Correct addressing without a space line is now also a valid DIN standard
In the future, addresses only to be written without space linesBonn, 06/24/2005, 11:30 AM CEST
Upon Deutsche Post's request, the relevant standards committee at the Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN), the German Standards Institute, has decided that the previous requirement for insertion of a space line into addresses used in written correspondence will be dispensed with in the future. The change has been in force since the reissue of the standard (DIN 5008/2005-05) was published in May 2005.
The backdrop to this change is above all the need to create an additional line for the recipient's address in the address structure used by companies. At the same time, dispensing with the space line in the address zone is intended to facilitate international standardization and reliable machine readability. Particularly for companies with international operations that have complied with the previous DIN standard, this also makes it possible to standardize address data management and printing software. This particularly affects companies that have gained International Standards Organization (ISO) certification and are therefore required to comply with DIN standards, as well as a large number of public authorities and public-sector companies.
For Deutsche Post, the minor, but important, change means an improvement in machine processing of items, because dispensing with the space line in addresses means that the risk of read errors in automatic address identification can be reduced. The requirements that bulk mailers expect to be met in respect of the machine readability of items have already been adjusted accordingly with the reissue of the brochure "Automizable Mail". For customers, there will of course be an extended changeover period, during which items with a space line in the address will still be reliably processed without objection.
However, it is recommended that private letter writers also adhere to the new address rules. Correct addressing of mail is the best way to ensure swift and trouble-free conveyance of the item to the recipient without delays occasioned by the need to verify and make corrections to the address.
In this context, Deutsche Post again points out that certain address features have not been required for several years now but continue to be used by many private customers and some companies. They include the addition of "O" or "W" in front of the postal code, which originates from the period during which the postal systems were adjusted following the reunification of Germany in 1990. Likewise, the country letter in front of the postcode on items being sent abroad or the "D" on items sent to Germany from abroad has not been required for years now. On items being sent abroad, this letter has been replaced by the name of the country in block letters in the last line of the address. The "D" was already unnecessary on domestic items.
The updated DIN standard 5008/2005-05 can be obtained at www.din.de or can be purchased from Beuth Verlag (Beuth Verlag GmbH, Burggrafenstraße 6, 10787 Berlin, Germany, www.beuth.de, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.