U.S. postal abbreviations: Wikis

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Abbreviations and codes for the states and possessions of the United States are used for postal addresses, data processing, general abbreviations and other purposes.



As early as October 1874, the United States Post Office recognized common abbreviations for states and territories. However, abbreviations were only accepted because of their popularity; the Post Office preferred all names spelled out in full to avoid confusion.[1]

The traditional abbreviations for U.S. states and territories, widely used in mailing addresses prior to the introduction of two-letter U.S. postal abbreviations, are still commonly used for other purposes (such as legal citation), and are still recognized (though discouraged) by the Postal Service.[2]

The modern two-letter abbreviated codes for the states and territories originated during the Post Office's switch to ZIP codes in 1963. The purpose was to make room for the ZIP codes in the address, rather than to standardize state abbreviations per se.[1]

Since 1963, only one state abbreviation has been changed. Originally Nebraska was shortened to "NB", but this was changed to "NE" to avoid conflict with New Brunswick in Canada.[1]

Prior to 1987, when the U.S. Secretary of Commerce approved the two-letter codes for use in government documents,[3] the United States Government Printing Office (GPO) suggested their own set of abbreviations, with some states being left unabbreviated. Today, the GPO supports United States Postal Service standard.[4]


State or Territory
Other (status)
Alabama AL Ala. Ala. 01
Alaska AK Alaska Alaska Alas. 02
Arizona AZ Ariz. Ariz. Az. 04
Arkansas AR Ark. Ark. 05
California CA Calif. Calif. Ca. or Cal., CFUSCG 06
Colorado CO Colo. Colo. Col., CLUSCG 08
Connecticut CT Conn. Conn. Ct. 09
Delaware DE Del. Del. De., DLUSCG 10
District of Columbia DC D.C. D.C. Wash., DC or Wash., D.C. (Federal district) 11
Florida FL Fla. Fla. Fl. or Flor. 12
Georgia GA Ga. Ga. 13
Hawaii HI Hawaii Hawaii H.I., HAUSCG 15
Idaho ID Idaho Idaho Id. or Ida. 16
Illinois IL Ill. Ill. Il. or Ills. 17
Indiana IN Ind. Ind. In. 18
Iowa IA Iowa Iowa Ia. 19
Kansas KS Kans. Kan. Ks. or Ka., KAUSCG 20
Kentucky KY Ky. Ky. Ken. or Kent. 21
Louisiana LA La. La. 22
Maine ME Maine Maine Me. 23
Maryland MD Md. Md. 24
Massachusetts MA Mass. Mass. MSUSCG 25
Michigan MI Mich. Mich. MCUSCG 26
Minnesota MN Minn. Minn. Mn. 27
Mississippi MS Miss. Miss. MIUSCG 28
Missouri MO Mo. Mo. Mizzou 29
Montana MT Mont. Mont. 30
Nebraska NE Nebr. Neb. NBUSCG 31
Nevada NV Nev. Nev. Nv. 32
New Hampshire NH N.H. N.H. 33
New Jersey NJ N.J. N.J. 34
New Mexico NM N. Mex. N.M. New M. 35
New York NY N.Y. N.Y. N. York 36
North Carolina NC N.C. N.C. N. Car. 37
North Dakota ND N. Dak. N.D. 38
Ohio OH Ohio Ohio O. or Oh. 39
Oklahoma OK Okla. Okla. Ok. 40
Oregon OR Oreg. Ore. Or. 41
Pennsylvania PA Pa. Pa. Penn. or Penna. 42
Rhode Island RI R.I. R.I. R.I. and P.P. 44
South Carolina SC S.C. S.C. S. Car. 45
South Dakota SD S. Dak. S.D. 46
Tennessee TN Tenn. Tenn. Tn. 47
Texas TX Tex. Texas Tx. 48
Utah UT Utah Utah Ut. 49
Vermont VT Vt. Vt. 50
Virginia VA Va. Va. Virg. 51
Washington WA Wash. Wash. Wa. or Wn., WNUSCG 53
West Virginia WV W. Va. W.Va. W.V. or W. Virg. 54
Wisconsin WI Wis. Wis. Wi. or Wisc., WSUSCG 55
Wyoming WY Wyo. Wyo. Wy. 56
American Samoa AS A.S. (Insular area) ASUSCG 60
Guam GU Guam (Insular area) GUUSCG 66
Northern Mariana Islands MP M.P. (Insular area) CMUSCG 69
Puerto Rico PR P.R. (Insular area) PRUSCG 72
Virgin Islands VI V.I. (Insular area) U.S.V.I., VIUSCG 78
U.S. Minor Outlying Islands (Insular area) 'UM' is the FIPS alphabetic code for the entire group. Each individual has a separate numeric FIPS state code listed here. The U.S. Postal Service does not employ the term U.S. Minor Outlying Islands, as mail for any of these islands is routed indirectly (use PR, HI, AA or AP)
Federated States of Micronesia FM (Freely associated state) 64
Marshall Islands MH (Freely associated state) 68
Palau PW (Freely associated state) 70
Armed Forces
(except Canada)
AA (US Military mail)
Armed Forces
- Europe
- Canada
- Middle East
- Africa
AE (US Military mail)
Armed Forces
AP (US Military mail)
Canal Zone CZ C.Z. (Obsolete code)
Philippine Islands PI (Obsolete code)
Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands TT (Obsolete code)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands CM (Obsolete code) Changed to MP in 1988 to match ISO 3166-1 and FIPS Alpha Code.
Sachsen-Anhalt ST SaAN, (Freely associated state)

Current use of traditional abbreviations

The Associated Press Stylebook, the usage guide for most United States newspapers, counsels the use of abbreviations for most state names, when appended to a city name (for example, "Santa Ana, Calif."). AP suggests spelling out "Alaska", "Hawaii" and all state names with five or fewer letters; and, unlike the old GPO recommendations, AP suggests spelling out the names of all non-state territories, with the exception of the District of Columbia (D.C.). Legal citation manuals, such as the Bluebook and ALWD Citation Manual, typically use these "traditional abbreviations" as well.

