FedEx Address Validation

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November 17, 2023

FedEx (Federal Express) released its address validation service to satisfy customers’ need for a reliable address checker. This service aims to help shippers and recipients have the correct address for speedy and accurate deliveries.

What is FedEx address validation, and how does it work? How can this service benefit customers? Can it verify or validate addresses in other countries? 

This article introduces the FedEx address validation service and its features that can resolve address mistakes that often lead to delivery delays. It explains how businesses, especially people running online stores, use this address validation service for their benefit. 

Furthermore, this write-up explores the advantages of using this address validation service, including how easy it is to access this handy service provided by FedEx. 

Although different companies, FedEx and the United States Postal Service (USPS) collaborate on specific shipping options for delivering packages to millions of residents in the United States. 

If you need information on the nearest post office in your area to better monitor your packages, visit FindPostOffice.org

Our website provides access to over 31,330 post offices nationwide. You can get contact information and phone numbers of every USPS retail office included in the database.

What Is FedEx Address Validation Service?

FedEx Address Validation Service (AVS) is the company’s way to ensure that the address information listed on the shipping label is correct. The service helps reduce delivery delays and packages sent to the wrong locations.

How Does FedEx Address Validation Work?

FedEx checks if the indicated state, city, street address, and postal or ZIP (zone improvement plan) code are correct. 

FedEx Address Validation may be able to complete the missing shipping address. However, it can’t add missing secondary information like the specific suite or apartment number. 

What Can It Do

The following are tasks that the Address Verification Service does for FedEx customers: 

  • Complete an incomplete entered address.
  • Add missing information after verification but not secondary information.
  • Provide delivery address correction.
  • Determine whether the parcel’s destination is a residential or commercial address (applies only to U.S. and Canadian addresses).
  • Verify or validate domestic and international address information before shipping to avoid delays and extra charges.

Note that FedEx AVS can validate addresses in the following countries:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Countries in the following regions:
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • Middle East
  • Asia Pacific

How Can You Verify an Address With FedEx?

You can use the address validation API (application programming interface) when you’re a FedEx customer and need address verification services. You can get this tool from FedEx.com. 

Address Validation API

If you’re running an online store, you may want a seamless ordering and shipping option built into your website. 

However, one problem many find frustrating is ensuring customers give correct addresses. Luckily, FedEx understands this need and has released its address validation API. 

An API is a software intermediary that allows two applications to communicate. In other words, it’s a method for two computers in different locations to talk to each other to complete a task. 

Courier companies use APIs to streamline order creation, tracking, and customer notifications. FedEx uses the API system for its address validation process to ensure that carriers deliver the packages to the correct address

Introduction

The FedEx Address Validation API is a “smart solution” to resolve inaccurate contact details provided by customers. This API correctly formats the recipient’s inputs, like address information, to ensure validity. 

You can treat the address validation API as a checker for your orders to ensure all information is correct before you ship a package. 

Always remember that sending packages with an inaccurate delivery address can lead to lost items. So, to avoid this problem, double-check the information you’ve provided and use this API. 

Address Validation API Details

This API helps validate address information correction before shipping packages. 

Package delivery is complex, especially with companies like FedEx, where millions of mailpieces are processed daily. 

Wrong addresses can significantly delay the efficiency of the delivery process. The staff has to resolve issues, such as missing packages, failed delivery attempts, and return deliveries, to appease disgruntled customers.

FedEx informs API users of the following:

  • Address resolution results vary by country or territory.
  • The entered address is compared with the reference data in the FedEx database and returns the shipping addresses that match.

Address Validation API  Capabilities and Functionalities

Here are some of the functionalities you can expect to see when using the address validation API:

  • Provides street-level address matches
  • Gives monthly updates
  • Determines whether the matching address is business or residential to accurately calculate rate quotes (this function applies to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Note that despite these functionalities, the API can’t verify suite or apartment numbers.

  • Checks up to 100 addresses in one API request

Countries or Territories Supporting Address Validation API

The address validation API can verify addresses in the following countries and territories. 

  • North America:
    • Canada
    • United States
    • Bahamas
    • Bermuda
    • Cayman Islands
    • Jamaica
  • Central America:
    • Costa Rica
    • Guatemala
    • Mexico
  • South America:
    • Argentina
    • Brazil
    • Chile
    • Colombia
    • Peru
    • Uruguay
    • Venezuela
    • Dominican Republic
  • Caribbean:
    • Antilles
    • Barbados
    • Aruba
    • Trinidad and Tobago
    • Virgin Islands
  • Europe
    • Denmark
    • Estonia
    • Finland
    • France
    • Germany
    • Greece
    • Italy
    • Netherlands
    • Portugal
    • Spain
    • Sweden
    • Switzerland
    • United Kingdom
    • Austria
    • Belgium
    • Norway
    • Czech Republic
  • Asia-Pacific:
    • Australia
    • Singapore
    • Hong Kong SAR, China
    • Malaysia
    • New Zealand
  • Africa:
    • South Africa

How Does Address Validation API Work?

