National Change Of Address
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National Change of Address (NCOALink) "is a secure dataset of approximately 160 million permanent change-of-address (COA) records consisting of the names and addresses of individuals, families and businesses who have filed a change-of-address with the USPS". It is maintained by the United States Postal Service and access to it is licensed to service providers and made available to mailers. There are six licenses available including Full Service Providers (48 months) and Limited Service Providers (18 months). The use of NCOALink is required in order to obtain bulk mail rates, as it minimizes the number of UAA (Undeliverable As Addressed) mailpieces saving the mailer money and reducing the USPS's processing of this type of mail.
How it works
NCOALink is a product of the United States Postal Service, USPS, and is used to provide updated and accurate addresses for individuals, families, and businesses. It will also indicate foreign moves and people who have moved with no forwarding address. The USPS offers licenses for Interface Developers and Interface Distributors and all NCOALink interfaces are certified by the USPS. The addresses in the database are specifically designed to match the USPS requirements. Each entry is matched against other entries to ensure that there are no repeated addresses. The software will update old addresses through the information provided by the postal service. Consumers have the option of changing their address online or filling out the "Change of Address" form at the Post Office when moving. Note that not all post offices subscribe to this service. Many maintain their own local databases for change of address. Companies which subscribe to this service, for example credit card companies, may receive incorrect information on your address, as often as monthly. They are required to notify both addresses of the change, but, if they fail to do so, your address could be changed by this service without your knowledge. Call 800.383.2445 or 800.238.3150 to resolve issues.
For mailers who want to update their mailing lists with the most current addresses they would submit their file to a company that offers the NCOALink service. These can be licensed NCOALink providers or third party companies that submit the files to a licensed NCOALink provider. The NCOALink process also includes CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System), DPV, (Delivery Point Validation), LACSLink, and SuiteLink.
The National Change of Address Processing Systems have helped direct mailers maintain a clean mailing list for decades. The National Change of Address System has been adopted by several countries including the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, Austria, and New Zealand.
- https://ribbs.usps.gov/index.cfm?page=ncoalink RIBBS NCOALink
- https://ribbs.usps.gov/index.cfm?page=cassmass CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System)
- https://ribbs.usps.gov/index.cfm?page=dpv DPV
- https://ribbs.usps.gov/index.cfm?page=lacslink LacsLink
- https://ribbs.usps.gov/index.cfm?page=suitelink SuiteLink