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This question already has an answer here:

The typical address block on a form contains two fields for address:

Address
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Address Line 2
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City
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State
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ZIP
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Are two lines for the address really necessary? I've never personally had a use for the second line and, at best, it's an empty field, and, at worst, it screws up my browser's form auto-fill settings. I did an informal office survey and heard the same from others--that they've never needed it.

Are there real world scenarios where it's needed?

I understand that it's often seen as an apartment field, but even that can be written as one line (and something I've done in the past):

1234 5th Avenue North, Apt 45

Is this just an old habit/anti-pattern that we should consider breaking?

marked as duplicate by Matt Obee, Charles Wesley, Graham Herrli, Vitaly Mijiritsky, Evil Closet Monkey Apr 16 '15 at 22:00

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    UK addresses use the Address line 2 frequently – icc97 Apr 15 '15 at 21:39
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    It's common to have two lines outside of US. If a good amount of users are from out of states then you may want to consider keeping it. Some ideas to make the line 2 more user-friendly: baymard.com/blog/address-line-2 – Poyi Apr 15 '15 at 21:43
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    City/State/ZIP also constitute an anti-pattern in my humble opinion. – Crissov Apr 16 '15 at 20:07
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    It’s US-centric. In many countries, at least one of these is either non-existant, meaningless or redundant. Also, the order as shown is not sequential. – Crissov Apr 17 '15 at 11:01
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    I live in Argentina and I've never see something like "adress line 2", not even in international sites where I've shopped. – Alejandro Veltri Apr 17 '15 at 13:41
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Keep it for business addresses

In business contexts it is often used for 'Attn:' lines or department names. In large metro areas, it is also commonly used for building ID, eg 'West Tower'. You could mask it until business address is checked. Unfortunately, people don't always catch that requirement.

In the end, you have to ask yourself what's more likely to disturb the user. This input is a standard. Some people need it to properly enter their address. Some use it out of habit for their apt number or other qualifier. Lots of people skip it. And they're used to that.

Who broke your auto-fill?

I'm not sure why it would mess up auto-fill. If the field is properly identified in the mark-up, auto-fill should see it accurately. If you use it your data fills, if not it gets skipped.

5

Two address lines are necessary. A common use for the second line is to bring attention to a specific location or sub-address within a large business park or manufacturing facility. It is also commonly used when shipping internationally and the address is very lengthy.

Example #1 (Attention to location inside shipyard):

Block X, Office Number 0-12, 2nd Floor, Karma Height,
Landmark: Next to Goa Shipyard / above Hero Honda showroom,
Vaddem, Vasco Da Gamma, Goa-403804

Example #2 (A lengthy international address):

Remi Biz Court, F wing Office No.501,
5th Floor Shah Indl. Est., Veera Desai Road,
Andheri west, Mumbai 400 058
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    Do those officially have to be two lines, or is that merely how they are printed? – DA01 Apr 15 '15 at 23:42
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    @DA01 It doesn't really matter, does it? If people are used to writing it on two lines, you'll just create a hurdle by trying to help them be more efficient. I also think it helps to break up long strings of essentially random info -- two lines may actually help with comprehension and recall in the end. – plainclothes Apr 16 '15 at 6:30
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    @plainclothes I don't entirely disagree, but I'm not entirely convinced, either. Look at the article Poyi links too. I think my main hang-up is that we're essentially separating an arbitrary data field into two arbitrary data fields. Granted, addresses are arbitrary, but I'm not convinced two fields is making that easier to input for the user. – DA01 Apr 16 '15 at 15:01
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    I have a better idea: What if everyone got their own bitly link that postal databases expanded to wherever they happen to live at the moment? I'm kind of kidding, but wouldn't that be awesome? – plainclothes Apr 16 '15 at 16:51
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    @DA01 I'm glad you mentioned that you're 'over thinking' :-) I agree with your over-analysis: the USPS actually can accommodate and process the majority of addresses using 1 "delivery address line" (ref: USPS pub #28). However, people in the US addressed envelopes using 2 lines for this info, way prior to modern computers. Once db storage wasn't so precious that we had to literally conserve every byte, computer screens and forms accommodated users (and usability/readability) by providing 2 lines for the street address. Beware the Anti-Pattern "I've never seen it, so it must not be needed" – aenw Jan 8 '16 at 21:52
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It's mandatory for ecommerce (more details needed for delivering goods) but you can skip it for a lot of other subscription as you may only want demographical infos on your DB.

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    Why is it mandatory? – DA01 Apr 15 '15 at 21:55
  • Users often add more infos to be sure to receive their purchases. I mean it's wildly encouraged to keep it :) – Kevin Granger Apr 15 '15 at 21:59
  • And sometimes it's related to the solution that the merchant will use to print the address on the package. – Kevin Granger Apr 15 '15 at 22:00
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    Right, but neither of those seem UX-friendly. There's no reason (that I can see) that an address can't be on one line vs. 2. The article that Poyi links to above is actually pretty good...it talks about how it adds confusion more than helps. – DA01 Apr 15 '15 at 22:16

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