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Postal codes were introduced in France in 1964, when La Poste introduced automated sorting. They were updated to use the current 5 digit system in 1972.
France uses five-digit numeric postal codes, the first two digits representing the département in which the city is located. The département numbers were assigned alphabetically between 1860 and 1870, but later changes (such as renaming and splitting of départements) mean that the list is no longer in strictly alphabetical order. The system also extends to French overseas departments and territories, and also includes Monaco. Note that postcodes in both départements of Corsica commence with the "20" historically assigned to Corsica before it was split into two départements, which are now numbered 2A and 2B.
The last three digits identify a more precise location, 000 being in general reserved for the préfecture . However, in Paris, Lyon and Marseille, the last two digits indicate the arrondissement . For example, 80000 corresponds to Amiens, which is the préfecture of the Somme or département 80, while 69008 corresponds to the 8th arrondissement of Lyon.
The postal code (French : code postal) consists of five digits. In metropolitan France the first two digits are the number of the département where the post office in charge of delivery to a town is located. There are some places where this is different from the department where the place is located. In the Overseas Departments and Territories, the first three digits identify the département or territory. The digits 00 are used for Military addresses. The digits 20 are used for all of Corsica; the split of the island into two départements was not followed by a change in the postal codes.
The next three digits identify the local postal office in charge of mail delivery. A regular postcode always ends with a 0, with the notable exception of Paris, Lyon and Marseille – see below – and the Overseas Départements and Territories. Postcodes not ending with a 0 may indicate a special code, known as CEDEX (see below), or newest postcodes.
In Paris, Lyon and Marseille, the last two digits of the postal code indicate the municipal arrondissement . Prior to 1972, an address in the eighth municipal arrondissement of Paris, would be written as:
This number was incorporated into the postal code as:
The 16th arrondissement of Paris has two postal codes, 75016 (south) and 75116 (north).
In each département, the préfecture (main city) has a postal code ending with 000, for example Bourges in Cher:
The more important the city, the simpler the postal code. The sous-préfectures are generally recognized by using a XXX00 postcode (but a few additional XXX00 postcodes may also be allocated in the most populated préfectures to subdivide them into several postal distribution areas, XX000 being still used for the most central post office of the city). Here is for example the postal code of a small village, Lépaud in Creuse:
Another example with Pouillé-les-Côteaux in Loire-Atlantique:
And the postal code of Mortagne-au-Perche, sous-préfecture of the Département de l'Orne:
It is not rare that many adjacent villages share the same postal code, which is primarily associated with a bigger post office, e.g.: 64150 can correspond to Abidos, Bésingrand, Lagor, Lahourcade, Mourenx, Noguère, Os Marsillon, Pardies, Sauvelade and Vielleségure. It may happen that a village is associated with a bigger post office in another département, thus its postcode begins with the two digits of another département. For example, Le Fresne-sur-Loire, in Loire-Atlantique, uses 49123, while its postcode should normally starts with 44, because it is associated with the post office of Ingrandes, a neighbouring commune in Maine-et-Loire.
Overseas Départements and Territories use 3-digit codes starting with : 971 (Guadeloupe), 972 (Martinique), 973 (French Guiana), 974 (Réunion), 975 (Saint-Pierre and Miquelon), 976 (Mayotte), 984 (French Southern Territories), 986 (Wallis and Futuna), 987 (French Polynesia), 988 (New Caledonia). In March 2008 La Poste proposed allotting 977 to Saint Barthélemy and 978 to Saint Martin due to their new status as overseas collectivities. In this case, the last zero is dropped so as to keep the 5-digit format. This is why the regular postcodes for these do not end with 0 except for the préfecture or sous-préfecture, for example:
There is also a system known as CEDEX, Courrier d'Entreprise à Distribution EXceptionnelle ('business mail with special delivery'), designed for recipients of large volumes of mail. A postal code is allocated to each large organisation or to post office box holders, ending in three unique digits, for example:
CEDEX should always be written in capitals. It may be followed by a number, if the town has more than one post office, or if it is split into arrondissements.
Ordinary deliveries would be addressed to:
It is acceptable to include a boîte postale ('post office box') number (abbreviated as BP nnnn) as well as the street address in CEDEX addresses.
Although an independent country, Monaco is part of the French postal code system as if it were a French département, numbered, with codes consisting of 980 and two digits, with 00 being used for deliveries to all physical addresses in the Principality, and 01 to 99 being used for special types of delivery.However the destination country on inbound mail must be specified as "Monaco", not "France".
