- National Change Of Address
National Change of Address (NCOA) is a registry of people who move or otherwise change their address in the United States. It is maintained by the United States Postal Service and access to it is sold to firms that engage in direct mail; use of NCOA is required in order to obtain bulk mail rates, as it minimizes the number of misaddresses and eases the job of the postal service.
How it works
NCOA works directly with the United States Postal Service, USPS, to provide updated and accurate addresses for individuals, families, and businesses. The USPS certifies computer software for use of the postal data. The addresses in the database are specifically designed to match the USPS requirements. Each entry is matched against other entries to ensure that there are no repeated addresses. The software will update old addresses through the information provided by the postal service. Consumers use a "Change of Address" form and submit it to the Post Office when moving. This information can be accessed by companies through the software to continue marketing to their current clients. The United States Postal Service provides forms for a change of address.
The National Change of Address Processing Systems have helped direct mailers maintain a clean mailing list for decades. In the early 1990s, some were concerned about the privacy issues involved in having address available. This concern has not had a big impact, as recently it has become easier to take names off mailing lists. The National Change of Address System has been adopted by several countries including the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, and Austria.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.