Zip codes are used by the US Postal Service in order to make sure that mail gets to the right person as fast as possible. ZIP stands for “Zone Improvement Plan”. So, when you want to find 9 digit ZIP code, you actually want to look for a piece of geography! However, there is something special about 9 digit ZIP codes.

History of the ZIP Codes:

As a standard, a ZIP code contains five digits. However, the ZIP +4, which increased this to nine digits, was introduced in 1983. When you find 9 digit zip code, you will find something that looks like this: 11111-2222. This was actually the first time since 1943 that a significant change was made. The history of ZIP codes is actually very interesting.

Robert Moon was a postal worker who suggested that the Postal Service used ZIP codes in 1941 to help identify different large cities. This proposal was accepted and the system remained unchanged until the 1960s. In 1963, the entire country got “zipped”. What Moon aimed to do was to use three digits for different facilities, which is still in place. The two added numbers refer to locations. For instance, code 16820 is Aaronsburg’s sectional center (168) in Pennsylvania (20).

The ZIP +4:

Initially, in 1963, ZIP codes were for first class mail only. Four years later, packages, second class, and third class mail also started to use them. Today, we have the ZIP +4, with the four extra digits identifying a specific geographical region. This code is placed onto a bar code, which can be read by the sorting machines found in post offices. This, in turn, ensures that the mail is sent to the correct locality. The extra four digits can also refer to the post office box number. However, post office boxes do not have a uniform code, unlike a regular city zip code. What this means is that you would need to look up the entire 12 digit ZIP code if you want to find a specific address.

When you try to find 9 digit ZIP code, remember that the first digit describes a geographical area. This can be a group of states, for instance. The next two digits ensure that the mail is sent to the right facility. There, mail is once again sorted. The fourth and fifth digits are then read, which tell the post office which address within a region it has to go to. In most cases, the main city within a certain geographical region will get the first ZIP code. All the surrounding cities and towns then get codes in alphabetical order, focusing on the name of the town.

The lowest ZIP codes are almost all within the New England states. They actually start with the number 0, which cannot be left off. There are a few other ZIP codes that start with 0, which is Puerto Rico, Adjuntas, the Internal Revenue Service, and any city that starts with an A within the geographical region. Meanwhile, New York State has the number 1 as its first region, which means every ZIP code in the state starts with a 1.

Finding a 9 Digit Zip Code By Address:

When trying to find a 9 digit zip code by address, we recommend going online. Online tools available through USPS make it very easy to find a 9 zip code by address. The USPS tool can be found here.