How to Address a US Senator

Also on this Page
Senator as Member of a Committee
Former Senator
Senator and Spouse
Senator who is also a Dr.

How to Address a Senator, Member of the United States Senate

—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)
—-—-(Address within the Senate Office Building)
—-—-United States Senate
—-—-Washington, DC 20510

—-Address block on a letter or email:
—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)
——–United States Senator for (State)
—-(Address within the Senate Office Building)
—-—-United States Senate
—-—-Washington, DC 20510

—-—-Dear Senator (Surname):

—-—-Senator (Surname)

The Honorable (Full Name) is the written form of his/her name. Use it on a mailing envelope or a letter’s address block. If you were to acknowledge his/her presence in the audience from the lectern, you would use this form. “Today we are honored to welcome the Honorable Peter Montgomery”. Then follow this with something like, United States Senator for (State)’, or ‘Junior/Senior United States Senator for (State)” etc.

Senator (Surname) is the conversational form of his/her name. Use it when orally and in a letter’s salutation. You also would use this form in a one-to-one introduction to provide the conversational form of his/her name to the person being introduced to the Senator.

– Robert Hickey  How to Address a US Senator

How to Address a Senator as Committee Member?

How would you address a letter to a U.S. Ssenator as a member of a committee? Thanks.
—-—-—-—-– Doug

Dear Doug:
Use this form when communicating with a Senator as a member of a committee or subcommittee:

—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)
—-—-(Position in the Committee)
—-—-(Name of Committee)

—-—-Which would look like:
—-—-—-The Honorable Harold Hill
—-—-—-Ranking Member
—-—-—-The United States Senate Finance Committee, Subcommittee on Health Care

– Robert Hickey


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

How to Address a Former Senator?

Regarding ex-US senators: I get that they remain the Honorable (Full Name). But is it:
—-—-Dear Mr. (Surname),
—-—-Dear Senator (Surname),
—-—-—-—-—-– Rich Hockberry

Dear Mr. Hockberry:
Yes, in writing they continue to be:

—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)

—-—-Dear Senator (Full Name)

Former senators continue to be addressed as Senator (Surname).

When many hold the same office at the same time – the pattern is – all continue to use the title after retiring. Like judge, ambassador, military officer or doctor, being a Senator is not a one-office-holder-at-a-time position. Being addressed as Senator (Name) does not infringing upon the courtesies due a singular current office holder.

Thus, the tradition is former senators keep the honorific for social use after leaving office.

– 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 Senator and His Wife?

What is the right way to address a card to a former United States Senator and his wife?
—-—-—-—-– VE at Airport Hills

Dear VE:
When addressing a senator and spouse, here are three formulae that work:

—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)
—-—-and Mrs. (Shared Surname)

—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)
—-—-and Ms./Dr. (Given Name + Surname)

—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)
—-—-and Mr. (Full Name)

This last one works for a man, but also for any spouse who uses Doctor, Judge or any other special honorific:
—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)
—-—-and Mr./Dr. (Full Name)

People who have official titles get their [title + name] all together as a unit – and not broken up or mixed with another name.  Not: The Honorable and Mrs. (Full Name) for example.

—-The salutation or invitation’s inside envelope
—-—-Dear Senator (Surname) and Mrs. (Same Surname):
—-—-Dear Senator (Surname) and Ms. (Different Surname):
—-—-Dear Senator (Surname) and Mr. (Same or Different Surname):

People often want to combine them. It is not horrible – just less formal:
—-—-Dear Senator and Mrs. (Shared Surname):
—-—-Dear Senator and Mr. (Shared Surname):

– Robert Hickey

Related Posts:
Couples: Private Citizens
Couples: Christian Clergy
Couples: Rabbis
Couples: Military
Couples: U.S. Officials
Couples: Same Sex


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

How to Address an US Senator Who is a Dr.?

How do I address an envelope to a U.S Senator who is also has a doctorate?
—-—-—-—-—-– Mrs. Justine Shuman

Dear Mrs. Shuman:
—-#1) The U.S. tradition is we use only one honorific/courtesy title at a time … It is either/or … not both.

—-#2) Since U.S. Senator has much higher precedence than being a Doctor, address as a Senator.

—-#3) Jobs/offices are not mentioned on invitations and  social correspondence.

—-#4) Since it’s to the couple, I will assume it’s social and won’t list that he’s a US Senator.

—-—-The Honorable Henry Wilson
—-—-and Mrs. Wilson

—-Salutation or an invitation’s inside envelope:
—-—-Senator Wilson and Mrs. Wilson

See other options for addressing for a Senator and spouse on this page.

NOTE: Bill Frist, a U.S. Senator from Tennessee preferred to be addressed in conversation as Dr. Frist.  I’d think there are only 100 Senators … and a million doctors, so being a U.S. Senator is a greater achievement. BUT his preference was Dr. Frist … and everyone addressed him as Dr. Frist.—-—-—-
—-Senators who also were medical doctors or held academic doctorates …. all chose to be addressed as Senator (Surname).
We address each person as they prefer to be addressed …. but when we encounter an exception it doesn’t change the rules ¬– it just stays an exception.

– Robert Hickey

Related Posts:
—-Candidate for Office
—-The Honorable, Use of
—-The Late, Use of
—-Pro Tempore


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.
___What I don’t cover on this site are many things I do cover in my book: all the rules of forms of address, about names, international titles, precedence, complimentary closes, details on invitations, place cards, all sorts of introductions, etc. I hope you’ll get a copy of the book if you’d like the further detail.

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”