Address Validation – More Than DPV

At a high level, our Address Validation – US web service corrects, standardizes, and validates addresses. This means that you can pass a messy address to the service, and let us do the heavy lifting. The address is first cleaned up, corrected within the bounds of our CASS certified engine, and then checked against the United States Postal Service database. For a black and white picture of how valid your address is, we also provide a Delivery Point Validation (DPV) score to indicate its deliverability.

Seen in its simplest form, this DPV score ranges from 1 to 4: a good, a bad, and two maybes.


The input record is a valid mailing address. A score of 1 is good and indicates that a parcel addressed to this location will reach its intended destination. If your only concern is shipping something to this address, you can have confidence that your postage paid is well spent.


The input record is not in the USPS’ database of valid mailing addresses. These addresses fall in to the “bad” category and we do not recommend sending mail to these addresses. In other words, the USPS wouldn’t know where to deliver a parcel with this address.

DPV 3 & 4

A score of 3 or 4 put your address solidly in the “maybe” category. In these cases, the house number is valid, but the specific apt/suite/box number is either incorrect or missing.

Scores of 3 or 4 require you to apply your own business logic. This grey area provides an opportunity to take action before postage fees are paid and mail is potentially not delivered. For example, addresses with a score of 3 or 4 could be funneled into a separate workflow that would circle back with your lead to try and fix the address before any further actions are taken. With the milliseconds response time, you can programmatically message your customer in real-time, asking for clarification or correction.

But wait, there’s more!

As cheesy as it sounds, there is so much more to our Address Validation web service. A distilled black and white deliverability score assigned to your address is great, but it doesn’t paint the full picture. Along for the ride are various notes and correction codes that give a deeper insight into the address, and can be used to make better business decisions. Below is a link to the full list of codes, notes, and corrections:

AV3 – DPV Codes, DPV Notes, and Corrections

Here are several common examples below of how our clients use the codes, notes, and corrections. Your specific use case might not be highlighted in this blog, but we are always happy to discuss how this extended functionality can be leveraged to fit your needs.

Location identification

Sometimes it is not enough to only know that your input address is deliverable. Are you targeting a specific market? B2B? B2C? Are certain locations restricted or beyond the scope of your project? Some of our DPV Notes can be used to filter based on the address’s location, building type, or zoning – for example:

DPV Note 14 – Household or residence

DPV Note 25 – Military APO/FPO

DPV Note 41 – Post Office Box

DPV Note 42 – Rural Route or Highway contract address

DPV Note 43 – Firm or Business address

Save your money

An address might be marked as valid (DPV 1) but that doesn’t imply that the building is occupied. Luckily for you, some of the notes from letter carriers trickle back up into our database. DPV Notes 21 and 22 give you insight into what the boots on the ground are seeing. Addresses flagged as vacant or returning mail might not be worth your time and money pursuing.

DPV Note 21 – Address exists but is vacant

DPV Note 22 – Address exists but mail is being returned

Value added

As a human it is easy to skim over the minute changes that are made when correcting and standardizing an address. A “Road” to “Rd” or “West” to “East” can be overlooked, even though the differences can be monumental. Whether you are tracking the changes that were done to your input address or you are looking to justify the cost of address validation, our correction codes are your friend.

Correction 2 – Derived primary number

Correction 9 – Direction or Suffix change

Correction 10 – City change

Correction 22 – Zip code change

Correction 23 – State change

The power of Address Validation – US comes from the sum of its parts. It starts with a highly accurate CASS certified validation engine. Added to that are easy to understand DPV scores that allow you to determine an addresses deliverability. Finally, capping it all off are extra insights into an address’s location, indicators to help with time and cost savings, and value added correction codes and descriptions.

New resources, straight to your inbox

Get updates on the latest industry trends, tips, and news.


You may also like: