Address Validation API overview

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The Address Validation API is a service that accepts an address, identifies the address components, and validates them. It also standardizes the address for mailing and finds the best known lat/long location for it. It can help understand if an address refers to a real place. If the address does not refer to a real place, it can identify possibly wrong components, enabling users to correct them.

The Address Validation API provides many features to help you process an address, including:

  • Separates the address into its individual components and then provides component-level validation checks, including sub-premises (where available).

  • Cleanses, standardizes, and infers missing or incorrect address components.

  • Supplements the address with additional information, including geocode, address precision, and postal services data.

  • Returns a single string containing the complete address as determined by the API.

Try the demo to see the Address Validation API in action.

Add the Address Validation API to your workflow

One of the most common use cases of the Address Validation API is to enhance your customer experience by ensuring that a customer provides a correct address. Address validation helps to reduce delivery failures by catching bad addresses and improves delivery predictability with better awareness of address characteristics.

The following image shows a simple form that allows a customer to enter an address, possibly as part of a checkout flow. Pass this address as the input to the Address Validation API.

The address as entered by the customer.

In its response, the Address Validation API returns the complete address as determined by the API. Present the complete address to your customer as the recommended address:

The address as determined by the API.

If the Address Validation API detects missing information, prompt the user to add it:

The form prompting the customer to enter missing address information.

If the API is unable to validate the input address due to missing or incorrect information, prompt the user to fix the address:

The form prompting the customer to correct address information.

Differences between Address Validation API and the Geocoding API

Both the Geocoding API and the Address Validation API try to answer the question of "what is the best location for this user input?" Unlike the Geocoding API, the Address Validation API also tries to:

  • Answer the question of "Does this user input represent a real address?"
  • Understand the input address even if parts of it cannot be matched to Available data
  • Provide feedback on the validity of different components
  • Verify whether the address is complete and flag any necessary components that are missing
  • Format the returned address specifically for the purposes of mailing

For example, given an address like "123 Fake St, Mountain View, CA", the Geocoding API would simply return a geocode for the city of Mountain View, CA and ignore "123 Fake St" since there is no such street (or similarly-named street) in Mountain View.

The Address Validation API, on the other hand, is able to identify that "123" is a street number, "Fake St" is a street, and returns a result that contains those components and flags them as unconfirmed, giving you a signal about why the address may be failing to geocode.

About CASS™

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®)1 maintains the Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS™) to support and certify address validation providers. A CASS Certified™ service, such as the Address Validation API, has been confirmed for its ability to fill in information missing from an address, standardize it, and update it to give you the most current and most accurate address.

CASS is not enabled by default and is only supported for the "US" and "PR" regions. To enable CASS, set enableUspsCass to true as part of a validation request. For more information, see Validate an address.

As part of our use of USPS services, USPS evaluates requests for artificially created addresses. If USPS identifies an input address as being artificially created, Google is required to stop validating addresses for the customer and must report the customer’s contact information (name and address), the relevant input address, and aggregated usage data to USPS. By using the API you consent to these Service Specific Terms.

What's next

  1. Google Maps Platform is a non-exclusive Licensee of the United States Postal Service®. The following trademark(s) are owned by the United States Postal Service® and used with permission: United States Postal Service®, CASS™, CASS Certified™.