How to Fill Out an Envelope for Mailing

by Jen Tenenbaum, studioD

There are many ways to fill out an envelope for mailing. While a return address and delivery address is always included, there are different options when it comes to addressing the recipient. Similarly, the type of mailing will determine the formality or casual nature of the address. As a general rule, it is common to always use complete names and addresses when addressing anyone.

Write the return address in the upper left-hand corner of the envelope. The first line should be the name of the sender, the second line should be the building number and street, while the third line should be the city, state and zip code.

Write the recipients' address in the middle of the envelope. The first line should formally spelled out such as: Mr. and Mrs. Jonathon Doe. Initials should be omitted.

Write the names of any other recipients (under the age of 18) on the second line. First names can be used. Example: Jane and Joseph.

Write the recipents' street address on the second line. Include the building number and full street name. Abbreviations can be used for words similar to street (St.) or road (Rd.).

Write the city followed by a comma, the two-letter abbreviation for the state (capitalized) and the Zip code on the last line. If the envelope is being mailed within the US, the country does not need to be written.

Attach proper postage to the upper right-hand corner of the envelope. If you are unsure of the appropriate amount of postage, take the stuffed and completed envelope to your local post office.


  • Return addresses can also appear on the back flap of an envelope. Apostrophes are not needed when addressing envelopes. A person's position should appear directly below his name if you choose to include it. A company name should appear below the recipient's position if it is included in the address. If the position is not included, the company name should appear below the recipient's name.


  • If your mailing is being sent outside of the US, be sure to follow the country's appropriate mailing guidelines.

Items you will need

  • Envelope
  • Black or blue ink pen
  • Postage

About the Author

Jen Tenenbaum received a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Grand Valley State University in 2004. She started as an intern for NPR and periodically works as a copywriter and blogger. She also has experience as a dog trainer and kennel caretaker.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images