General Question

KateTheGreat's avatar

Do you have to use special stamps to send a letter to Canada?

Asked by KateTheGreat (13605 points ) February 20th, 2012

I am sending a letter to a friend in Canada. I live in the US. Do I just put an extra stamp on there, or do I have to buy different stamps?

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16 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

You just need the right amount of postage, but you use US stamps. Check the www.usps.com website, it should tell you how much.

WestRiverrat's avatar

No, but you cannot use the forever stamps. The stamp(s) on international mail has to have the dollar and/or cents amount on the face of the stamp.

JLeslie's avatar

@WestRiverrat Ooh, I had not thought of that.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

No. Just check to be sure you put enough postage on it—it’s more than for domestic mail.

gailcalled's avatar

You use regular stamps, just more of them. It costs a good deal more per ounce to mail anything to Canada.

AshlynM's avatar

I believe you just use regular, US stamps. If it’s a letter, I’d put two stamps on it, just in case. But to be certain, you can always stop by your local post office or ask your mail carrier.

Aqua's avatar

@WestRiverrat: Actually you can use Forever stamps, but you’ll still need to add additional postage. I’ve mailed letters to Canada using Forever stamps. You can just use two of them, or one + whatever you need to make up the difference.

Q. Can Forever stamps be used for international mail?
A. Customers can use Forever stamps for international mail, but since all international prices are higher than domestic prices, customers will need to attach addi­tional postage. The value of the Forever stamp is the domestic First-Class Mail 1-ounce letter price in ef­fect on the day of use. (Source)

WestRiverrat's avatar

@Aqua We mail several hundred pieces of mail every day to foreign addresses, when we used forever stamps, in addition to other stamps, they were often returned for postage.

It may be legal in the US to use them on foreign mail, but not all countries honor the forever stamps.

gailcalled's avatar

A first-class letter weighing one ounce requires $.72 worth of postage. My daughter’s in Canada for the time being and postage to her is becoming a serious item in my budget.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@WestRiverratbut not all countries honor the forever stamps

Surely, it only matters whether the US Postal system honours them – the postage won’t be checked in the destination country.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@dappled_leaves it does get checked at the destination country

dappled_leaves's avatar

o_O

I’ve never heard of this – can you back that up with a postal service regulation/guideline of some kind?

WestRiverrat's avatar

No, in the US it is legal, the postmaster at the other end refuses the mail because it doesn’t have an amount on it so he considers it a trading stamp with no value.

Not every post office in the world knows or cares about US law, or how much the forever stamp is worth.

dappled_leaves's avatar

No, but if the letter is postmarked, then it was given the appropriate postage for that country, even if international. We have a similar stamp in Canada (though I’m not familiar with the term “forever stamp”). My understanding is that the receiving country only cares whether the postal system in the country of origin determined that the postage was sufficient.

Again, if you can show that I’m incorrect, I would welcome the new information.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Legally, I am not saying you are incorrect. I am saying that just because it is legal doesn’t mean the postal employee in rural where ever will honor the stamp.

If that final postal employee does not believe it is legal, it doesn’t matter what is actually legal or not.

I can’t show you any positive proof, I just know we get better delivery results when we do not send foreign mail with the forever stamps.

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