How to Address a State Representative
Representative in a State Legislature

How to Address a Member of State House of Representatives

—-Envelope, official:
—-—-The Honorable
—-—-(Full Name)
—-—-(Name of state legislature)
—-—-(Address)

————Or slightly less formally:
—————-The Honorable (Full Name)
—————-(Name of state legislature)
—————-(Address)

—-Salutation:
—-—-Dear Representative (Surname):
—-—-—-or
—-—-Dear Mr./Ms. (Surname):

—-Conversation:
—-—-Representative (Surname)
—-—-—-or
—-—-Mr./Ms. (Surname)

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

—-#1) In Writing: Use the Honorable (Full Name) when addressing a letter, invitation, card or email.

—-#2A) Salutation or Conversation: Tthe traditional form for a representative to a state legislature is ‘Mr./Ms. (name)’.  However, as a practice, Representative (Name)  is frequently used.  You will also see this in the media as a reporter seeks to clarify who said what and anytime it is desired to emphasize the office held. The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.

—-#2B) In the presence of a U.S. Representative (member of the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington) address the state official as State Representative (Surname).

—-#3) For couples, see below

—-#4) For former members see the second post below.

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

How to Address a State Representative & Spouse?

How do you address an envelope to a State Representative and their spouse?
—-—-Representative Terri and Mr. Tom Collins
—-—-(Address)
—————–– J.A.W.   How to Address a State Representative

Dear J.A.W,
—-On the mailing envelope the elected official gets their name first and kept as a unit.  The spouse is listed second:

—-—-The Honorable Terri Collins
—-—-and Mr. Tom Collins
—-—-(Address)

—-—-The Honorable Tom Collins
—-—-and Mrs. Collins
—-—-(Address)

——–The Honorable Tom Collins
—-—-and Dr. Linda Collins
—-—-(Address)

—-On the inside envelope (or in the salutation) use:

—-—-Mr./Ms. Collins and Mr./Mrs./Ms./Dr./etc. Collins.

An elected official is listed before an private citizen.
—-In a written salutation the formal form of the name is used: Mr./Mrs./Ms. (Surname).
—-But, it is a common practice to address orally as Representative (Surame) especially if it is the preference of the official.

—-In conversation: Representative Collins
—-An invitation’s inside envelope: Representative Collins and Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. Collins

For more on official couples see Couples US Officials. For more on writing women’s names see the post Mrs. vs. Ms.

– Robert Hickey

Forms of Address: How a conversation begins can have a huge impact on how the conversation - even the entire relationship - develops.

How to Address a Former Member of a State Legislature?

How do I address a former State Representative? What about to him and his wife?
– JBL

Dear JBL,

Former members of a state assembly – elected to office in a general election – continue to be addressed in writing as:
——–The Honorable (Full Name)

… on a mailing envelope, address block of a letter, or when their name listed in a program.

After their name in a program or in a complete introduction identify the former official as:

—-—-Member of the XYZ State (name of legislature) from 1990-2010.

—-On an envelope:
—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)

—-On an envelope with their spouse:
—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)
—-—-and Mrs. (Shared Surname)
—-—-—-or
—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)
—-—-and Ms. (Full Name when her surname is different)
—-—-—-or
——–The Honorable (Full Name)
——–and Dr. (Full Name)
————or
——–
The Honorable (Full Name)

—-—-and Mr. (Full Name in every case)

—-Formally in conversation or salutation:
—-—-Mr./Mrs./Ms./Dr./etc. (Surname)

Former representatives go back to whatever honorific to which they were entitled before assuming office. Address by friends using their former honorific on the golf course is unofficial and informal.  As long as there is no possible confusion the person is a former, not current official, most people consider no harm to be done.

– Robert Hickey

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"