The Protocol School of Washington

Robert Hickey, "Honor & Respect"

How to Address the Vice President

How to Address the Vice President of the United States

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email.  While The Vice President is referred to as Vice President (Surname) in the media, The Vice President‘s name is never used in direct address — either orally on in writing. This is the pattern of all the highest officials: The President of the United States, The Speaker of the House and The Chief Justice of the United States.

—-Envelope, official:
——–The Vice President
—-—-Old Executive Office Building
—-—-Washington, DC 20501

—-Letter salutation:
—-—-Dear Mr. Vice President:
—-—-Dear Madam Vice President:

—-Complimentary close:
—-—-Most respectfully,

—-—-The Vice President
—-—-The Vice President of the United States

—-Introduction, one person to another:
—-—-Mr. Vice President, may I present …
——–Madam Vice President, may I present …
—-… may I present The Vice President

—-—-Mr. Vice President
—-—-Madam Vice President

— Robert Hickey

Robert Hickey, "Honor & Respect"

How to Address a Former Vice President?

How do I address the envelope and what is the proper salutation and closing on the thank you note to a former vice president of the United States?
——————-– About to write a letter

The current vice president is addressed orally as Mr. Vice President. But traditionally being vice president is a one-person-at-a-time office and former officials don’t continue to be so addressed when they leave office.

In the current popular view vice president is a permanent rank one attains and keeps. Thus many think that the former office holder is Vice President (Name) forever.

You will have noted this in the media where former vice presidents are addressed, and referred to, as Vice President (Name).  For a reporter this informs the viewer/reader of what office this person once held. But it can be misleading. Aware reporters are quick to note their ‘former’ status so no one mistakenly thinks they are the current office holder.

Some former office holders insist upon being addressed as Vice President (Name) in their post-office private endeavors. Most of the time it doesn’t create confusion and it strokes their ego, but at an official event one should avoid addressing a former vice president as Vice President (Name).

———-The Honorable (Full Name)

———-* Dick Cheney was as member of the House of Representatives formally Mr. (Surname) in writing – so he is: Dear Mr. (Surname):
—–—–* Joe Biden, Walter Mondale and Albert Gore would go back to their highest former honorific … Dear Senator (Surname):

———-Very Respectfully,

— Robert Hickey

See these Related Posts: --------Acting --------Candidate for Office --------Deceased --------Designate --------Elect --------Former --------The Honorable, Use of --------Interim --------The Late, Use of --------Pro Tempore --------Retiree

Robert Hickey, "Honor & Respect"

When Should You Use the Forms of Address 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 Question Answered?

—-#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)  After checking the list and reading the posts, if you don’t see 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, I will post the question & answer – but leave out your name and change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 

Robert Hickey, "Honor & Respect"

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