State Commissioner

How to Address a State Commissioner

First questions to ask are:

—-Is the official ‘the Commissioner’ of a federal organization or agency?
—-—-If so, follow the link for Commissioner.

—-Is the official a ‘member’ or ‘chair’ of a commission’?
—-—-If so, follow the link for ‘Commission Chair Member”

—-If he is a singular official in a state with the title ‘commissioner of …’
—-—-If so, keep reading.

Next question is – is this commissioner elected or appointed?

—-If your commissioner was elected in a general election – he or she is likely to be addressed as ‘the Honorable (Full Name)’. At the federal and state level address as ‘the Honorable (Full Name)’ is consistent.

—-If your commissioner was appointed, at the federal and state levels there are some very high commissioners who are appointed by the President of the United States (POTUS) or governor and approved by the Senate, who are ‘the Honorable’ too. But many appointed commissioners are not appointed that way and are not addressed as ‘the Honorable (Full Name)’ .  They are addresses as Mr./Ms./Dr./etc.

—-If you are unsure, call his or her office to find out the tradition for this office.

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

—-‘Commissioner‘ is used as an honorific orally more frequently than it is in writing. Those on commission are technically ‘the chair of the commission’ and ‘members of a commission’ – and are not formally addressed in writing as ‘commissioner.’

—-#1) If he or she is addressed as ‘the Honorable (Full Name)’, the envelope and address block on the letter would be:

—-Official envelope:
—-—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)
—-—-—-Commissioner
—-—-—-(Name of Organization or Agency)
—-—-(Address)

—-Salutation:
—-—-Dear Commissioner (Surname):

—-#2) If he or she is not addressed as ‘the Honorable (Full Name)’, and you are sure he or she is addressed orally and in writing as ‘commissioner’ ….the envelope and address block on the letter would be:

—-—-Official envelope:
—-—-Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Full Name)
——-—-Commissioner
—-—-—-(Name of Organization or Agency)

—-—-—-(Address)
—-
—-or
—-—-Commissioner (Full Name)
—-—-(Name of Organization or Agency)
—-—-(Address)

—-Salutation:
—-—-Dear Commissioner (Surname):

– Robert Hickey    How to Address a State Commissioner

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

How to Address a Commissioner and His or Her Spouse?

Please tell me how to address an invitation’s envelope to our state’s commissioner of taxation and finance and his spouse?
——————– Karen

Dear Karen:
On invitations use the social form on the envelope. One thing that means is the (office) is not mentioned.

#1) If the commissioner is elected in a general election … he or she is addressed as ‘the Honorable’ if he is ‘the Honorable’ and you are inviting a couple, an invitation is social correspondence … and the social form would be:

———-The Honorable William Smith
———-and Mrs. Smith
———-(Address)

Men using the same last name as their spouse get their full name. Women don’t …. so, she is just ‘Mrs. Smith’ and he is ‘Mr. William Smith’. Not fair perhaps … but that’s the tradition. If you want to read more about other options for women’s names, follow the link in the list at right for ‘Mrs. vs. Ms.’

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

—–#2) If he’s an appointed commissioner … appointed officials are not generally addressed as ‘the Honorable’ – but to be certain – check with his/her office. If he is not ‘the Honorable’ … then on a purely social invitation it would be:

———-Mr. and Mrs. William Smith
———-(Address)

———-Mr. William Smith
———-and Ms. Janice Smith
———-(Address)

—–—–Mr. William Smith
———-and Ms. Linda Wilson
———-(Address)

Singular officials who hold an office as ‘Commissioner of an organization or agency frequently prefer ‘Commissioner’ as an honorific rather than ‘Mr./Ms./Dr./etc.’ Using ‘Commissioner (Name)’ on an invitation is another option – and one that will be well received. For example:

———-Commissioner and Mrs. William Smith
———-(Address)

– Robert Hickey   How to Address a State Commissioner

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

When Should You Use the Forms on this Page?

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email. (If there are differences between the official and social forms of address, I will have mentioned the different forms.)  The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.

Not Finding Your Answer?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  If you don’t see the official you seek included or your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, Sometimes I post the question  – but always change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"