Confidentiality - Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) for Domestic Violence Victims

Revised March 25, 2011


The ACP protects the address of persons attempting to escape from domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, or stalking situations. Participants use a substitute address in place of their actual physical or mailing address.

Rules for the Address Confidentiality program are found in WAC 434-840-001 through WAC 434-840-310 and are governed by the Office of the Secretary of State.

Clarifying Information

The ACP provides the following services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking or stalking:

  1. Helps the participant maintain the secrecy of home, work, or school address.
  2. Gives the participant a substitute mailing address.
  3. Forwards first class mail from the substitute address.
  4. Helps the participant obtain many state and local agency services without revealing the physical or mailing address.
  5. Helps the participant to register to vote or obtain a marriage license without having those records available to the public.

Participants are given a laminated authorization card the size of a driver's license.   The card has the client's signature, substitute address, expiration date, and a toll-free number to the ACP office for information.  The toll-free number is 1-800-822-1065.  The TTY number is 1-800-664-9677.

When a public assistance client uses the substitute address, the ACP authorization card must be presented to the worker.  The worker may make a copy of the ACP authorization card.

Worker Responsibilities

When a client presents an ACP authorization card:

  1. Call the ACP at 360-753-2972 to verify that the client is currently certified in the program.
  2. If the client is currently certified in the ACP:
    1. Use the ACP mailing address and participant code number as shown on the card in place of the client's physical address on the ACES ADDR screen.
      Jane Doe
      PO Box 257
      Olympia, WA  98507-0257
    2. Mail all benefits and information for the client to the substitute address:
    3. Do not ask the client to provide their actual address.  Do not record the client's physical address in ACES or retain copies of any documents that list the client's physical address.
    4. When verifying residency, household composition, or shelter costs, do not ask the client to provide documents that state their physical address.  Accept any document that lists the ACP address and reasonably verifies the eligibility factor.  See VERIFICATION for instructions on determining reasonableness.
    5. If the client provides a document that lists the physical address:
      1. Do not keep the document.
      2. Explain to the client that if we have anything in the case record that lists their physical address, we may have to reveal that information if we are issued a subpoena.
      3. Document in the narrative:
        1. What documents were used as verification;
        2. What eligibility factor the documents verify; and
        3. Why copies of the document are not in the record.
    6. Allow the client to provide any document that has the physical address concealed.
    7. Re-verify the client's participation in the ACP at eligibility review / recertification, if questionable.
  3. If the client is not currently certified in the ACP:
    1. Do not enter the ACP mailing address and participant code into ACES;
    2. Require the client to provide their actual address;
    3. Record the address in ACES; and
    4. Follow the normal verification procedures as described in VERIFICATION.