Focus On, Hot Tips: Standardize Addresses

What does address standardization do?

Address standardization does a few different things:

  • It checks the address against the USPS to make sure it is valid.
  • It fills in the county and congressional district on a record.
  • It completes the +4 of the zip code.
  • It homogenizes the addresses so all your address use the same capitalization.
  • It extends abbreviations like “Rd.” are extend to “Road.”
  • It adds the appropriate USPS recommended spacing.

So, what does all that mean?

It changes this address:
Abraham Lincoln
Wash, dc 20500

To this address:

Abraham Lincoln
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500-0003

How do you standardize addresses?
If you’re doing data entry, this automatically happens when the Auto-Correct check box is marked.

However, if you notice a lot of unstandardized addresses in your system, you may want to run address standardization system-wide.

To run address standardization on the entire database:

  1. Go to System > Standardize Addresses
  2. This will allow us to see the summary of our current address.
    1. Not Checked — The number of addresses in the system that have no been run through the standardization process.
    2. Failed — The number of addresses that have been run through the standardization process but have no been found in the USPS database.
    3. Certified— The number of addressed that have passed the standardization process and are standardized.
  3. Check your Standardization Option:
    1. Running the Standardization tool will automatically check the addresses in the Not Checked area. In the Standardization Options area you have three choices:
      1. Re-run Previously Failed — This allows for all the addresses that are not standardized to be checked for standardization.
      2. Re-run Previously Standardized — This allows for all addresses in the database to be checked for standardization. If you have recently changed your spacing options, this will need to be run.
      3. Limit to Addresses Added Today — This is a great option if you have a large database and you did an import today that you need to standardize.
  4. Finally, click on Standardize Addresses. This can take up to several hours to complete depending on the number of addresses the system is trying to standardize.
  5. You should receive a success message when the standardization is finished. The summary numbers should reflect the new standardized addresses:

If there is something you would like to see an explanation on? Let us know! It could be our next featured Hot Tip! [email protected].

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