Addressing Standards

Addressing Authority

Clay County GIS serves as the 911 addressing coordinator for Clay County.  The Information Services Director has been designated the Addressing Authority for Clay County.  Clay County GIS maintains the official addressing records for Clay County.  Please contact Clay County GIS with any address issues or questions.

Official Addressing Standards

To facilitate addressing in Clay County, formal standards (PDF) were adopted in 1998.

Clay County Addressing System

Addressing SystemThe Clay County E-911 “locatable address system” follows the National Emergency Numbering Association standards used by counties statewide.

North-south routes in the county are known as “Streets” (ST).  East-west routes are known as “Avenues” (AVE).  All US and state highways retain their names designation (HWY).  The county is divided into two main areas, North (N) and South (S), divided by HWY 10.

The one-to-five digit specific location address (called an Address Number) specifies the distance, in miles and tenths of miles, from Highway 10 or the Red River in Moorhead.  Thus, 15203 210 ST N is 15.2 miles north of HWY 10, and 210 ST N is 21 miles east of the Red River.  The specific location address also indicates the precise distance from a section corner to within 10.6 feet.  There are 1000 addresses per mile.  

The streets and avenues in the county are marked with green intersection signs.  Blue address number signs are also provided by Clay County.  Please report missing or damaged signs to or 218-299-5003.

For further information, please visit our web site at:

Addressing Guidelines

All addresses must be fully spelled out, and abbreviated by using the Postal Service™ Standard Abbreviations. Format all lines of the address with a uniform left margin. Only uppercase letters should be used. Addresses should consist of a recipient line, delivery address line and last line.

  • Recipient Line: Name of a person or business.
  • Delivery Address Line: House number listed 1st followed by the street name, street type, post directional and secondary address (if needed). Numeric street names should not be spelled out and may or may not contain a st, nd, rd or th after the number. Street type is abbreviated as AVE, ST, HWY. Directionals is the term used to refer to the part of the address that gives directional information for delivery (i.e., N, S, E, W, NE, NW, SE, SW). Abbreviate directionals to the appropriate 1 or 2-character abbreviation. In Clay County, we use a post directional field, which means that the directional should follow the street type. Secondary address unit designators, such as apartment or suite should be included at the end of the delivery address line. The pound sign (Number ) should not be used if the correct designation, such as APT or STE is used. If the pound sign (Number ) is used, there must be a space between the pound sign and the secondary number (715 11 ST N Number 202). Addresses on highways are arranged a bit differently than those on numbered streets. An address would read: 12345 HWY 9 N vs 12345 90 AVE S
  • Last Line: With the exception of the hyphen in the zip plus 4 code, punctuation should not be used. Spell city names in their entirety. Format the last line with at least 1 space between the city name and 2-character state abbreviation. Two spaces are preferred between the state abbreviation and the zip plus 4 code.

So basically, all address should be in capital letters, contain no punctuation, use proper abbreviations and not include a th after the street number.

Common Abbreviations

A list of common abbreviations follows. For more detail, please refer to the United States Postal Service (USPS®) Addressing Tips and Tools or Standard Abbreviations.

Common Address WordAbbreviation


Address Number Signs

Blue address number signs are installed and maintained by the Clay County Highway Department. Clay County purchases the signs and installs them free of charge.

Street Signs

Green street signs are also maintained by the Clay County Highway Department.

Clay County GIS Data Disclaimer

View the county's GIS data disclaimer.