Do USPS Stamps Expire? (All You Need to Know)

Do USPS Stamps Expire

For many of us, USPS stamps are a part of our daily lives, from buying postcards to mailing packages. But do these stamps come with an expiration date? This is a question we often find ourselves asking. So, in this post, we’ll answer this one simple question: do USPS stamps expire? 

Why Do We Need Stamps? 

Stamps are items required for sending most mail items through the United States Postal Service (USPS). Stamps are essentially a way of paying for postage, acting as a receipt for the item being sent. They reflect current postage rates and can be bought in many forms, including sheets, rolls, coils, or even single stamps.

So, when you buy and use stamps, you’re essentially paying for the cost of sending your item. Without stamps, USPS would not be able to do its job and deliver your mail item

Do USPS Stamps Expire? 

The short answer is – no. USPS stamps do not expire. They do not have a printed expiration date on them, so once you buy them, they are good to use until you run out. So, if you got a sheet of stamps a few years ago and still haven’t used them, you can do so without any problems. 

That being said, do keep in mind that USPS does not guarantee the value of stamps purchased. However, stamps reflect the rate of postage at the time when they are issued, the value of your stamp may not match the current rate. So, if you do have old stamps, you may need to make up the difference in postage. 

What If Postage Rates Go Up?

In the event that the cost of postage goes up, your old stamps will still be valid. In this case, you would simply need to buy additional stamps to cover the difference in cost. 

According to USPS regulations, you can use a combination of old and new stamps to cover the cost of postage. However, it is essential that the total postage applied to an item of mail matches or exceeds the required level for its class. So, if you do need to use a combination of any stamps, make sure that the total amount applied is correct. 

Can You Use Old USPS Stamps?

Yes, you can use old USPS stamps. As long as you make up for the difference in postage rate, your items will still be sent. 

Your old stamps also must be valid. To be accepted at USPS, they must have the correct postage rate, be of good quality and be in an unaltered state. That means that they cannot be reused, defaced, or damaged in any way. If any of these criteria do not apply, your stamp may be considered invalid and will not be accepted as payment for postage. 

Does USPS Accept Damaged Stamps?

When it comes to postage stamps, the USPS typically declines any that are way too torn. So, as lost as your stamp is at least 50% intact, they will be able to exchange it for a viable version. That means that some minor tears, creases, or even discoloration may still be accepted.

When inspecting your stamp’s condition, the USPS will check to ensure that your stamp’s denomination is visible. As long as they can clearly read how much your stamp is worth, they will be likely to accept it. However, if they find your stamp too damaged, they will not accept it as payment.

Ultimately, it’s up to postal workers to make the final call about the condition of your stamp. However, if you do have a stamp that is slightly damaged, do not hesitate to ask if it can still be used. 

Can You Reuse USPS Stamps?

USPS states that you cannot reuse a USPS stamp once it has already been used to post an item. Therefore, once the stamp is applied to the mail item and is in the custody of USPS, it must not be taken off and reused. 

The reason why you can’t reuse stamps is fairly simple. When you use a stamp to post an item, it acts as proof of the postage applied. Removing and reusing the stamp would invalidate that evidence and could potentially be used to evade the payment of postage. 

So, do remember that once you have used a stamp, do not take it off the mail item. Doing so is against USPS regulations and could lead to severe consequences. 

Do USPS Forever Stamps Expire?

No, USPS Forever Stamps do not expire. According to USPS rules, they are always valid for the current first-class mail rate, no matter when you purchased them. 

So, even if you purchased a set of Forever Stamps a few years ago, they’re still good to use, even though the price of postage has gone up. Therefore, you won’t need to pay the difference in cost with additional stamps; your Forever Stamps will do just fine. 

Do USPS Global Forever Stamps Expire?

As with all USPS Forever Stamps, the Global Forever Stamp does not expire. They are always valid for the current cost of first-class mail international postage.

So, no matter how long ago you purchased your Global Forever Stamps, they will still be accepted by USPS without any additional postage fees.

Do USPS Shipping Labels Expire?

USPS shipping labels do have an expiration date, meaning that USPS will no longer accept them after a certain period. 

Usually, they will expire within 28 days of purchase, but USPS does offer a grace period of 2–3 days after expiration. This means that you do have a bit of leeway when it comes to using your USPS shipping labels, but do remember that they do still expire. 

Depending on the location, a printed shipping label may be accepted even if it’s weeks past its specified date – while at other locations, one day can cause immediate rejection. So, do make sure to check your expiration date before using your shipping labels. 


So, do stamps expire? The short answer is no. As long as they are in good condition, USPS will accept them to post items. One thing you should keep in mind is that regular stamps do not retain their value – meaning that you will need to purchase additional stamps for any rate changes. On the other hand, Forever Stamps do not expire, and they do retain their value – so you do not need to worry about purchasing additional stamps. The only thing that may expire is USPS shipping labels, which do have a specific expiration date. So, do remember to check that before using your labels.

We hope this article has helped answer your question about stamp expiration dates. Thanks for reading!


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