Postal abbreviations

Washington Oregon California Hawaii Alaska Idaho Vermont New Hampshire Massachusetts Rhode Island Connecticut New Jersey Delaware Maryland District of Columbia Montana North Dakota South Dakota Nevada Utah Arizona Wyoming Colorado New Mexico Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Texas Minnesota Iowa Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Michigan Wisconsin Illinois Indiana Ohio West Virginia Kentucky Tennessee Mississippi Alabama Georgia Florida South Carolina North Carolina Virginia Maryland Maryland District of Columbia Delaware New York Pennsylvania New Jersey Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts New Hampshire Vermont Maine US state abbrev map.png
About this image

The United States Postal Service has established a set of abbreviations to help process mail with optical character recognition and other automated equipment.[6] There are also official USPS abbreviations for other parts of the address, such as street designators (street, avenue, road, etc.).

These postal abbreviations are distinguished from traditional abbreviations such as Calif., Fla., or Tex. The Associated Press Stylebook states that in contexts other than mailing addresses, the traditional state abbreviations should be used.[7] However, the Chicago Manual of Style now recommends use of the two-letter abbreviations, with the traditional forms as an option.[8] The two-letter abbreviations are widely used with both letters uppercase. But in some contexts and more frequently in some locations the second letter is lowercase (when the state name is one word).[citation needed]

The postal abbreviation is same as ISO 3166-2 subdivision code for all fifty states.

These codes do not overlap with the thirteen Canadian subnational postal abbreviations.

Other abbreviations and codes

The Federal Information Processing Standard establishes numeric and alphabetic state codes for each state and for many outlying areas. The FIPS numeric code is marked 'FIPS' on the table above. The FIPS alphabetic state code is the same as the USPS code except for U.S. Minor Outlying Islands which have a FIPS code (UM) but no USPS code, and the U.S. Military Mail locations which have USPS codes (AA, AE, AP) but no FIPS code.

The U.S. Coast Guard uses a set of 2-letter prefixes for vessel numbers[9], which are marked (USCG) on the table above but are not shown for the 39 states and District of Columbia where it is the same as the USPS abbreviation. USCG prefixes have also been established for five outlying territories, all of which are listed above, though it is only different from the USPS code for the Mariana islands.

Mis-matches between USPS and USCG codes

See also


  1. ^ a b c USPS History: State Abbreviations [1] Accessed April 21, 2009.
  2. ^ USPS Postal News, "It's Okay to Say 'I Don’t Know,' So Long As You Find Out!", January 9, 2009 [2]
  3. ^ Federal Information Processing Standards Publication 5-2, May 28, 1987 [3] Accessed April 21, 2009.
  4. ^ U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual, 30th Edition [4] Accessed April 21, 2009.
  5. ^ AP Stylebook
  6. ^ United States Postal Service Publication 28 - Postal Addressing Standards. Accessed February 4, 2007.
  7. ^ State Abbreviations
  8. ^ Major Rule Changes in The Chicago Manual of Style, Fifteenth Edition Accessed May 23, 2009
  9. ^ 33 C.F.R. Pt. 173, App. A

External links

Simple English

This is a list of abbreviations used by the United States Postal Service. They are used to help the postal service process mail. [1]



In alphabetical order by postal abbreviation (not by state):

State Abbreviation State Name
AK Alaska
AL Alabama
AR Arkansas
AZ Arizona
CA California
CO Colorado
CT Connecticut
DE Delaware
FL Florida
GA Georgia
HI Hawaii
IA Iowa
ID Idaho
IL Illinois
IN Indiana
KS Kansas
KY Kentucky
State Abbreviation State Name
LA Louisiana
MA Massachusetts
MD Maryland
ME Maine
MI Michigan
MN Minnesota
MO Missouri
MS Mississippi
MT Montana
NC North Carolina
ND North Dakota
NE Nebraska
NH New Hampshire
NJ New Jersey
NM New Mexico
NV Nevada
NY New York
State Abbreviation State Name
OH Ohio
OK Oklahoma
OR Oregon
PA Pennsylvania
RI Rhode Island
SC South Carolina
SD South Dakota
TN Tennessee
TX Texas
UT Utah
VA Virginia
VT Vermont
WA Washington
WI Wisconsin
WV West Virginia
WY Wyoming

Other codes

Federal districts

Abbreviation Location
DC District of Columbia


Abbreviation Location
AS American Samoa
GU Guam
MP Northern Mariana Islands
PR Puerto Rico
VI U.S. Virgin Islands

Freely associated states

Abbreviation Location
FM Federated States of Micronesia
MH Marshall Islands
PW Palau

Armed Forces

Abbreviation Location
AA Armed Forces Americas (except Canada)
AE Armed Forces Europe (covers all USARAEUR)
Armed Forces Canada
Armed Forces Middle East
Armed Forces Africa
AP Armed Forces Pacific

Codes that are no longer used

Abbreviation Location
CZ Canal Zone
TT Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands
PI Philippine Islands


  1. United States Postal Service Publication 28 - Postal Addressing Standards. Accessed February 4, 2007.

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