MOVE update

United States Postal Service (USPS) Move Update Requirements Overview

The USPS is taking a dramatic step to reduce undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) mail. These new regulations will affect all pieces that are mailed at First-Class (automation and non-automation) and Standard mail.

Mailers must begin using addresses that were updated via a USPS authorized process no earlier than 95 days previously. Mailers have a number of options available to them to insure their mailings meet the new requirements. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages and some are available to only certain types of mail. You will need to evaluate the options to determine which is best for your situation.

Listed below are the USPS authorized methods which meet the new Move Update standards effective November 23, 2008:

  • NCOALink processing.(Exec-U-Mail recommended)
    • This is typically the easiest, quickest method to obtain updated addresses, and the process occurs before the mailing.
    • Full Service: Includes address changes going back 48 months. Best used for address lists which have not recently been updated, or if you are uncertain when the most recent updating occurred.
    • Limited Service: Includes address changes going back 18 months. Best used for address lists which have been more recently updated.
  • FASTforward MLOCR processing (letter mail only - used by presort bureaus).
    • This would not be available for folded and tabbed pieces that are not mailed using lettershops with MLOCR equipment.
  • OneCode ACS (Address Change Service) in conjunction with an Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) and a mailer ID.
    • While this is currently available, due to the open specifications for the Intelligent Mail Barcode and flat size mail, it is not recommended at this time.
    • Refer to the USPS draft of Publication 8b (click on One Code ACS) for more information on this option.
  • Address Change Service (ACS) used with an ACS participant code and an appropriate on-piece ancillary service endorsement.
  • Use of an appropriate on-piece ancillary service endorsement without ACS.
    • Caution must be used when selecting which ancillary endorsement to be used. Services and fees that apply to each ancillary endorsement vary by class of mail.
    • To complete the Move Update process, mailers who rely on on-piece ancillary service endorsements without ACS, must incorporate the address changes received prior to subsequent mailings.

Mail pieces using an alternative addressing format, such as “John Doe or Current Resident,” “Occupant” or “Postal Customer,” are not subject to the Move Update standards.

  • Alternative address formats may not be used when ancillary endorsements are used, for mail with extra services (e.g. Delivery Confirmation), or for mail addressed to military post offices.
  • Consider the marketing impact of using alternative address formats, particularly to house lists or customer lists.
  • Alternative address formats are not eligible to be considered subscriber copies for magazines which may in future wish to apply for Periodicals rates.

It is very important to note that the Move Update requirement affects ALL address records that are used for mailing, regardless of whether you control the content of the mailing list or not. For example, it not only includes the addresses on customer lists, house lists, subscriber lists, membership lists, etc. that you may control the content of, but also the addresses on any procured lists that you do not control content of, such as prospect lists, non-subscriber lists, comp lists, rental lists, etc.


If you buy or rent mailing lists to use for your mailings, you will need to contact those providers to make sure that your procured lists will meet these requirements. If not, you will need to make arrangements for further processing of those procured lists. If you offer your mailing lists for sale or rental, your clients will likely be asking you to provide documentation that some sort of Move Update process has updated the names on your mailing lists.


Regardless of whether you are initiating the move update processes or have asked list suppliers to provide documentation of move update compliance, you will need to plan on retaining all documentation regarding proof of move update compliance for a period of two years.


There is a common misconception that CASS Certified™ address matching processes include updating the addresses for people who have moved. Move Update information is NOT part of CASS Certified™ address matching processes. Address matching software looks up addresses to standardize, correct, and validate the physical elements of the address and append the ZIP+4 codes. It does not perform a name look-up to determine whether the addressee is still at that address, so use of this process alone will NOT meet these new requirements.


This information is subject to change without notice, and is not intended, nor should it be used, to replace official United States Postal Service rules and regulations as published in the Domestic Mail Manual and/or other USPS documents.