How To Address A Letter

Why choose wikiHow?
wikiHow marks an article as reader approved once we have received enough feedback to know that most readers were able to successfully complete the task. In this case, we have also received several testimonials from our readers, who told us how this article truly helped them.

How to Address a Letter to a Government Official

Four Methods:

Writing a letter to a government official can be a great way to weigh in on what's going on in your nation, state, or locality. Search online for the official mailing address of the leader that you wish to contact. The proper addressing etiquette varies from official to official, so make sure to look up the standard for the specific person to whom you are sending the letter!


Sample Letters

Addressing the Letter

  1. Learn the official's name.Make sure that you know exactly who this person is, and that he or she is the appropriate person to contact about your case. Clarify why you are writing a letter to this particular official.
  2. Find the mailing address of the official.Run a web search for "[government official] mailing address." If a web search doesn't turn up the answer, then visit the website for the relevant department of the local, state, or national government.

    How to Find Specific Mailing Addresses
    If you live in the United States:Visit to access a comprehensive list of contact information for national, state, and local administrators.
    If you don't have a specific official in mind:Look for the address of the relevant department. Perhaps you need to contact your local DMV office, or the Department of Homeland Security.

  3. .Include the
    official's title and full name
    (e.g. President Barack Obama) along with his or her
    official mailing address.
    Write the words clearly and legibly in the center of an envelope, and then seal the letter inside the envelope. Stick a stamp in the top-right corner of the envelope. If you are hoping for a response from this government official, make sure to write your full name and return address in the top-left corner of the envelope!

Following Proper Etiquette

  1. Show due respect.Open your letter with a formal salutation, and end it with an appropriate closing statement. Depending on the level of government, this official may employ a team of secretaries to read through his or her mailbox for important letters. A
    polite, thoughtful, and well-written letter
    will almost always be more likely to make it through this filtration system.
  2. Use the proper title.If there is only ever one person in a given post at a time (e,g, the President, the Mayor, or the Speaker of the House,) then you can address the person by his or her title alone: Mr. President or Ms. Mayor. If multiple people hold a given office at one time (e.g. Senator, Justice, Representative,) then you need to use the last name to clarify whom, exactly, you're addressing.
    • It never hurts to
      include the official's name,
      even if he or she is the only person holding the position. A personally-addressed letter lends a certain degree of humanity to your message.
  3. Read sample letters, or send a form letter.Do your research to find out how other people have addressed letters to this particular government official. Some activism groups and petition websites will actually provide specific information about contacting the officials relevant to a certain cause. You may also be able to simply email the official.

    Having trouble?
    If you are very unsure about how to address and relate to the official in question, remember thatyou don't need to use your own words.Some elected officials receive hundreds of letter each day, and they certainly don't have time to read them all closely. In some cases, you can get the point across with aform letter and a clear subject line.

Writing an Actionable Letter

  1. Ask for something doable.Before you send the letter, consider whether this government official will be able to meaningfully act on your letter.
    Avoid asking for unrealistic things.
    Do not ask the government official to do more than his/her job allows. Take a step back and consider whether there is a better channel for your complaint.
    • Petitions and form letters are usually well-written and actionable. Make sure, however, that the demanded actions fall within the scope of this official's duties.
  2. Get your letter to the top of the stack.Depending on rank, government officials may receive dozens to hundreds of letters each day. He or she may even employ professional letter-sorters to determine which select few messages actually wind up in the hands of the official. Make your letter polite, concise, and topical. In the first sentence or subject line, reference an issue that is at the top of the official's agenda.

    Tips for Making Sure Your Letter is Noticed
    Write well:Make sure that your letter is insightful and well-written. The letters that wind up at the top of the stack will be readable, relevant, and easy for the official to understand.
    Identify your credentials:Briefly explain your qualifications, and tell the official why he or she should take note of your opinion. Perhaps you have a Ph.D, or you live in the town that's been in the news lately, or you have personally met the official at some point in the past.

