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Are businesses required to display a street address number that is visible from the road?

Si Cantwell

Q. Are commercial and businesses required to have standard street numbers visible from the street? Often I am driving Market or Oleander or College looking for a particular number and cannot see the numbers on each business. This is a major safety issue as I have to slow down and then speed up to see the few that are visible from the street in order to find the location needed. It appears that many have no numbers at all.

A. According to Wilmington city code, building owners do have to ensure that street address numbers are visible.

“It shall be the duty of the owner, agent or occupant of any house or building fronting on a street in the city to properly display a number which has been assigned by the addressing coordinator appointed by the city manager,” the code reads. “The owner, agent or occupant of such house or building shall place such number in a conspicuous place thereon so that it may be plainly seen and observed from the street.”

Wilmington postmaster Chris Spann said the U.S. Post Office does not have specific guidelines for business address numbering. While homes or buildings that use street-side mailboxes have to have inch-high lettering visible on approach, the post office doesn’t regulate how numbers posted on buildings should look. So deciding what numbering is “conspicuous” could be left up to the building’s owner.


Are designations such as NW and SW part of the official post office address?

Why are there no postal mailboxes in the streets of Wilmington?


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