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UPRN: Unique Property Reference Number

What is a UPRN, its uses and how it compares to the Postcode Address File

Updated 3 Aug 2020

UPRN stands for Unique Property Reference Number and was created by the Ordnance Survey (OS). It consists of numbers of up to 12 digits in length. Local governments in the UK have allocated a unique number for each land or property.

A UPRN will consist of comprehensive data of a property, from the planning stages to demolition.

Benefits of a UPRN

  • Avoid errors in data exchange
  • Optimise operational processes (CRM/SaaS/project management software)
  • Link internal datasets/share information with other organisations using UPRN
  • Understand each resident who uses your services

The UPRN stays unique to each property and will remain in its existing format. Any information added will be linked to matching records in different databases.

Extracting UPRN

Contact your local authority responsible for maintaining addresses to get a UPRN, or use the government local council checker.

A data to retrieve UPRN API is available from Ordnance Survey's AddressBase.

How it Differs from UDPRN

UDPRN is a unique premise identifier produced by Royal Mail in conjunction with the Postcode Address File (PAF). This code is readily available with PAF, with more information in our UDPRN guide.

Some key differences are:

  • UPRN excludes Northern Ireland
  • UPRN is used to identify premises in Ordnance Survey address products (AddressBase) whereas UDPRN is used in Royal Mail's address products (PAF)
  • UPRNs are 12 digits vs UDPRN's 8 digit codes
  • UPRNs are updated on a 6 week cycle, whereas Royal Mail's UDPRNs are updated daily

Despite these differences UDPRN and UPRN essentially perform similar functions. Providing a unique identifying number that lives and dies with a specific property in their respective datasets.