assessor parcel number

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assessor parcel number (APN)

A number assigned by the local assessor in order to identify a particular property. Often used in real estate contracts until a more detailed legal description can be obtained, because each parcel has its own unique APN; deemed to be more reliable than a street address.

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The mortgage industry uses a combination of postal addresses, legal descriptions, assessor parcel numbers and geospatial coordinates for property identification.