How To Address International Mail—A Step-by-Step Guide

Mailing as a Service How To Address International Mail—A Step-by-Step Guide

Learn How To Address International Mail the Right Way

Do you want to send a letter to a friend, university, business associate, or anyone else outside of the U.S.? Besides knowing the best way to start, end, and format your letter, you should also learn how to address international mail correctly. Rely on our guide and learn all about stamps, postage prices, letter addressing, and all other important aspects of snail mail

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How To Address an International Letter

When labeling international mail, you have to write addresses in Roman letters and use Arabic numerals. Make sure the letters are legible. The easiest way to achieve that is to write everything in uppercase letters. 


A properly addressed international envelope contains:

  • The return address in the top-left corner 
  • The mailing address in the middle of the envelope
  • One or more stamps in the top-right corner

Make sure to write both addresses and affix the stamp on the front of the envelope.

Return Address Format

While you’re not obligated to include your address when mailing a letter, it’s better if you do. In case your letter doesn’t reach its destination, the return address ensures that mail will be delivered back to you.

Consult the following table to learn how to write the return address on your international letters:

Where To Write

What To Write

First row Your full legal name (including middle initial)
Second row Street address and home or apartment number or P.O. box number
Third row City, state, and ZIP code
Fourth row USA

Mailing Address Format

The international mailing address should look like this:

Where To Write

What To Write

First row Full legal name
Second row Street address and home or apartment number or P.O. box number
Third row City, principal subdivision—e.g., county, province, and similar—and postal code

In some counties, the rule is to write the postal code before the city name. You should check the formatting rules of the country you’re sending the letter to and write the mailing address accordingly

Fourth row

Country name in English

Which Stamp Should You Buy To Send a Letter Overseas?

To mail a letter outside of the U.S., you need to affix a Global Forever stamp. The number of stamps you need to use depends on the postage price. The heavier the letter is, the higher the price will be. 

One-ounce letters require only one Global Forever stamp. If your letter weighs two ounces, you’ll also need to purchase an Additional Ounce stamp.  

International Postage Rates Explained

You can check the current postage prices for each international mail class in the table below:

Mail Class Postage Price Starts at
Airmail M-Bags $51.70
First Class Package International Service $14.25
First Class Mail International $1.20
Priority Mail International $28.50
Priority Mail Express International $45.95 
Global Express Guaranteed $67.80

Since the USPS changes the prices occasionally, the best option is to check the price list before going to the post office to send your mail. 

Follow Our Simple Guide To Compose Letters With Ease

If you’re sending an informal letter to your loved one, you don’t have to worry about the formatting rules—you can organize your letter however you see fit. Most people choose the following structure:

  1. Date of writing (in the upper right corner)
  2. Informal salutation, such as:
    • Hey there
    • Hi (+name)
    • Dear + name
    • Hello
  3. Body of letter (divided into multiple paragraphs)
  4. Informal closing, for example:
    • XOXO
    • Cheers
    • Hug
    • Love
    • Kisses
  5. Hand-written signature

Writing formal letters is more challenging because you must follow a specific letter structure to leave a good first impression. These are the sections you should include:

  1. Your personal info, including:
    • Name
    • Full address
    • Phone number
    • Email address
  2. Date of writing 
  3. The recipient’s info:
    • Name 
    • Company (if applicable)
    • Full address
  4. Formal salutation, for example:
    • Dear Mr./Ms. + last name
    • Dear + full name
    • Dear Dr./Judge + last name
  5. Body of letter 
  6. Formal closing, such as:
    • Kind regards
    • Regards
    • Sincerely
  7. Your hand-written and typed signatures

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No one likes to waste time in long lines, especially now during the pandemic. If you’d like to skip a visit to the post office or avoid searching for a USPS mailbox, you should sign up for DoNotPay. With our Send Mail product, you can mail letters online without worrying about stamps and envelope labeling. 

To use our product, open your DoNotPay account, and follow these steps:

  1. Choose the Send Mail product
  2. Answer our questions
  3. Upload your letter

We will take care of the whole mailing process and ensure your letter reaches its destination.

Our app currently supports up to 20 MB files in one of these formats:

  • HTML
  • PNG
  • JPG
  • PDF

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