What should I know about U.S. Postage Stamps?

Information about Postage Stamps

  • Do U.S. Postal stamps expire?

    No, U.S. Postage never expires; you can use existing stamps indefinitely. You may use any denomination of U.S. Postage stamps on an item, if the necessary amount is affixed to the mailpiece.

  • Can I Exchange My Older Stamps for Newly Priced Stamps after a Price Increase?

    The USPS does not exchange stamps solely because of new postage prices. As mentioned above, postage stamps do not expire and can be used indefinitely. In the event of a price increase, customers should be encouraged to purchase makeup price stamps or the Forever Stamp.

  • Can I Purchase 1¢ or 3¢ Stamps to Makeup the Increase in Postage?

    Yes. There are two ways to purchase 1¢ and 3¢ stamps:

    1. You can call 1-800-STAMP24 (1-800-782-6724). If this toll-free number is not available, you can call 816-545-1000 or 816-545-1110 or fax the request to 816-545-1212.
    2. You can also visit the local Post Office. At the Post Office, there is not a minimum purchase amount. Customers can purchase 1¢ and 3¢ stamps (as well as other additional postage 4¢, 5¢, etc.) individually or in panes.
  • How much of a stamp can be torn or damaged and still considered valid?

    Stamps which are mutilated or defaced are not valid for U.S domestic or U.S. originated international mail. However, a minor tear at the corner of a stamp does render a stamp invalid.  This standard needs to be applied in a common sense fashion allowing for the possibility of minor tears in stamps when they are removed from their host sheet or booklet.

    However, if more than a minor portion of a stamp has been torn and is missing, the stamp should be exchanged for another stamp of equal value provided the remaining portion of the stamp is in substantially whole condition and its denomination is evident.

    If less than 50% of a stamp is presented for exchange, postal officials may use their discretion in considering the exchange.

  • Is it possible to reuse stamps?

    A used stamp cannot ever be reused. If the stamp was already used to send mail through the USPS®, it cannot be used to mail a different mailpiece even if the stamp was not canceled.

    Stamps that have not yet been used, but have been attached to an envelope may still be used. However, you may not cut an unused stamp from an envelope and use tape to apply to a new envelope. The tape will prevent the stamp from being canceled.

    A returned domestic or international shortpaid mailpiece can have the necessary additional postage affixed to the original piece and does not have to be placed in a new envelope or wrapper.

    A returned undeliverable as addressed or refused by the addressee mailpiece may not be remailed unless it is placed in a new envelope or wrapper with the correct address and new postage.

  • Can stamps be sold at a higher price?

    The Postal Service™ sells stamps at face value to everyone. We have no control over the pricing policies of private entrepreneurs, companies or agencies who resell our products. A charge at a higher price is most likely imposed to earn a return on their investment of capital and effort. The prices they charge are, no doubt, established on the basis of their needs and market evaluations.

    Customers may avoid paying more than the stated value for First-Class Mail postage by purchasing stamps at their Post Office, through Stamps By Mail, phone, online, self-service kiosks (formerly Automated Postal Centers) and retail outlets that are involved with our consignment programs or from one of the many postal stores.

  • How can I find the value of an old stamp?

    We recommend contacting a Stamp Dealer in your area to discuss the value of any stamp. The USPS only recognizes

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