Returned Mail

Operational Identity Scenario

The Evolution of Identities. Keeping up with identities will help eliminate returned mail issues.

Identity issues impact government mail operations. The focus has typically been on “is the address correct.” When what matters more, especially when sending out correspondence with PII, is that the mail is reaching the intended recipient.



  • Returned mail challenges stem from more than 145 million existing delivery points in the United States and 45 million people changing their addresses every year. The cost to the United States Postal Service alone is around $2 billion per year.

  • Each year more than 171 billion pieces of mail are processed for delivery. On average, organizations will experience an undeliverable rate of 3-5% or as high as 30% for the government and
    collections industry.

  • “Based on results that we have seen thus far, the use of the LexisNexis Solution helped us update approximately 45% of our mailing addresses with updated ‘best address information’ and flagged many records as undeliverable which helped boast our collection efforts by 10% in one month’s time.”
    - Director from a State-Level DOR Agency

Undeliverable mail is a costly problem for government agencies. The problem is not only in delivering checks and benefits cards, but in collecting taxes, child support and delinquent receivables. Each year more than 206 billion pieces of mail are processed for delivery. On average, government agencies experience an undeliverable rate of 3-5 percent. The rate for collections may go as high as 20 percent because debtors tend to move more frequently, and do not report their updated addresses.

Often, the individuals have moved to another state or simply haven't forwarded their new address to the government agencies. Nowadays, only half of the population uses the post office to forward mail because people are opting for the self-service options via the Internet.

Returned mail is not about the address on the label, but ensuring the correct individual receives the
intended correspondence.

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