Facts about PAF®

Huge address database

PAF® (Royal Mail's 'Postcode Address File') is a database containing 29 million residential and business addresses, and a total of 1.8 million postcodes.

Nationwide coverage

PAF® covers the entire UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man, and includes BFPO (British Forces Post Office) addresses.

Updates daily

PAF® constantly changes to reflect new builds, updates and deletions with between 3,000 and 5,000 updates every day. See the examples below to illustrate these updates:

Address changes

Someone moves into a house called 'Cherry Tree Cottage' and doesn’t like the name, they decide to change it and contact Royal Mail. Once the change is approved, it will be updated in PAF®.

New addresses

A property gets divided into two. Property one keeps the address '12 Vine Street', property two gets given the address '12a Vine Street'. The developers inform Royal Mail of the change, who will then add the new address into PAF®.


An area of housing is being demolished ready for re-development. There are no longer any buildings in the area, therefore the postcode, and all addresses with that postcode will no longer exist. Royal Mail will be informed of the work and all applicable addresses will be deleted from PAF®.

How PAF® gets updated

Royal Mail's 90,000 postmen and women constantly record address changes they discover on their delivery routes.

Consumers and businesses are able to inform Royal Mail of changes by contacting the address management unit (email: addressmaintenance@royalmail.com)

Partners such as big retailers who deliver in vast quantities also work with Royal Mail to make sure updates are captured when they notice repeated failed deliveries.

Daily updates

Ensuring you are kept up-to-date

A benefit of using PCA Predict services is that daily updates to PAF® are included as standard (other PAF® providers only include monthly or quarterly updates). Updates run seamlessly in the background meaning your service is never interrupted and you don't need to apply the updates yourself.

Flat searching

What is the Multi Residence File?

Multiple Residence data identifies and verifies premises where multiple households share a delivery point. This could be any shared-entry addresses such as flats, halls of residence, and buildings with more than one business in. We are also able to provide you with this data as part of your address lookup service.