In this guide we will cover how to write a French address and send letters to France.
Where to write the address on the envelope
- The recipient’s address goes in the bottom right corner of the front of the envelope. On French envelopes there is a marked rectangle to indicate where the recipient’s address should go.
- Your address (the senders) goes on the back side of the envelope, along the line of the closing fold. It’s optional, however the letter is sent back to this address if the letter cannot be delivered.
- Stamps are placed in the top right corner of the envelope.
How to write French addresses
A French address has 3 obligatory pieces of information; the recipients name, street address and the locality/town. However most addresses have additional pieces of information to make it easier for the delivery person.
A French address must not exceed 6 lines, unless you are sending the letter from outside of France, in which case you can have up to a maximum of 7 lines. It’s suggested by Universal Postal Union to write the last 3 lines of the address in capital letters (last 4 lines if you are writing the country name as a line).
French address format
French address lines are follow the below order.
- Title, person or business name: It is imperative to include the persons name because the letter may arrive to an intermediary like a buildings concierge, who will pass all letters to the respective residents. Without a name, the concierge may not know who it is for.
- (Optional) Delivery point information: It is not common for apartments to have numbers, however if you know specific delivery details like the apartment number you can put it here.
- (Optional) Additional geographical information: If you know extra details like the building number (e.g Batiment H2 ), floor (e.g 5ème étage) or entrance you can add it here to provide additional clarity for the delivery person.
- Street name and building number: Buildings can have multiple entrances, for example the building 142 Rue Oberkampf also shares 140 Rue Oberkampf as an entrance.
- (Optional) Additional delivery information: If you are sending a letter to a PO box, you can add that information here.
- Postcode and town/locality: On envelopes in France, there is a dedicated 5 character space for entering the postcode of the locality or district. For example a Paris address and postcode could be 93061 Pré-Saint-Gervais.
- (International senders only) Country: If you are sending the letter from outside of France, you can simply include France.
If you are writing to an address and their town name is followed by “CEDEX”, make sure to include it, as it is treated differently by delivery services.
Example of a private address
M. Clement BERTRAND -> Name
BATIMENT H2-> Building number
56 RUE CHARONNE-> Street
75011 PARIS-> Postcode
Example of a company address
Société CLEMENT -> Company name
Mademoiselle Julie MARTIN -> Unit
Résidence les Merles-> Additional info
56 RUE CARDINET -> Street
BP 90432 MONTFERRIER -> PO Box
75003 PARIS CEDEX 5-> Postcode