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Proper U.S. State Abbreviations and Military "State" Abbreviations: How to Abbreviate Your State
Abbreviate U.S. State Names Properly for the Mail
In this guide you will find the U.S. Postal Service's abbreviations for U.S. states. When addressing an envelope you can always use the entire state name, but the Postal Service prefers these official abbreviations.
More questions about addressing an envelope? Follow the link at the bottom of the Hub.
Facts About U.S. Postal Abbreviations
The U.S. Postal Service published the first list of official abbreviations in 1874 and that list remained largely unchanged until 1963. That year, the five-digit zip code was introduced. To make room on envelopes and cards, the Post Service shortened all state abbreviations to two letters. Those abbreviations remain in effect today, with one exception. Nebraska's original abbreviation, NB, was changed to NE in 1969, to avoid confusion with New Brunswick, Canada.
Military "State" Postal Abbreviations
These are the official abbreviations for U.S. Military "States":
Armed Forces Africa: AE
Armed Forces Americas (except Canada): AA
Armed Forces Canada: AE
Armed Forces Europe: AE
Armed Forces Middle East: AE
Armed Forces Pacific: AP
United States State Abbreviations
Below are the official two-letter abbreviations for U.S. states and possessions adopted by the U.S. Postal Service in 1963.
AMERICAN SAMOA: AS
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: DC
FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA: FM
MARSHALL ISLANDS: MH
NEW HAMPSHIRE: NH
NEW JERSEY: NJ
NEW MEXICO: NM
NEW YORK: NY
NORTH CAROLINA: NC
NORTH DAKOTA: ND
NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS: MP
PUERTO RICO: PR
RHODE ISLAND: RI
SOUTH CAROLINA: SC
SOUTH DAKOTA: SD
VIRGIN ISLANDS: VI
WEST VIRGINIA: WV
How to address a card or envelope
Visit this Hub for more details about addressing envelopes and cards.