Sending and receiving mail

Proper Addressing of mail

Proper Addressing of your mail will ensure that it will be delivered to the person intended. These guidelines will help you to properly address your mail.

The general rule to be followed in addressing articles for transmission through the Inland Post is to write the name of the postal town and the postcode as clearly as possible at the bottom of the address.

A postal article must be legibly addressed in writing, typing, printing running parallel to the length of the cover leaving a clear space above the address sufficient to accommodate the postage stamps and post marks. Nothing may be written, typed, printed, or placed on the address side of a postal article which is likely to impede its treatment by post officials. It assists materially if block capital letters are used for the name of the postal town, for example, KANDY 20000.

Unavoidable delay in the delivery of correspondence may be caused by the use of an incorrect or incomplete address, and it is therefore important that the following rules be strictly observed :

  • The first line of the address should never be less than 12 inch from the top of the envelope.
  • Except in cases where the postage is prepaid by a franking machine impression or impressed with postage stamps such as stamped envelopes, postage stamps in prepayment of the full postage should be affixed in the top right hand corner of the address side of the envelope.

The address should include the following particulars set out in the order indicated :

  • Title (Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms.), Christian name, ge name or the given name, or initials and surname of addressee given as fully as possible
  • Number of house, and name of street, road or place (if t house does not bear a number the name, if any, should given)
  • Name of the locality or village
  • Name of postal town and the Postcode
  • If the addressee is not the occupier or a permanent resident of the house addressed, the article should also bear beneath the name of the addressee, the name of the occupier preceded by the symbol c/o ; i.e. c/o Mr. A. C. Perera.
  • If the addressee is a P. O. Box holder, the article should bear the addressee’s name, the number of his P. O. Box, and the name of the postal town and its Postcode.

The following specimen addresses are given for general guidance

Mr. W. R. Peiris, Miss Rene de Silva, Mrs. Ponnammah Kandiah,
"Locarno", c/o Mr. A. R. Kannangai, Mango Grove,
10, Dharmapala Mawatha, 46, Galle Road, Mallakam East,
COLOMBO 00700. Wellawatta, CHUNNAKAM
  COLOMBO 00600  
Ms. Rani Rabukpotha,    
The Estate, Messrs. de Vos and Smith,  
Kuliyapitiya Road, P. O. Box No. 875,  

For the satisfactory interchange of correspondence, it is essential that the correct postal address of each party should be known to the other. If there is any doubt as to the correct postal address, this may be ascertained from the local post office. Members of the public including professional, and business men should display their own correct postal address on their letter-heads, visiting cards, business communications, advertisements, and so on, and in the case of P. O. Box holders, a request to address mail matter to the P. O. Box number should also be prominently included.

All residents, including business men not having P. O. boxes are requested to notify their correspondents of their Postal Delivery Zone numbers or the Postcodes, and to include the Postcodes in addresses on their note­paper, visiting cards, &c. To find the Postcodes of a particular place in the country, reference should be made to the Postcode Directory available at any Post Office.

In addressing correspondence, the Postcode (not in the case of correspondence directed to P. O. box numbers) should appear in the address immediately after the name of the post town in accordance with the above specimen addresses.

The purpose of the Postcode System of addressing letters, and other postal packets is to facilitate and expedite delivery to addresses in the country. Street names should not be used when the addressee has a P. O. Box; the P. O. Box number should be used.

It is essential that the name of the correct postal town should appear in the address. A complete list of all Post Offices, Sub-Post Offices, Receiving Post Offices and their Postcodes are published in the Postcodes Directory.

In the case of overseas correspondence, the name of the country or destination should always be indicated in the address.


The name of the house as a substitute for the number ; when the house bears a number the name of the house is unnecessary

The name of the provincial town in addition to the name of the office of delivery, for example, Peradeniya Kandy; Habaraduwa, Galle; Chunnakam, Jaffna; Peradeniya, Habaraduwa, and Chunnakam are independent offices of delivery, and the inclusion of the provincial town may involve delay, as there is risk of circulation to the provincial town instead of to the office of delivery.

In case of Colombo city mail both P. O. Box number, and the Postcode in the same address. Postcodes is not necessary when correspondence is addressed to a P. O. Box number in Colombo.

Telephone numbers

Abbreviated addresses registered for telegrams.

Articles tendered at a Post Office for transmission under the registration, insurance or value-payable systems, and applications for money orders, will not be accepted, unless such articles or money orders are definitely addressed to a particular person or firm.


The names of post towns should be spelt as in the list of Post Offices furnished in the Postcode Directory. You can also find the correct spelling of places in the Postcode list that appears alongside.