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what is a zip code

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A ZIP Code is a postal code used by the United States Postal Service (USPS). Introduced on July 1, 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.

Types of Zip Codes
Unique/single high volume address (ex. 20505 for the CIA in Washington, DC)
PO Box only (ex. 22313 for the PO Boxes of Alexandria, VA)
Standard (all other ZIP codes)
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