How to Find a ZIP Code

How to Find a ZIP CodeMost national postal services use a system of postal codes to deliver mail more efficiently. The United States Postal Service, for example, uses ZIP Codes to specify delivery locations and facilitate mail delivery. If you want to mail a package to an address in the United States, you need to know the ZIP Code for the address. But what to do when you don’t know it? Is there any way to find a ZIP Code if you know the address?

First and foremost, let’s figure out what a ZIP Code is and why you need to know it. The United States got its own postal service, the United States Post Office Department (the predecessor to the present-day United States Postal Service) in 1792. However, despite the long history of the postal service in the United States, the system of postal codes is a relatively recent invention.

The development of postal codes was spurred by the increasing complexity of postal delivery resulting from population growth and urbanization. In the late 19th century, the Royal Mail began to use postal district/zone numbers to facilitate delivery in large cities such as London, Liverpool, and Manchester. The United States Post Office Department introduced postal zone numbers for 178 large cities in 1943.

The next year, Robert Moon, a postal inspector from Philadelphia, submitted his idea for what would become ZIP Codes. However, no action was taken for more than two decades after that. The ZIP Code system was finally approved in 1963, following Moon’s third submission of the concept. The acronym ZIP stands for Zone Improvement Plan; it was coined by D. Jamison Cain, deputy special assistant to the Postmaster General.

ZIP Codes designate delivery areas in the United States, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Northern Mariana Islands, and Palau (in other words, in the United States, its territories, and associated states). They are also used in AFO/FPO addresses (overseas military addresses).

A standard ZIP Code consists of five digits. The first digit represent a certain group of U.S. states, the next two digits represent a region or large city in that group, and the final two digits represent a group of addresses in that region or city. An expanded ZIP Code system, ZIP+4, was introduced in 1983 to identify geographic segments, PO Boxes, and even individual mail recipients within the basic digit area. However, it has not been adopted universally by the general public; using a standard five-digit ZIP Code is enough when you’re mailing something.

ZIP Codes have made sorting the mail much easier. They reduce errors and delays in processing mail and allow the United States Postal Service to deliver letters and packages in the shortest terms possible. When a postal office employee creates a shipping label for your package (or when you generate a shipping label yourself), the ZIP Code is translated into a barcode that is scanned by sorting machines to facilitate delivery.

Because of this, you must enter the ZIP Code that matches the recipient’s address when you generate shipping labels online with PostageMaker, otherwise you won’t be able to proceed. All ZIP Codes are verified with the USPS database, so if you enter a wrong ZIP Code, you will get an error message. Luckily, ZIP Codes are easy to look up, so we hope you won’t have any problems.

So, now that you know what a ZIP Code is and why it is so important, let’s figure out how to find a ZIP Code online. The easiest way to look up a ZIP Code is to use the USPS ZIP Code Lookup tool. It allows to find a ZIP Code by address or by city and state. If you know the street address, you’ll be given the exact ZIP Code you need, but if you search by city and state, you will be given a range of ZIP Codes for that city.

Another way to find a ZIP Code is to simply Google it. Just type the recipient’s address into the search bar and hit the Search button. In the search results, there will be a map of the location with the ZIP Code included. If you want to find all ZIP Codes for the area, type the city, state and “ZIP Code” (for example, Raleigh NC ZIP Code) to get a full list of ZIP Codes in the search results.