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Can Stamps Expire

By David Krug 5 minute read

There have been stamps issued by the USPS for decades. To ask if they have an expiration date for something that has been around for so long is a natural question.

For those who have stacks of stamps accumulating dust on their desk, this is the place for you! Keep reading to learn if USPS stamps have an expiration date.

In 2022, will U.S. Postal Service stamps expire?

A USPS stamp is valid for life if it is still in its original packaging. Forever Stamps, which have been issued by the United States Postal Service since 2007, are non-denominational and always represents the current first-class postage rate.

 There is no expiration date for postage stamps with a dollar value, but they must be coupled with other stamps in order to represent the current postage rate.

Stamps don’t expire, but figuring out their value might be a challenge. Your stamps are worth a lot, so keep reading to learn more!

How Can I Tell If My USPS Stamps Are Still Valid?

Your USPS stamps may still be used with only a quick check. If your stamps have the word “Forever” printed someplace, you can put one on an envelope and mail your letter (as long as it doesn’t weigh more than one ounce).

Stamps are not considered denominated by the US Postal Service. To put it another way, the stamps don’t have any monetary value written on them to indicate how much they are worth.

The value of Forever Stamps is determined by the current price of first-class postage. This means that Forever Stamps will always be worth the current first-class postage rate, even if the postage rate changes.

You’ll be charged the current first-class shipping rate even if you buy Forever Stamps at a lesser price today since postage will go up tomorrow.

In addition to Forever Stamps, the United States Postal Service (USPS) also distributes stamps with a number followed by the cent sign. Some of the denominations available are 1; 2; 3; 5; and 10;

Whenever you like, you may use these stamps to decorate your documents. However, you’ll need to verify the current cost of postage to determine how many to use.

You may use as many cent stamps as you need once you calculate the postage. If you look closely, you may see the year printed on certain stamps that are valued in money.

The year that the US Postal Service began using the stamp is indicated below. No expiration date is relevant here. These stamps like Forever Stamps never run out of ink.

Are Old USPS Stamps Acceptable?

Yes, you can in most situations. For as long as the United States Postal Service is able to authenticate the postage on your old stamps, your old stamps will still operate. Cleaning and adhesion to the envelope are both requirements for a valid stamp.

There is a potential that USPS will reject your stamp if it is damaged. If a stamp is returned, it might be for a variety of reasons.

  • Damaged or ripped seams
  • Irregularities in the pricing or value of the stamp have obscured or obscured the information
  • The adhesiveness of the stamp has deteriorated. The United States Postal Service (USPS) will reject stamps that have been glued or taped.

To be sure, take any old stamps you’re not sure about to the USPS and have a postal clerk make the final call.

What is the validity period for USPS Forever stamps?

USPS Forever Stamps, as the name suggests, are in effect forever. When it comes to Forever Stamps, they don’t have a predetermined value like the stamps of the past.

This is because their price fluctuates according to the postage rates charged by the US Postal Service.

The current first-class postage rate will apply when you purchase a Forever Stamp. If you don’t use the stamp for five years and the postage rate rises, your Forever Stamp will represent the current first-class postal rate.

Make things clearer by looking at an example. The cost of first-class postage in 2007 (the year Forever Stamps were launched) was $0.41.

The current price was $0.58. Even if you paid less, the value of your Forever Stamps is now $0.58 if you purchased them between 2007 and 2020.

Do Global Forever Stamps have a time limit?

USPS’ Global Forever stamps never expire, much like domestic Forever Stamps. The First-Class Mail International (FCMI) service of the United States Postal Service (USPS) includes Global Forever stamps. 

More than 180 countries including Canada, Great Britain, and Australia may be reached at a low cost by using these service providers.

One Global Forever stamp allows you to mail 1oz letters or postcards anywhere in the globe for a fixed charge. Stamps will still work even if the postage rate increases.

Do USPS Labels for Shipping Expire?

There is an expiration date on USPS mailing labels, unlike stamps. The 28-day expiration of USPS mailing labels is a technicality.

It’s not a hard and fast rule that day 28 is the official cutoff date. Shipping labels are often given a two to three-day grace period by USPS. It’s up to each Post Office, though to make their own decisions.

Depending on the location, labels may be accepted up to a week after the printed ship date. Others will reject a label that’s just been around for a day. It all comes down to what you’re looking for!

There may be an option to talk with the Postmaster if a postal clerk at your local Post Office declines labels that you think are still within permitted limits.

Even if they don’t budge, don’t worry! After purchasing a label, USPS does not scan it into their system.

That implies the tracking numbers never enter their database. Request a refund from your shipping software and use the money to purchase a new label.

Please see our associated topics on whether or not USPS notarizes papers if USPS requires a signature, and how long USPS stores shipments to learn more about the service.

Bottom Line

All USPS stamps don’t expire as a general rule of thumb. These stamps can be found in denominational, Forever Stamp, or even Global Forever varieties. You shouldn’t have any issues utilizing your stamps as long as they’re clean, undamaged, and adhered to.

In contrast to USPS stamps, which are valid for life, USPS mailing labels do expire. For 28 days after the date of purchase, shipping labels are acceptable; however, you may have a few days or weeks of leeway based on your local Post Office.

David Krug

Author