What Does C/O Mean? How to Use "Care Of" in an Address

What does 'C/O' mean when sending mail? When sending someone letters to a location where they don't get mail very often, it's critical to address the envelope or package properly. Using the term "take care of" guarantees that they receive your communication and that it does not go missing in the mail.

what does care of mean

What does "care of" mean?

"Care of" simply implies "by way of," "via," or "in the care of" another person. C/O is a common abbreviation you'll see. This statement is frequently used to send mail to someone for whom they do not have an address or to send mail to themselves. Using the phrase guarantees that the message is sent to the intended recipient and not returned to the sender.

Addressing a letter in this manner also informs the other party that the letter isn't for them, but that they've been entrusted with delivering it to the correct person.

When to use "care of"

When you don't know the recipient's primary address, use the phrase "care of." To put it another way, use the term when you need to send anything to an address where the receiver isn't used to receiving mail. If you need to contact someone but don't know their home address, for example, you can use "care of" to send letters to their business address.

The phrase "take care of" draws emphasis to the receiver. When the post office gets an envelope with the words "care of" or "C/O" on it, it indicates that the recipient is not the usual person for the street address where the envelope was addressed.

Here are some examples of when "care of" is appropriate:

  • Sending letters to their office: If you don't know someone's home address, you can use "care of" before the company's name to send communication to their workplace.
  • Sending mail to a hotel: If you need to send mail to someone in a hotel but don't know their room number, put "care of" before the hotel's name so that they can deliver the letter or package to them.
  • Sending mail to their friend's primary address: If you want to invite someone to an event but don't know their address, you can send an invitation to their friend's primary address. Include the words "care of" before their buddy's name, and be sure to include their friend as well.
  • Sending letters to avoid unwanted attention or eyes: If you're concerned about unwelcome eyes reading your email, you can also add "care of." If someone lives in a dangerous neighborhood, for example, you can write "care of" on the envelope and send it to a different location to avoid it being stolen or thrown away.
  • Sending critical information: You can utilize "care of" to transmit essential papers to someone you trust if you don't want them to be misplaced. You can, for example, send essential documents to your lawyer in their "care of" name.

How to use "care of"

It's crucial to utilize "care of" appropriately when you need to address your communication. This guarantees that the recipient receives your message.

To help you address an envelope with "care of:," follow these instructions.

what does care of mean

Get the correct information

Obtain a secondary address if you don't have the recipient's home address or the place where they usually receive letters. You might, for example, send them mail addressed to their place of business.

Make that you have the correct business name, street address, city, state, and zip code.

Format their information

Start formatting the address on the envelope or package after you have it. Before the body in charge of delivering the communication to the addressee, add "care of."

When sending communication to someone's place of business, for example, put "care of" or c/o before the company's name because it is the company's obligation to deliver the message to the receiver.

Include "care of" before the name of the person who truly lives there and can deliver the letter to the correct recipient if you're sending a letter to someone staying at someone else's home.

Include a return address

After you've written the recipient's address on the left-hand corner or the back of the envelope or other form of correspondence, write your own on the left-hand corner or the back of the envelope or other type of writing. If the post office is unable to deliver your communication to the intended recipient, they can return it to you using your return address.

Attach your postage

Attach the appropriate amount of postage based on the sort of communication you're sending once you've included all of the essential information. Because a letter, postcard, and package all have various weights, the amount of postage you'll need can vary.

Bring your mail to your local post office if you need assistance deciding the appropriate amount of postage to use.

Review and send

Review the information you supplied on the correspondence before sending it. Please double-check that the recipient's name and address are right.

Check to see whether you used the correct return address. Then enclose it in an envelope and mail it.

Example of how to use "care of"

When you don't want unwanted eyes to receive correspondence.

Example one

Here's how to address an envelope to someone at their place of business. Use the company name:

The Smith Records C/O Adam Smith

454 Chicago Lane,

Chicago, IL 60610

Example two

When delivering to a hotel:

Hotel Laguna C/O Ryan Johnson

1112 Laguna Lane,

Laguna Beach, CA 94114

Example three

When having one person deliver to another:

John Doe C/O Susanne Ryan

840 Gee Court,

Elburn, IL 60119

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what does care of mean

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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