Three and Four Digit ZIP Codes Appearing in Database

Three and Four Digit ZIP Codes

Many customers wonder why their data is including three and four digit ZIP codes. Of course, the United States Postal Service does not manufacture cities with only three and four digit ZIP codes. Most customers experience these because they are opening the data up with a program, such as Microsoft Excel, which has a default setting to eliminate zeros preceding a number. For instance, Holtsville, New York has a ZIP code of 00501. Excel will take that file, remove the zeros preceding the “5” and give you “501.”

Remedies

There are three main ways to remedy this issue:
  1. Instead of downloading the .CSV version of the file from ZipCodeDownload.com, download the “Excel (97 or later)” version. This has been preformatted to accept leading zeros.
  2. If you download the .CSV file, format the column by selecting the column and right clicking it selecting Format Cells> Number> Special> “Zip Code.”
  3. Follow the same steps in way number two but instead do …> Number> Custom> and under Type enter “00000”.

Either of these three ways are acceptable, however, we strongly recommend that you download the file type specific to the program that you will use.
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