP Code Example

These are the codes you’re familiar with.

They look like this…

…and most commonly indicate a destination post office. Here’s why:

If you’re mailing a letter from Boston to Seattle, the mail carrier in Massachusetts doesn’t really
care what the street address of the destination is. It’s what you might call “outside his
jurisdiction.” He
just needs to know which mail carrier to send it to so the other carrier can get it to that address.

A postal worker can only cover so much ground on a given day. And since the USPS has a standard of delivering in
rain, sleet or snow, that rules out the possibility of doing the service of delivering in stages (some today,
some tomorrow). That means that any given post office is only servicing what it can reach in a day. ZIP Codes
reflect that.

Typically, a ZIP Code is tied to a post office; by that we mean, every one of the latter has one of the former.
You might think of ZIP Codes as a mailing address for a particular post office. Some do handle more than one ZIP
Code, but a one-on-one game plan is the norm.

It’s very important to note that ZIP Codes aren’t “boundaries.” They’re a collection of
delivery routes. They
don’t follow geographic or administrative boundary lines; they can cross city, county, or even state lines.
They
follow where the delivery trucks go.

Some ZIP Codes are special cases. Among them are “military” ZIP Codes, which include everything from
military
bases (domestic or otherwise) to battleships at sea. Then there are “unique”
codes. Businesses and organizations sometimes get their own ZIP Codes, due to the volume of mail they
send
and receive. These are frequently benefiting from bulk mailing discounts, since the organization usually has a
mail department that (1) presorts mail before giving it to the USPS, and (2) distributes mail internally so the
USPS doesn’t have to. Like standard ZIP Codes, “military” and “unique” ZIP Codes
circumscribe their own delivery
area.

USPS full ZIP+4 Code 9 digit address

Using full ZIP Codes ensure the fastest, most accurate mailing possible. They’re only provided for
an address once the address has been standardized, validated and proven real. These
codes indicate a specific delivery route, meaning the actual path the mail truck would travel in a
single drop-off. Usually this comprises ten to twenty homes or locations. ZIP+4 Codes are also assigned to PO
Boxes. Typically, each PO Box gets its own +4 Code, which often matches the box number.

Because ZIP codes plus 4 extra digits are based on delivery routes instead of more permanent boundaries, the
last 4 digits of a complete
ZIP Code can change often. Five-digit ZIP Codes also change, but they do so infrequently; it’s a lot less
likely
that you will be living in a ZIP Code when it changes. Not so for the full 9-digit zip code. The +4 on a ZIP
Code can be changed as
frequently as once a month, based on things like how many postal employees are working, or who is working what
route, etc.

Benefits of Full ZIP+4 Codes

What is the zip plus extra 4? 4313

There are a number of reasons that full ZIP+4 Codes are good omens for your shipping. For one, ZIP+4 Codes
require
validation; that means you know for sure an address is real if it has a ZIP+4 attached to it. For another thing,
they can help get you those bulk mailing discounts.

Another important benefit to using the last four digits of ZIP Codes is delivery speed. Using complete ZIP+4 on
your mail can speed up
processing and delivery, sometimes by as much as two days. That’s right, your mail can show up
faster
if you label things right. Bet you’re scrambling for those codes now, huh? Get those extra 4 digits.

Conclusion | What is My 9 Digit ZIP Code?

Three things will be on the quiz: (1) ZIP+4 Codes indicate delivery routes, (2) using ZIP+4 Codes gets your mail
there faster and more accurately, and (3) we at SmartyStreets can get you those codes. If you want to try it on
a single address, you can
use our single address verification tool now. Our blindingly fast
USPS address verification API provides the appropriate ZIP+4 Code
for every address we process. Go ahead and perform some postal address
verification. Or you could
call us instead if you’d rather talk to a real person. (We’d offer a fake
person, but we
don’t have one of those on staff.) Either way, we can help you ZIP your
address, and ZIP it good.

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