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Gazetteer Service - SOAP API


Use this API to validate and retrieve UK-based postal addresses, for example before updating a patient's details in the Personal Demographics Service.  Also known as the Address Finder, it can validate and transform the address to the Postcode Address File (PAF) standard, as well as search for and return an address list based on your search criteria.

You can:

get a single search result based on the house number or name and its postcode

get multiple search results based on partial address inputs or wild card searches

do fuzzy searches based on the phonetics of words entered in lines of an address

do intelligent postcode parsing to validate the underlying structure

get the PAF address key for each delivery point

You cannot use this API to update anyone's address.

Data update frequency

At the moment, we only update the data in Gazetteer annually. We are working on updating it more frequently. If this is an issue for you, contact us.


This API uses Royal Mail's Postcode Address File (PAF), which is a licensed product. The licence applies to the end user organisation, not to the software developer.

If the end user organisation is a public sector organisation, such as a GP practice or a hospital trust, they can apply for a Public Sector Licence (PSL), which is free, even if they are using commercial software.

Private end user organisations (for example, non-NHS dentists and some types of GP practice) must obtain a commercial PAF licence.

Public sector end user organisations using the API for revenue-generating purposes (such as treating patients privately) must obtain a commercial PAF licence.

Software developers using the API for testing do not need a licence.


Gazetteer Service - SOAP API documentation