. NCOA Definitions and Instructions

NCOA Definitions and Instructions

The USPS requires a mailing list to be updated within 90 days of the mail date. Solid Impressions runs your list through two programs. The NCOALink program scrubs your list against the National Change of Address (NCOA) database. This program not only verifies the components of the address, but it also verifies the name of the mail recipient. The LACSLink program confirms that the mailing address is a valid mailing address and that it is deliverable. These two programs assign a return code (RC) to each mailing record. Solid Impressions uses the RC to determine if the record should be part of your mailing list.


Return CodeDescriptionDeliverable
10Invalid AddressNo
11Invalid City/State/ZipNo
12Invalid StateNo
13Invalid CityNo
17Insufficient DataNo
21Address Not FoundMaybe
22Multiple ResponsesMaybe
23New Address Not FoundMaybe
26, 27, 28Moved No COANo
31Single ResponseYes
32Default Response

Yes & No

33No Deliverable


36, 37, 38, 39New Address Provided


98Non USPS Zip Code


If you would like further detail on RC, see below.

Addresses that are flagged as undeliverable by NCOALink and LACSLink are not included in your mailing.

So what do you need to do? First, you need look at the addresses that are undeliverable. Sometimes an address can be fixed by correcting a misspelled word or a typo. Or you may have to do a little research to fix the address. Either way, if these addresses are important, you need to get them corrected. Secondly, you need to update your mailing list or database with all of the new addresses from the COA report we sent you.

Why is it important to keep your mailing list or database up to date? The new addresses do not stay in the NCOA database forever. In as little as 18 months, this information is no longer available. Then when Solid Impressions runs your list through the NCOALink and LACSLink programs, the old address does not get updated. It would be flagged as undeliverable. Then you would have to choose between not mailing to this address or including the old address and risking failure of the USPS update requirement and paying a higher postage amount.

Here at Solid Impressions, we know that a successful mailing campaign starts with an up to date mailing list. And we can help you with that list. If you have further questions about the NCOA process or any other mailing questions, give us a call at (630) 543-7300.


Return Code – Description

10 – Invalid Address

11 – Invalid City/ST/ZIP

12 – Invalid State

13 – Invalid City

17 – Insufficient data (FASTforward only) 21 – Address Not Found

22 – Multiple Response

23 – Error in Primary – A match was found in the NCOALink or LACSLink database, but the new address could not be supplied. These records retain the original address even though the customer you have at that address no longer resides there.

24 – Error in Secondary – Delivery Sequence File 2nd Generation (DSF2) validated the address based only on primary address information. A walk sequence number is assigned, but no secondary address information is appended. (DSF2 only)

26 – Box Closed (NCOALink only) – A match was found to a COA record, but mail was being delivered to a PO Box that since has been closed. No forwarding address was supplied for that customer. These records retain the original address.

27 – No Forwarding Address (NCOALink only) – A match was found to a COA record, but the customer did not provide a forwarding address to the USPS. These records retain the original address.

28 – Foreign Move (NCOALink only) – A match was found to a COA record, but the customer moved out of the country. NCOALink processing follows only domestic moves. These records retain the original address.

29 – No stats (DSF2 only). Addresses where delivery has not been established, the address is not to be counted as a possible delivery.

30 – DSF2 Vacant (DSF2 only)

31 – Single Response. A unique ZIP + 4 match was made to the USPS ZIP + 4 file and no further information is necessary.

32 – Default Response. A match was made to the USPS ZIP + 4 file. With more information (e.g., a suite or apartment number), a unique ZIP + 4 would be assigned. Default ZIP + 4 codes are assigned to certain buildings or high-rises. Within the high-rise there may be more specific ZIP + 4 codes for specific floors, suite ranges, or even firms within a building.

33 – Non-Deliverable

34 – DSF2 Seasonal (DSF2 only)

35 – DSF2 Match (DSF2 only)

36 – Individual Move (NCOALink only) – A match was found to a COA record filed as an individual move, new address provided.

37 – Family Move (NCOALink only) – A match was found to a COA record filed as a family move, new address provided.

38 – Business Move (NCOALink only) – A match was found to a COA record filed as a business move, new address provided.

39 – LACSLink Conversion (LACSLink only) – A match was found to a LACSLink record, new address data provided. The customer did not actually move, but the address information has been updated due to the 911 emergency system, which was implemented to convert rural-style addresses to city-style addresses or a street address has been renamed or renumbered.

98- Non-USPS ZIP (NCOALink only)