General Question

occ's avatar

are US postage stamps valid forever?

Asked by occ (4003 points ) January 2nd, 2008

Someone gave me some really cool old postage stamps from the seventies. Can I still use them, or do old postage stamps expire? I thought that stamps don’t expire, but I’m not 100% sure, so wanted to check before using them.

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5 Answers

ccatron's avatar

Stamps do not expire. If you have one of the new “Forever Stamps”, then no matter what the rate goes up to, you can use the “forever stamp” by itself. So, if the rate goes up to $.50, and you have a “forever stamp” that you only paid $.41 for, you can still use it by itself (you don’t have to add $.09 worth of stamps to make the postage equal $.50).

Back to your question. As long as they have not been used, in other words, they haven’t been stamped/postmarked by the USPS, then they are good to go. If you have a stamp from the 70s, then you just have to add stamps to make the postage equal at least $.41 if it’s just a normal letter.

But, if they’re cool stamps from the 70s, why would you want to use them? If they are unused, then they might be collectible. Check ebay or something to see if they are worth more than the face value.

richardhenry's avatar

Yeah, why the hell are you planning on using those to mail stuff? eBay them, or stash them somewhere to sell in a couple years. It won’t make you super rich or anything, but it could pay for a meal out at least. Or just keep them out of coolness.

Don917's avatar

With a few rare exceptions ( postage due, special delivery, @ certified mail stamps ) every stamp issued by the US Post Office since 1861 is still valid for postage. With the mass production of stamps in modern times very few issued since the 1960’s are worth more than face value. In fact you can buy mint discounted stamps in bulk for less than face value because of the trouble in putting 3 to 6 stamps on a letter to make current postage. If you like the really cool designs, keep them. Otherwise save yourself a trip to the ol’ PO ane use ‘em.

AshlynM's avatar

US postage stamps are good forever as long as you have the correct postage on the letter or package. It doesn’t matter if it’s a stamp from the seventies or eighteen hunderds.

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