CASS Certification Services
by Sam Hills
Are you paying too much for postage?
Reduce your postage costs
by CASS-certifying your mailing list
CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System) certification allows you to do 'automation-rate' bulk mailings. By processing your list to meet U.S. postal regulations for address standardization, you can qualify for the lowest possible postage rates.
Send your address list to me, either on floppy disk or as an e-mail attachment, and I will CASS-certify your addresses and return them to you by the same method.
The Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) improves the accuracy of carrier route, five-digit ZIP, ZIP+4, and delivery point codes that appear on your mailpieces. The CASS certifying (Address Standardization) process adds the proper 9-digit ZIP+4, carrier-route and delivery-point codes and verifies that each address is in a valid delivery range. Address spelling will be standardized and converted to proper case, and punctuation will be removed. Your label-printing software will use this information to print a POSTNET delivery-point barcode on each mailing label.
In addition, a return code will be added to each record, indicating whether or not each address could be certified. If an address is so badly misspelled that a match cannot be found in the USPS database, that address will be returned uncertified -- you will then need to research these addresses and correct them yourself. Click here for an explanation of what the return codes mean.
After I return your CASS-certified list, you will need to sort it according to USPS PAVE rules and print your addresses (with POSTNET barcodes) on your mailpieces or on maling labels to affix to your mailpieces. You will also need to print a USPS Qualification Report listing how many mailpieces go to each ZIP code, and a postage statement. Several programs are available to do this; I recommend Postage $aver. This program is PAVE-certified and it prints all the paperwork required for bulk mailing.
If you send your data via e-mail, please ZIP it using PKZIP, WinZIP or prior to attaching it to your e-mail message, to keep the size of the message down and to ensure reliable transmission.
The address list may be in either fixed-width, tab-delimited, comma-delimted (.CSV) or xBase (.DBF) format.
If you are using EASE Church Management Software, select option #1 on the USPS Interface menu to export your addresses.
If you are using some other software, you will need to export your address list in one of the supported formats listed above. If you are unsure of the format of your data, please call or me first to make sure your addresses are in an acceptable format. If I need to convert your address list to a supported format, there will be an additional charge for this service.
The cost of certification depends on the number of addresses in the list.
CASS certification is $20 for the first 10,000 addresses and $5 for each additional 5,000 addresses or fraction thereof.
For really large lists (50,000 addresses or more), please call me for pricing.
If you send your data on a floppy disk, please enclose a check for the proper amount (payable to Sam Hills) with your disk. If you send your data via e-mail, you may mail your check after your receive your certified list back. I can also accept payment via
If you need assistance, you may call me at (504) 821-1737, or send e-mail to
What do the return codes mean?
The CASS certification process returns an error code (the ReturnCode) that indicates whether or not the address was found in the USPS ZIP+4 database.
The following codes are returned:
- 10 = Invalid address format.
- The lines of your address are in the wrong order or you did not enter enough data.
- 11 = Invalid 5 digit ZIP submitted.
- The five digit ZIP code entered is not correct. Try removing the ZIP code completely and submitting the file again.
- 12 = State not recognized.
- The state name entered is not correct. You either used an incorrect abbreviation or seriously misspelled the state. You may also get this result with a foreign address.
- 13 = City not recognized.
- The state is OK, but the city does not exist. Did you misspell it?
- 21 = Address not found.
- If you receive this result, the address submitted did not have a matching address in the USPS ZIP+4 database. You either have a serious misspelling or a street address that does not exist. In some rare cases, the Postal Service may not have assigned a ZIP+4 to the address. Check your spelling and street address (did you include a street number? Is there a <space> between the street number and the street name?) and try again.
- 22 = Multiple Addresses, can you be more specific?
- The address you submitted is too vague - there is more than one address that matches. This is commonly caused by not entering the type of street (e.g. Dr, St, Ln, etc.). If your address has 123 Main and there is a Main Street and a Main Avenue you will get this result. Correct your address and try again.
- 25 = Address not verified, but the city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code are consistent.
- 31 = A Precise Match Was Found!
- This result indicates a matching address was found in the Postal database and the ZIP+4 and standardized address were returned. This is the best possible result.
- 32 = ZIP+4 found, but more information would help.
- A ZIP+4 was found and can be used, but if you enter a company name, suite or apartment number, you will probably get a more accurate ZIP+4. This result is common for large buildings in which case you will often get the building's ZIP+4. If you can pinpoint the company name or apartment number, you will get the company's or apartment's ZIP+4 within the building.
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