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Address Line 2 — Here’s What to Put When a Form Asks for It

Address Line 2 — Here’s What to Put When a Form Asks for It

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You know what your address is and you know how you’d usually write it on an envelope.

Suddenly, you get a form asking for your address to be broken down into different lines, and you panic! What does address line 2 even mean? 

When broken down into different lines, it is easier for the postal service to carry out their mail-sorting and delivering duties.

Because of this, it is useful for us all to understand exactly what the different address lines should include.

This article will be focused on U.S. forms and U.S. addresses specifically, otherwise we’d have a whole lot more to cover!

An important point to note is that not every form has the same layout.

We will go over the most common types of address lines, but make sure to check the specific form that you’re filling to see if it specifies where it wants certain information. 

Also, if you haven’t already read up on what to put when a form asks for address line 1, I suggest that you start your reading there!

With that said, let’s dig in and see if we can’t simplify writing out an address on a form.


What is address line 2?

“Address line 2” typically refers to the apartment or unit number of an address. In this section, the abbreviation “apt.” or “unit” and the number should be written. If the address is not an apartment, then city, state, and zip code should be written instead. 

Let’s go backwards for a moment, as it will help us moving forward. 

Address Line 1 is for the street name and number of the address. This is the part which is usually something along the lines of “67 North St.”

The second line of the address, “Address line 2”, is for the apartment or unit number of the address (assuming that there is one). 

This line is sometimes written as “Address line 2 (if needed)” or “Address line 2 (if required)”.

Not everyone lives in an apartment building, so it is not necessary to fill out this line if the addressee is living in a house.


Types of housing in an address

Addresses can be sorted into four main categories: apartments, houses, P.O. boxes, and businesses. 

Formatting for each type of address differs slightly, but it becomes easy enough to break down when you think about it. 

Businesses, P.O. boxes, and apartments require 1-2 additional address lines to fit the information needed because there is more than one addressee at each singular location. 

This is where address line 2 comes in- so let’s go over what to put in which situation.


Address Line 2 – Houses

Houses are the simplest type of address to input, as they have the least amount of information. 

Line 1 contains the street name and number of the address. The city, state, and zip code (if not specified elsewhere in the form) go into address line 2. 

This is the most straightforward type of address, and sometimes line 2 is not even needed on the form.

Many forms will have line 2 written as “if needed” or “if required”, and a house typically does not need more than one line as there is no apt. or unit number.


John Smith

45 Wallaby Way

Rocksmith, KY 86788


Avery Jones

77 Rigsby Ln.

Rowland, AR 22748


Things get a bit trickier when you want to send mail to an apartment, as there are many different families living in the same building.

In this case, we need to add a second line to include the apartment number. 

Let’s check out how to properly include this information!


Address Line 2 – Apartments

When sending mail to an apartment building, you need to first specify the street name and number in address line 1.

Address line 2 is where you would put the abbreviation “Apt.” (short for apartment). This is sometimes written out as “Apartment”, but to save on space in sometimes limited boxes, “Apt.” is the most common.

After this, you should include the apartment number. This can be written out as just the number (i.e. “1”) or with the hashtag (i.e. #1). 


John Smith

23 Birch St.

Apt. 45

Bellows, NH 09673


Jane Doe

14 Meadows Rd.

Apt. #45

Hawthorne, RI 73854


Some apartment buildings use “unit numbers” instead of apartment numbers, though these two terms mean the same thing.

In address line 2, “Unit” should never be abbreviated. It is most often written without a hashtag, but if the addressee says there is one, then use it.


Jimmy Heath

46 Kellogg St.

Unit 7

Gavins, NV 77835


There are a few cases where a form will ask for the apartment number in line 1, but it is far more common that it is placed in line 2, as in our examples.

The form will likely specify which line the apartment number should go in, as apartments are a very common type of address. No need to worry about that part too much!

