Nine digit zip code

James Hurley jhurley0305 at
Tue Nov 30 20:03:21 EST 2010

Bob and Pete,

Thanks for bringing this issue up.

Some years back the USPS's web site made it much easier to do batch  
process of addresses.

When they changed it to make it more difficult, I wrote a letter to  
the Postmaster General. (Yes, I know, really stupid.) I suggested that  
they might instead make access to the full list more readily  
available. After all the 9 digit zip makes their job of sorting and  
delivery much easier. I also questioned the rationale of charging less  
for bulk mailing, but making it more expensive by charging for the  
data (9 digit zip) that makes it possible.

Unfortunately, the list is a money maker and the PO is perennially in  
the red.

There is one application of the stack that shouldn't create a problem  
and that is as a mechanism for validating an address. If the address   
is not in their delivery DB, the return message reads: "The address  
may be non-deliverable."


> Right, but not a lot from one place. I think their acceptable use  
> would be under 30 or
> 40 hits a day from one IP, but if they get thousands, I think  
> someone might contact you.
> They have some kind of published Acceptable Use policy on the site  
> don't they? If not,
> then I guess you are in the clear.
> Bob
> On Nov 30, 2010, at 4:09 PM, Peter Haworth wrote:
> > USPS has a zip code lookup feature on their web site and seems  
> like they would expect
> a lot of people using it....
> >
> > Pete Haworth
> >
> > On Nov 30, 2010, at 2:14 PM, Bob Sneidar wrote:
> >
> >> Also be advised that too many hits from one place may result in  
> alarms going off. It
> may have changes since I thought about doing this way back when, but  
> they offered this
> site as a way for the every day user to get a zip+4, not for a  
> commercial app to do it
> on the cheap as a way to avoid paying for the zip+4 database, which  
> back then at least
> they charged you for.
> >>
> >> Bob
> >>

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