List of State Information, Capitals, Abbreviations, Constitutions

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state abbreviations

State Abbreviations

State abbreviations are two letter symbols used to represent each state. The abbreviations are used primarily for mailing addresses and are often referred to as postal abbreviations or postal codes. The United States Post Office introduced the codes when they introduced ZIP codes to make room for the zip codes to be included in the address when written on envelopes.

When used in a mailing address, the two letter abbreviation is written in capital letters, uses no punctuation, and does not include spaces between the letters.

In general writing, the full name of the state is preferred. AP recommends that you spell out the entire name when the name is used in running text, but use the two letter code when paired with a city name (e.g. Chicago, IL). Following is a list of the abbreviations:

Abbreviations

AL – Alabama
AK – Alaska
AS – Amercian Samoa
AZ – ARIZONA
AR – ARKANSAS
CA- CALIFORNIA
CO- COLORADO
CT – CONNECTICUT
DE – DELAWARE
DC- DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
FM – FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA
FL – FLORIDA
GA – GEORGIA
GU – GUAM
HI – HAWAII
ID – IDAHO
IL – ILLINOIS
IN – INDIANA
IA – IOWA
KS – KANSAS
KY- KENTUCKY
LA- LOUISIANA
ME – MAINE
MD – MARYLAND
MA – MASSACHUSETTS
MI – MICHIGAN
MN – MINNESOTA
MS – MISSISSIPPI
MO – MISSOURI
MT – MONTANA
NE – NEBRASKA
NV – NEVADA
NH – NEW HAMPSHIRE
NJ – NEW JERSEY
NM – NEW MEXICO
NY – NEW YORK
NC – NORTH CAROLINA
ND – NORTH DAKOTA
MP – NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS
OH – OHIO
OK – OKLAHOMA
OR – OREGON
PW – PALAU
PA – PENNSYLVANIA
PR – PUERTO RICO
RI – RHODE ISLAND
SC – SOUTH CAROLINA
SD – SOUTH DAKOTA
TN – TENNESSEE
TX – TEXAS
UT – UTAH
VT – VERMONT
VI – VIRGIN ISLANDS
VA – VIRGINIA
WA – WASHINGTON
WV – WEST VIRGINIA
WI – WISCONSIN
WY – Wyoming

Common Military Abbreviations

Armed Forces in Africa AE
Armed Forces the Americas AA (except Canada)
Armed Forces in Canada AE
Armed Forces in Europe AE
Armed Forces in Middle East AE
Armed Forces in Pacific AP

For the most up-to-date list of official the abbreviations, visit the United States Post Office official list.

List of State Capitals

A state capital is the primary city or town associated with a state government.

The capital is usually the city which physically houses the official offices and meeting places of the government.  The current roster of capitals has not changed since  the year 1910.

Following is a list of capital cities:

Alabama – Montgomery
Alaska – Juneau
Arizona – Phoenix
Arkansas – Little Rock
California – Sacramento
Colorado – Denver
Connecticut – Hartford
Delaware – Dover
Florida – Tallahassee
Georgia – Atlanta
Hawaii – Honolulu
Idaho – Boise
Illinois – Springfield
Indiana – Indianapolis
Iowa – Des Moines
Kansas – Topeka
Kentucky – Frankfort
Louisiana – Baton Rouge
Maine – Augusta
Maryland – Annapolis
Massachusetts – Boston
Michigan – Lansing
Minnesota – St. Paul
Mississippi – Jackson
Missouri – Jefferson City
Montana – Helena
Nebraska – Lincoln
Nevada – Carson City
New Hampshire – Concord
New Jersey – Trenton
New Mexico – Santa Fe
New York – Albany
North Carolina – Raleigh
North Dakota – Bismarck
Ohio – Columbus
Oklahoma  – Oklahoma City
Oregon – Salem
Pennsylvania – Harrisburg
Rhode Island – Providence
South Carolina – Columbia
South Dakota – Pierre
Tennessee – Nashville
Texas – Austin
Utah – Salt Lake City
Vermont – Montpelier
Virginia – Richmond
Washington – Olympia
West Virginia – Charleston
Wisconsin – Madison
Wyoming – Cheyenne

Additional Resources

State Constitutions: Blueprints for Legal and Political Organizations

Every state in the has its own constitution that is separate and distinct from the U.S. Constitution. State constitutions are more detailed regarding the day-to-day relationships between the local government and the people living within. The size of individual constitutions vary considerably. For example, the Vermont constitution is 10,286 words long while Alabama’s is 340,136 words long. Differences in length and detail are due to the different purposes of the documents as well as to the different approaches to constitutional uses between the federal and state governments.

Both constitutional documents are the fundamental blueprints for the legal and political organizations of their respective sovereign entities. But they also go beyond this. While the U.S. Constitution prescribes the limits of federal power, state constitutions describe the details of structure and process of those governmental powers not delegated to the federal government.

Many documents also address very specific issues deemed to be of sufficient importance to be included in the constitution rather than in an ordinary statute. Also all state constitutions must be in compliance with the U.S. document.

Constitution Websites

To view a list of state constitutions, and a detailed overview of each, please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_constitution_%28United_States%29.

Why Are They Important to Private Investigators?

Private detectives, police officers and legal researches should be familiar with where to find the full text docs. This information may be helpful in researching legal cases, especially those that involve the violation of constitutional rights.

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State Websites and Contact Information

State websites provide access to a variety of helpful resources for citizens and are a great resource for private investigators. Detectives interact with government agencies on a regular basis and should be familiar with how to navigate the myriad of information sources. Using the websites and home pages you can:

  • Learn about the state itself, including the history, official designations and more
  • Find information and resources for moving to the area
  • Learn how to register your vehicle
  • Learn how to obtain a driver’s license
  • Learn about the emergency services offered (police, fire, etc.)
  • Learn about tax rates and how to make tax payments

For an up to date listing of all websites in the country, please visit USA.gov.

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