This paper describes a method that recognizes handwritten addresses for automated FAX mail distribution. The addressee field on FAX cover sheets indicated by a double line and the keyword 'TO:' is identified and recognized. Recognizing the addressee enables automatic distribution of received faxes to that individual's terminal through a router on a LAN system. In order to extract a handwritten double underline which is often slanted and fluctuates, a method using combinations of shift, logical operations and run-length features has been developed. A pair of parallel solid lines are recognized as a candidate for the double underlined addressee field. In order to determine this field, the keyword 'TO:' should also be recognized. Individual capital characters comprising the addressee information are extracted using a priori knowledge respecting stroke separation. After character recognition, word matching using a user directory and recognition results is carried out. The matching process comprises re-segmentation and re-recognition processes. An automated fax mail distribution system is developed on a DOS/V PC. An experiment using over 300 examples is conducted: 79% of the addressee fields are correctly extracted and 82% of those are correctly distributed without error. The total automatic distribution ratio of the data is 65%.