USPS discontinues manual address corrections by sorting cards

Dec 15, 2022

The U.S. Postal Service today announced the official end of a service that once sustained community newspapers — manual address correction by sorting address cards into their proper 5-digit ZIP codes.

USPS now says the usage of the service is low and there are better ways to do it.

Today, most newspaper mailers use mailing software that provides updates on 5-digit sorting. Publishers also can look up individual addresses at ZIP Code™ Lookup | USPS.

The updated addressing service rule is available here: 2022-26973.pdf (

NNA Chair John Galer, publisher of The Journal-News in Hillsboro, Illinois, said the card-sorting notice was one more signal from USPS that mailers would be pushed to update their digital services practices.

“It is increasingly difficult to get by without the help of proper mailing software,” Galer said. “Now that USPS has created so many tools online to eliminate hard-copy sorting for mail preparation, it is weeding out the older services that community newspapers used to rely upon. The conversions are costly for many of us and NNA has been pushing back on some of these changes to give our members additional time to adapt. Unfortunately, I think more changes of this nature are coming in 2023. USPS is working on the new Delivering for America plan and is looking at a hundred ways to cut costs.

“I want to remind NNA members that help is on the way. The Max Heath Postal Institute™ now operated by NNA’s sister organization, NNA Foundation, will offer another round of newspaper mail webinars in 2023. The training is free to NNA members and available to others for a modest fee. This change and others will be covered in next year’s course. Also, our NNA Postal Hotline is always open for our members. I hope publishers who are finding these many USPS changes hard to navigate will contact us at”