Cells adopt highly polarized shapes and form distinct subcellular compartments largely due to the localization of many mRNAs to specific areas, where they are translated into proteins with local functions. This mRNA localization is mediated by specific cis-regulatory elements in mRNAs, commonly called "zipcodes." Their recognition by RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) leads to the integration of the mRNAs into macromolecular complexes and their localization. While there are hundreds of localized mRNAs, only a few zipcodes have been characterized. Here, we describe a novel neuronal zipcode identification protocol (N-zip) that can identify zipcodes across hundreds of 3'UTRs. This approach combines a method of separating the principal subcellular compartments of neurons – cell bodies and neurites - with a massively parallel reporter assay. Our analysis identifies the let-7 binding site and (AU)n motif as de novo zipcodes in mouse primary cortical neurons and suggests a strategy for detecting many more.