Next up, let’s take a look at how to fill out line 2 for P.O. Boxes.


Address Line 2 – P.O. Boxes

P.O. boxes are a different method to receive mail while protecting your personal information- namely, your exact address.

All that is needed to receive mail is a P.O. box number, the city, state, and zip code.

There are two different situations for P.O. boxes: personal and business. 

In both cases, “P.O.” should be written in capital letters, with periods after each one. “Box” is typically written with a capital “B”. 

For personal P.O. boxes, the formatting is:

Line 1: P.O. box number
Line 2: City, State, Zip code (if this information is not elsewhere on the form)


John Smith

P.O. Box 83899

Cleveland, OH 13765


Mary Yuka

P.O. Box 88627

Dewers, FL 88266


For business P.O. boxes, we must include the business name in addition to the name of the recipient.  The formatting is:

Line 1: Business Name
Line 2: P.O. box number 
Line 3: City, State, Zip code (if this information is not elsewhere on the form)



John Smith

Speedy Cleaning Inc.

P.O. Box 86429

Newark, NJ 97029


Hue JonesPlastic Solutions

P.O. Box 11637

Georgetown, CT 77289


If you’re still not sure how to fill out a form, ask! Because P.O. boxes are still fairly uncommon, most post office workers are used to fielding questions about how to fill out an address form with that information.

If at a government office, you can fill out everything aside from that information, then double-check with the desk staff once your number is called. 

The final type of address we will cover in this article is a pretty big one, and that’s businesses!

While we do not often send mail to businesses as often as we do personally, it’s important to know how to when necessary.

Job applications, item comments/complaints, project proposals, and more can be sent to business addresses, so let’s go over how to properly format them.


Address Line 2 – Businesses

When sending mail to a business, it is important to specify whether you are sending to an individual, or to a specific department within that business. 

Letters and packages can easily get lost at a business address if not precisely written, so don’t forget to include the smaller details. 

For a specific department, it is common to write “ATTN: xx Department” meaning “attention” in the recipient line.

You must also include the business name in addition to the name of the recipient or department.The formatting is:

[Individual’s name / department name]

Line 1: Business Name

Line 2: Street and Building Number

Line 3: City, State, Zip code (if this information is not elsewhere on the form) 



John Smith

Skyward Enterprises

24 Teeter St.

Veerings, OH 12784


ATTN: Sales DepartmentFortune Ltd.

17 Churchill Rd.

Jamestown, MA 97839


What to do if an address doesn’t fit on a form

If part of the address doesn’t fit on a certain line in a form, there are certain tricks you can use to try to fit it in. 

A slightly squished or abbreviated address is better than an incomplete address, so try to use these tips when necessary!

  • Abbreviate commonly abbreviated words such as “apartment” (Apt.), “road” (Rd.), “drive” (Dr.), “street” (St.), “Avenue” (Ave.), and “Lane” (Ln.). If you’re very short on space, take away the period.
  • Make sure all numbers are written in numerical form (“1” instead of “one”).
  • Delete spaces between numbers and words (12Jones St)

If you’re still short on space after trying these tips, then you can try to put lines together.

Adding address line 2 to address line 1 may be necessary, especially in instances when you need to include a name, department, and business name. 

For example, an apartment number would typically go into address line 2. In the interest of space, however, it could be added to line 1 if necessary.


John Smith14 Jones St. Apt.6

Newell, RI 71930


In the case of a business, the department and business name can be squished into one line if need be, such as in the following example.


Contact Solutions: Sales Department

17 New Beginnings Dr. 

Farthings, NJ 97480


Online forms may not allow symbols such as “:” or “,” due to how they’re programmed, so don’t fret if you’re forced to leave them out. 

When all is said and done, the postal service will always try to get your mail where it’s supposed to go, so don’t worry too much. 

When entering your address on physical forms or online, just do your best to get all of the information written out as clearly and accurately as you can.

Happy form-filling!