Are Old First-Class Stamps Still Valid?

Written by mandi titus
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Are Old First-Class Stamps Still Valid?
Old, unused stamps are still acceptable postage. (stamp image by hugy from

The United States Postal Service occasionally raises its postage rates for first-class and other mail. While older stamps may still be used on mail, certain requirements must be met before your item can be delivered.


First-class stamps never expire and may be used at any point, notes the USPS. However, cancelled stamps that have been used previously may not be reused. The Postal Service recognises all old stamps at their face value, but the total postage used to mail the item must match current first-class rates, meaning several stamps may be required.


Old nondenominational stamps, those without a specific rate listed, may be used as postage for their purchase price. The Postal Service offers a list of nondenominated postage on its website for customers to determine if additional postage is necessary. The Forever Stamp, a nondenominational stamp offered in several designs, may always be used to mail a first-class letter, regardless of the current postal rate.


Before using an older stamp, the service suggests checking that it is not worth more than its face value. Several older stamps, such as the upside-down "Jenny" stamp, are worth several thousand dollars to collectors, but only worth face value when used to send first-class mail.

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