If you are interested in international address validation then you are likely interested in our DOTS Address Validation International API. This service provides fuzzy matching, corrections and validation of global addresses and can be submitted in different languages and returns results in the country’s postal format and cultural idiosyncrasies.
Address Validation International can be a powerful tool in your data validation arsenal, but like any tool, it is important to know how to get the most out of it.
When validating an international address with our service, there are two outputs that you want to pay special attention to. These are the first two fields returned in the service and are called, ResolutionLevel and Status. Each of these fields plays a distinct role in revealing information about a validated international address, and knowing how to interpret these parts of the response will allow you to get the best results out of your data and our service.
ResolutionLevel is likely the first field that should be examined when determining how to interpret the validated address data from our service. This field, in essence, indicates the precision to which the input address could be resolved. Due to the varying degrees of organized postal systems per country, our accuracy varies on a country by country basis. For a full list of countries and their associated resolution level, visit our Country Support Table in our developer’s guide.
For some countries, the service is able to validate whether or not the input data matches the known address format and for others, we are able to determine if an address is able to receive mail. Knowing the resolution level for the input country is key to determining how to use the validated address returned, or knowing what steps should be taken to correct the address.
Below is a table of the different resolution levels that the service can provide.
|DPV||This is the highest level of resolution that AVI offers. This is reserved for the US and outlying US territories that are served by the USPS. This will allow users to determine whether or not an input address can receive mail.|
|Premise||For addresses with Premise as the resolution level, we can determine if the given house number and/or street number equate to a distinct address. This resolution level is available for many countries in Europe and Asia.|
|Street||The service will be able to determine if the given street is valid for the given locality, admin area and postal code of an input address. Due to how addresses are laid out in certain countries, this can occasionally be the highest level of data a country can offer.|
|PostalCode||The input address could be resolved to the postal code level. This generally means that we are able to validate the locality and admin area along with the postal code, as the service will often append those pieces of information to the input address.|
|Locality||DOTS AVI was able to resolve the input address to the locality or city level.|
|AdministrativeArea||The Administrative Area could be resolved in the input address.|
|AddressFormatOnly||This is generally the least granular resolution level. This indicates that only the address format for a country could be verified.|
NOTE: The ResolutionLevel output doesn’t indicate if the input address is valid or not, it just indicates what type of data is available for the input/county given.
The Status field will convey information about whether or not the given address is valid. These status values will fall into two general categories: invalid or valid, with further information and differences in the specific status values returned.
Below is the table of possible responses the Status field could contain:
|Invalid||This indicates that the given input address was invalid or uncorrectable.|
|InvalidFormat||Associated with the AddressFormatOnly resolution level. Indicates that the format given was known to be invalid for the input address and country.|
|InvalidAmbiguous||Usually indicates that there was a piece of information missing that would identify this as a valid address. This is usually due to a missing secondary number like an apartment or suite number or even a business name for an address.|
|Valid||The address supplied was valid and our service able to standardize and correct the input.|
|ValidInferred||The service was able to make a correction to the input address and infer the intended address.|
|ValidApproximate||This is a status used for countries that have simple ranges for valid addresses. An example for this would be Canadian addresses|
|ValidFormat||The given format for the input country/address was determined to be valid.|
Getting the most out of global address validation
With this understanding of how the Resolution Level and Status outputs indicate the accuracy and validity of the address you are validating, you are able to create meaningful business logic based on the results and determine how best to deal with the resulting validated address details like, Address 1-8, Locality, AdministrativeArea, PostalCode, Country and more. You can see the full output in our developer guide.
We are constantly updating and improving our Address Validation International product to increase both the Resolution level (accuracy) and Status (validity) with additional data sets and some pretty impressive artificial intelligence. With over 250 countries and territories at present in the service, there are always opportunities to improve data and deliver our customers the best international address validation data available.
As always, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about how to use Status and Resolution Levels. We’re always happy to help clients get the most out of their data.