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What is CASS certification?

Melissa Nazar Data quality

Believe it or not, the holiday season is upon us. Both grandmothers and companies alike are thinking about shipping goods and holiday cards through the mail—a fact that likely makes your local postal worker fall into a cold sweat.

The volume of mail during the holidays and throughout the year has the USPS® looking for help. This assistance comes from organizations that are committed to making their addresses make sense. CASSTM certification is an example of this.  

What is CASS certification?

CASS certification is given to address-matching software providers who meet CASS verification standards. When it comes to addresses, that means a lower burden when sorting and delivering mail. The USPS® checks a vendor’s efforts against the Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS), which includes requirements like appending ZIP+4, carrier routes and more.

In exchange for making their work more efficient, the USPS gives organizations that use CASS verification practices through CASS-certified software significant shipping and mailing discounts. This can mean big savings for bulk mailers.  

What makes a vendor CASS-certified?

CASS certification requirements change every few years and can become more rigorous. To be CASS certified today, software must provide results that pass minimum thresholds of accuracy related to a number of different areas. Some examples of these are below.

98.5 percent accuracy requirement

  • Five-digit coding: Validates existing five-digit ZIP Code.
  • ZIP+4: Matches and appends correct ZIP+4 to five-digit codes.
  • Carrier-route coding:Carrier route codes are nine digit codes (including ZIP code) that group addresses with a specific ZIP code to allow for more efficient mail delivery.
  • LACSLink®: Matches rural-style addresses to city-style addresses, as a result of renumbering and renaming of routes, box numbers, etc. due to 911 address conversions.

100 percent accuracy requirement

  • DPC: Delivery-point coding (DPC) is a single mailbox/location that the USPS assigns a two-digit number between 00 and 99. DPC combined with ZIP+4 provide a unique identifier for every address.
  • eLOT®: Enhanced line of travel (eLOT) uses ascending and descending codes to approximate the sequence that mail will be delivered within a carrier route, allowing for even more efficient delivery.  
  • DPV®: Delivery point validation (DPV) confirms that an address actually exists (down to suite/apartment number) and that it can be delivered to before mail is sent.  
  • RDI™: Residential delivery indicator (RDI) identifies if an address is a residence or a business, helpful in avoiding residential delivery surcharges.

How do I know if a vendor is CASS certified?

Just ask—CASS certification can be a laborious process so any vendor who earns it will be happy to share. The USPS also keeps an updated list of software providers that are CASS certified.

And in case you were wondering, yes, all of our address verification tools at Experian Data Qualiy, whether used in bulk or real time, are all CASS-certified according to the most recent requirements. We developed address verification tools more than 25 years ago, and set the industry standard for address verification best practices.

Ready to learn more about our address verification solutions or try out our live demo?

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