  3. Make sure that your letter is appropriate.Is it necessary, or are you just venting? Send a request that is polite, concise, and realistic. Do not swear or drop insults.
    Respect begets respect.
    • Do not threaten a government official. The letter can be traced back to you. Beyond any risk, your threats will not necessarily inspire productive action.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    How can I write a letter to an official if I am 12-years-old?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    There is no age requirement to write to an official. As long as you are clear with your intent and your topic, you may write to the official. Locate their official mailing address, be sure you are addressing the right person, and write away.
  • Question
    How do I write a letter of appreciation to a governor?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    The first paragraph of your letter would be to give reference to the event, activity or incident you are referring to. In your second paragraph, relate the objective of the program, project or activity of your company where the assistance or support provided by the governor has contributed to its accomplishment, and that such gesture is highly appreciated. End your letter with giving thanks for their support and cooperation on matters of mutual concern.
  • Question
    Is it OK to mail a letter about an an idea I have to help the area?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes. You might want to check the government's website to see if it already covered that topic.
  • Question
    Can I use "Dear" for the salutation or should I use "To Mr. so and so"?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    "Dear" is appropriate. However, it would be best to use the official's title instead of Mr. or Mrs.
  • Question
    Can I use "sir" for the salutation?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Sir or Madam is appropriate.
  • Question
    Should I include a date in the letter head?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, always.
  • Question
    Should I address several officials in the same cover letter or should there be individualized cover letters?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Preferably individualized, or make a general category and list names on the letter.
  • Question
    How do I compose a letter to get a bill passed?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You can't get a bill passed with a letter. You can send a letter to your congressperson. Use a formal letter format and state your case clearly with supporting arguments. Make sure your spelling and grammar are correct and clean so your words will be taken seriously.
Unanswered Questions
  • How do I ask an elected official to send a letter of congratulation for a pastos promotion?
  • How can I write a letter of proposal of state anthem to my state governor?
  • Where can I find somebody who can help me write a complaint letter to the department of defense?
  • How should I write to tourism department asking for heritage posters for office use?
  • How do I write a cover letter for a proposal to the mayor of my city?
Ask a Question
200 characters left
Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.

Quick Summary

To address a letter to a government official, first you need to find the official’s name and titles, which help to demonstrate respect when addressing your letter. Then, find their address by searching online for their name and the phrase “mailing address,” or check for a list of addresses for many officials. When writing the envelope, include their full name, titles, and official address clearly and legibly on the front, and be sure to write your return address in the top left corner. Simply place the stamp in the top right and drop the letter in the mail!

Did this summary help you?
  • If you need more help, U.S. citizens can contact the Department of State's Office of Protocol at 202-647-2663. Representatives are available to answer etiquette questions over the phone.
  • If you wish to write the current First Lady of the United States, she should be addressed simply as Mrs. [Last Name] on both the envelope and in the salutation. When her husband is out of office, she reverts to being called Mrs. [Husband's First Name and Last Name].
  • Be polite. Don't include threats or inflammatory comments.

Video: How to Address a Letter to a Judge

How to Address a Letter to a Government Official
How to Address a Letter to a Government Official images

2019 year
2019 year - How to Address a Letter to a Government Official pictures

How to Address a Letter to a Government Official forecasting
How to Address a Letter to a Government Official advise photo

How to Address a Letter to a Government Official foto
How to Address a Letter to a Government Official pics

How to Address a Letter to a Government Official How to Address a Letter to a Government Official new foto
How to Address a Letter to a Government Official new picture

images How to Address a Letter to a Government Official
pics How to Address a Letter to a Government Official

Watch How to Address a Letter to a Government Official video
Watch How to Address a Letter to a Government Official video

Discussion on this topic: How to Address a Letter to a , how-to-address-a-letter-to-a/
Discussion on this topic: How to Address a Letter to a , how-to-address-a-letter-to-a/ , how-to-address-a-letter-to-a/

Related News

How to Win a Slip and Fall Settlement
How to Get Rid of Lice
How to Love a Scorpio Man
Run your best 5k yet with these top tips from the pros
A Womans Day In...Tarrytown, New York
Kettlebell Windmill for Increased Mobility and Core Stability
How to Be a Nerd for Halloween
Dr Martens For Opening Ceremony Fall 2010 Collection
The Perks of Riding Intervals
Girls on tour: the hottest stars hit the stage
21 Amazing Star Tattoos and Ideas for Women
How to Treat Seasonal Allergies As an Asthmatic
How the new sugar tax on soft drinks will affect you
An Official Ranking of the Best Liquid Lipsticks Ever
6 Walking Tips For The Heat

Date: 04.12.2018, 22:07 / Views: 62343