In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government under the national level, between the administrative regions and the communes. Ninety-six departments are in metropolitan France, and five are overseas departments, which are also classified as overseas regions. Departments are further subdivided into 334 arrondissements, and these are divided into cantons. The last two levels of government have no autonomy; they are the basis of local organisation of police, fire departments and, sometimes, administration of elections.
A postal code is a series of letters or digits or both, sometimes including spaces or punctuation, included in a postal address for the purpose of sorting mail.
A ZIP Code is a postal code used by the United States Postal Service (USPS). Introduced in 1963, the basic format consisted of five digits. In 1983, an extended ZIP+4 code was introduced; it included the five digits of the ZIP Code, followed by a hyphen and four digits that designated a more specific location.
Postal codes used in the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories and Crown dependencies are known as postcodes. They are alphanumeric and were adopted nationally between 11 October 1959 and 1974, having been devised by the General Post Office. A full postcode is known as a "postcode unit" and designates an area with several addresses or a single major delivery point.
ISO 3166-2:FR is the entry for France in ISO 3166-2, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which defines codes for the names of the principal subdivisions of all countries coded in ISO 3166-1.
A Canadian postal code is a six-character string that forms part of a postal address in Canada. Like British, Irish and Dutch postcodes, Canada's postal codes are alphanumeric. They are in the format A1A 1A1, where A is a letter and 1 is a digit, with a space separating the third and fourth characters. As of October 2019, there were 876,445 postal codes using Forward Sortation Areas from A0A in Newfoundland to Y1A in the Yukon.
The administrative divisions of France are concerned with the institutional and territorial organization of French territory. These territories are located in many parts of the world. There are many administrative divisions, which may have political, electoral (districts), or administrative objectives. All the inhabited territories are represented in the National Assembly, Senate and Economic and Social Council and their citizens have French citizenship.
The INSEE code is a numerical indexing code used by the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) to identify various entities, including communes and départements. They are also used as national identification numbers given to people.
An address is a collection of information, presented in a mostly fixed format, used to give the location of a building, apartment, or other structure or a plot of land, generally using political boundaries and street names as references, along with other identifiers such as house or apartment numbers and organization name. Some addresses also contain special codes, such as a postal code, to make identification easier and aid in the routing of mail.
The city of Paris is divided into twenty arrondissements municipaux, administrative districts, more simply referred to as arrondissements. These are not to be confused with departmental arrondissements, which subdivide the larger French départements. The word "arrondissement", when applied to Paris, refers almost always to the municipal arrondissements listed below.
In France, a municipal arrondissement is a subdivision of the commune, and is used in the country's three largest cities: Paris, Lyon and Marseille. It functions as an even lower administrative division, with its own mayor. Although usually referred to simply as "arrondissements", they should not be confused with departmental arrondissements, which are groupings of communes within one département.
A "postal address" in the Republic of Ireland is a place of delivery defined by Irish Standard (IS) EN 14142-1:2011 and serviced by the universal service provider, An Post. Its addressing guides comply with the guidelines of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the United Nations-affiliated body responsible for promoting standards in the postal industry, across the world.
Vehicle registration plates are mandatory number plates used to display the registration mark of a vehicle registered in France. They have existed in the country since 1901. It is compulsory for most motor vehicles used on public roads to display them.
Postcodes in Australia are used to more efficiently sort and route mail within the Australian postal system. Postcodes in Australia have four digits and are placed at the end of the Australian address, before the country. Postcodes were introduced in Australia in 1967 by the Postmaster-General's Department and are now managed by Australia Post, Australia's national postal service. Postcodes are published in booklets available from post offices or online from the Australia Post website.
In Poland, postal codes were introduced in 1973. They are five-digit codes of two-then-three digits, with a hyphen between them. The first digit indicates one of the 10 large postal regions the country is divided into. These areas do not follow the administrative divisions. The second and third digits specify a particular smaller region, and the last two are the number of a postal delivery branch.
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Postal codes used in Saudi Arabia are known as post code, postal codes, PIN/ ZIP code, consisting of a specific number of digits, alphabets, spaces and sometimes punctuations.
Postcodes used in Oceania vary between the various sovereign nations, territories, and associated states in the region. Many of the smaller island regions in Oceania use postal code systems that are integrated into the postal systems of larger countries they are territories or associates of.
It looks as if the new codes will begin with 97-7 for St Barth and 97-8 for St Martin. The post office is not yet sure and will make a definitive decision next July.