Once a customer inputs a recipient’s address into the system, the address validation API immediately goes into action. The API parses or analyzes the address and sees if any incorrect entries need to be changed. 

Next, the API matches the entered address with those in the regularly updated database of addresses provided by FedEx. The system then automatically corrects the address to resemble a valid one closely if the address is in the United States or Canada. 

Validate Address

For the address validation API to work, it needs the following input from the customer:

  • City (optional)
  • Country code
  • Street lines
  • Postal code (optional)
  • State or province code (optional)

Here are the steps taken by the address validation API when correcting entered addresses:

  • The API attempts to change the input address into the correct format. All abbreviations and roadway identities are changed into the standard used, and address components are reordered. Non-address values are discarded. 
  • After “normalizing” the input address, the API standardizes the address into a format most likely the address intended by the customer. If the standardization fails, the recipient’s address will be the normalized form of the entered address.
  • Once the normalization and standardization are successful, the resolved address produced by the API becomes the suggested shipment address. Additional elements of the standardized address and how it was derived are also returned.

Address Validation API Return Values

In simple terms, the return value results from an API operation. When a customer uses the address validation API, the following terms are examples of return values:

  • The address state is standardized.
  • The resolved address attributes are true.
  • The delivery point valid (DPV) is true.
  • The interpolated address is false.

Annotations

The AV API returns annotations with every validated and returned address. These annotations provide information on the problems of the entered address and the changes made to make it into a real-world address. 

Address Classification

The address validation API classifies a given address by using reference data. However, classifying working addresses is done independently of the address validation process. 

The classification is based on feedback from operations personnel, with commercial data sources used for confirmation. FedEx uses four possible address classifications:

Unknown Address

All addresses start with an unknown classification until services like FedEx’s address validation verify it. 

Mixed Address

Mixed classification is a multi-tenant-based address that contains both residential and business units. 

Business Address

An address used as a principal place of business falls under business or commercial addresses. However, it doesn’t mean all business addresses are in commercial districts or urban areas. 

A business address can be your home, your friend’s garage, or any place where you have registered as the primary address for a business. It may be a basement or a multimillion-dollar campus.  

Residential Address

Any home address or a location where someone lives is considered a residential address. FedEx shipments made to private residences have a delivery charge. 

Examples of residential addresses are the following:

  • Residents of multi-unit dwellings
    • Apartment buildings
    • College dormitories
    • Condominiums
  • Residence where products are sold or distributed
  • Convent (house for nuns)
  • Parsonage (clergy house)
  • Rectory (a rector’s house)

Tips for Using the Address Validation API

Here are tips on how to use the FedEx address validation API: 

  • Ensure correct spelling and avoid typographical errors (like the correct usage of the letter “O” and zero “0”). 
  • Ensure correct spacing is used to avoid unnecessary spaces. 
  • Don’t use special characters not used in standard address writing formats, like adding a period after an abbreviation.
  • Observe the use of correct abbreviations for different address terminologies, such as “Ave” for avenue and “Rd” for road. 
  • For completeness and accuracy, include additional address information such as street, building, and house number information.
  • Provide the city, state, province, and ZIP or postal codes.
  • Use the urbanization name that denotes an area, sector, or residential area. Urbanization is typical in Puerto Rico, and its abbreviation is URB.

Business Rules

FedEx has rules for using the address validation API. Understanding these instructions carefully before using the API to avoid mistakes and wrong entries is best. 

  • Don’t use the FedEx API to check package deliverability because FedEx doesn’t deliver to every valid address. For instance, FedEx can’t deliver to a P.O. box (unless via FedEx Ground Economy)
  • The resolved addresses returned by the API are suggestions only.
  • One can check up to 100 addresses in one request.
  • Address resolution results may vary per country or territory.
  • The required information customers must input into the API may vary between countries.

How Can You Set FedEx Services Based on Address Verification?

You can avoid additional surcharges for FedEx Ground shipping services if you use the appropriate FedEx service based on address verification. 

You can incur surcharges when the delivery service doesn’t match the shipping service used. 

For instance, you chose FedEx Home Delivery, but the address was in a commercial location, or used FedEx Ground, but the address was residential. You can avoid these mismatches through address validation. 

FedEx Residential Services Rule Example

The following rule can help locate any FedEx order to ship packages to a verified residential address and set the shipping service or package type to FedEx Home Delivery.

  • Set the criteria so the residential or commercial indicator includes residential, and the carrier includes FedEx. 
  • Choose service to FedEx Home Delivery.

