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R777 Route Code: What Does It Mean?

December 26, 2018

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Postal carrier routes are the lifeblood of direct mail. A postal carrier route includes a group of mailing addresses that have been grouped together to aid in efficient mail delivery. Carrier Route R777 is one of those routes, but it’s unique: it’s the code given to physical addresses that exist but are ineligible to receive mail.

The USPS has recently clarified the meaning of Carrier Route R777, also known as a Phantom Route. This code is used to flag physical addresses that exist but are not eligible for delivery. As straightforward as this may seem, these results do not follow the traditional guidelines used to identify undeliverable addresses, causing some confusion.

With that said, let’s examine how undeliverable addresses are currently identified:

  • BCC Software often recommends a combination that includes the Z4 Return Code, Z4 Delivery Point, and Z4 DPV® Confirmation to easily identify bad records. Typically, any Z4 Return Code except 31, 32, 36, 37, 38 or 39 is an undeliverable address.
  • If the Delivery Point is empty or the DPV-Confirmation is set to N, it is likely undeliverable. It is worth noting that an RC=31 can get a DPV of N, meaning the address is in a valid range but has not been assigned to a specific +4 or Delivery Point.
  • The difference with these Carrier Route R777 returns is that they populate the Z4-Return Code field with a 31, the DPV with a Y, and append a five-digit ZIP Code—contradictory to the idea that a DPV=Y will always receive a nine-digit ZIP Code. This is due to the way the records are marked in the CASS™ data.

Data Marketing Services users, please note: A Carrier Route of R777 may be returned from any process that includes CASS encoding. Knowing this, you may want to modify procedures for finding undeliverable addresses before and/or after processing.

The information needed to identify undeliverable addresses is located in an unusual place. The first indicator is the Z4, DPV Footnote field, where the software will place an R7 – an indicator that the Postal Service™ does not deliver to that location. The second indicator is in the Carrier Route field, which will contain R777. These are both notable returns, making such addresses easy to find in your list.

Data Marketing Services users, please note: We recommend adding these fields to your template(s) for processing as well.

These records can be easily found through a Selectivity such as (Empty([DP])), which will find any record without a Delivery Point assigned. Another option would be to use the ZIP Code™ field, (Len(Raw([ZIPCODE])) < 9), to find any record with a ZIP Code shorter than nine digits. You can also find these records by using DPV Footnote includes R7 ([DPVFN] Includes “R7”) or Carrier Route equal to R777 ([CRRT] = “R777”).

Data Marketing Services users, please note: These suggested Selectivities would be beneficial to use when reviewing your DMS results.


As always, please contact Customer Support at 800-624-5234 or Data Marketing Services at 800-337-0372 with any questions or concerns.

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