When a postal customer files a change of address with the United States Postal Service® (USPS®), the information is stored in their National Change of Address (NCOA) database. The NCOALink service matches names and addresses on your mailing list to changes of address stored in the NCOA database. When the name and address information on your mailing list matches the name and address information in the NCOA database, a new address will be returned.
The USPS is taking the issue of undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) mail very seriously. And well it should, since UAA mail costs the agency nearly $2 billion annually. The single largest factor in UAA mail is the failure to keep addresses current with Postal Service change-of-address filings. Because of this the USPS has enforced a Move Update standard that must be followed to receive postal discounts.
Move Update Standard
The Move Update Standard requires all Standard Mail® to be updated 95 days prior to the date of mailing
• Standard Mail includes letters, flats, parcels and Non Flat-Machinables
The Move Update Standard also applies to automation-rate and presort-rate First-Class Mail®
Currently, the USPS allows mailers to use four “approved” Move Update methods.
• NCOALink Service (Most preferred method)
• FASTforward® System(for multiline optical character readers only)
• ACS™ Service
• Ancillary service endorsement