FedEx Commercial Services Rule Example

Using this FedEx commercial services rule, you can locate FedEx Home Delivery via service mappings that ship to verified commercial addresses. You need to set the shipping service or FedEx Ground or package type. 

Ensure to set the criteria so the residential or commercial indicator includes commercial, and the requested service includes FedEx Home Delivery. 

Requires Service Mapping

Service mapping sets the package type and shipping service based on the chosen shipping option at checkout. The FedEx commercial service rule requires service mapping to provide results. 

How to Enable FedEx Address Validation Service for Your FedEx Account

You can enable the FedEx Address Validation service while setting up your FedEx account by doing the following steps:

  1. Call U.S. Technical Support at +1 877 339 2274 and talk to a FedEx Web Services representative.
  2. Ask the representative to enable the AVS for your account. You’ll need to provide your FedEx account number, company name, meter number, address, and phone number.
  3. Ask for a reference number for future reference in case you have to make some follow-ups later. 
  4. The request is typically completed while you’re on the phone. When the request is complete, you can click on the ZIP code bar, scroll down to the shipping area, and the FedEx methods should appear.

You can immediately tell the representative you’re talking to if this option is unavailable. 

For the AVS to work on your website, you must ensure online that you have the needed plugins integrated with the FedEx API. You can choose the WooCommerce FedEx shipping plugin or the Shopify FedEx app. 

What Are the Benefits of Using FedEx Address Validation Service on Your Online Store?

The FedEx AVS has many advantages, especially if you want to use its API on your online store. The following is a summary of the benefits of using FedEx AVS: 

  • AVS gives monthly updates to the address database.
  • AVS provides street-level matches.
  • You can check addresses even in countries in the following regions: the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific.
  • AVS helps you determine address type, whether residential or business (only applicable for addresses in the United States and Canada).
  • You can check up to 100 addresses in one request.
  • AVS can speed up the checkout process for customers. 
  • AVS restricts address duplication and ensures addresses are entered in a standard, consistent format.
  • AVS ensures addresses are accurate, reducing missed deliveries.
  • AVS uses advanced search logic to provide accurate addresses even if the customer makes a mistake in inputting information into the online form.

How Does FedEx Address Checker Work?

The FedEx address checker is a program that uses complex programming to provide results helpful for customers. Here is a condensed version of how this service works to simplify this process.

  • Checks if the street address exists in a particular city, state, or province or the postal code or ZIP code provided
  • Checks if the street number is valid
  • Provides exact matches or possible alternatives based on the entered address
  • Informs you if no possible alternatives can be found on the entered address

Required Information

The following information is the minimum required to check an address: 

  • Shipping address
  • City and state or province
  • ZIP or postal code

Things You Should Know: FedEx Address Checker

  • You can get street-level address matches.
  • You can improve your results because the address checker contains a database of company listings that’s updated monthly.
  • You can check U.S., Puerto Rico, and Canada addresses.
  • If the AVS locates an exact match, you can know if the address is business or residential.
  • You can’t match addresses based on personal names, but you can match addresses using company names corresponding to street addresses.
  • You can’t verify apartment or suite numbers.

There are instances where FedEx collaborates with USPS when sending packages. FedEx Ground Economy is one shipping option that allows USPS to deliver packages on the last mile of the journey. 

You may need the information of the nearest post office to monitor packages properly. You can visit FindPostOffice.org to get the contact information and address of the closest USPS retail or post office to coordinate your deliveries better. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Why is my address not verified?

There are many possible reasons an address is not verified or can’t be verified. One main factor is incorrect information included in the address. 

Incorrect information may include typographical errors in address numbers, spelling, and abbreviations. 

In most cases, rechecking what you’ve entered into an online form may resolve this problem.

  1. What is the difference between a commercial and a residential address?

Commercial addresses are the primary location of any business or store. On the other hand, residential addresses are those where people live. 

  1. Does FedEx address validation support international addresses?

Yes, FedEx address validations support international addresses. AVS is possible in some countries in the following regions: 

  • North, Central, and South America
  • Caribbean
  • Europe
  • The Middle East
  • Africa
  • Asia Pacific region

For more information on the list of countries, you can check the country list in this article under the subheading “Countries or Territories Supporting Address Validation API.”

References

  1. Address Validation Service
    https://www.fedex.com/us/developer/webhelp/ws/2022/EU/wsdvg/Address_Validation_Service.htm
  2. Address Validation API
    https://developer.fedex.com/api/en-cn/catalog/address-validation/v1/docs.html
  3. Postal Code Validation API
    https://developer.fedex.com/api/en-cm/catalog/postal-code/docs.html
  4. FedEx Ship Manager® Address Checker
    http://www.fedex.com/gb/saac/address_check.html