When you finally have to mail something after months – if not years – of not needing to, finding a stamp can be a problem. Say you come across a sheet of Forever stamps in your desk drawer, but you know for a fact that you purchased them in 2011. Are they still good?
Are you wondering: do Forever stamps expire? It’s a fair question, especially when they’re a decade or elder. Are Forever stamps really forever? Here’s what you need to know!
Do Forever Stamps Expire In 2023?
Forever stamps live up to their name and never expire. They are mailable as First-Class letter postage forever, provided the stamps are in good condition, without stains, tears, or other serious wear in 2023. Forever stamps are recognizable by the word “Forever” printed somewhere within the design. As of July 2022, Forever stamps cost 60 cents each.
Let’s take a deeper dive into using old Forever stamps, if they cost more today than in the past, how you can tell if a stamp is still good, and so much more. Keep going, as I’m covering a lot that you need to know!
Can You Still Use Old Forever Stamps?
If you’re rooting around in old junk boxes or drawers and you find old Forever stamps, your first question might be: Are these still good?
Provided they are in good shape – no disfiguring stains or tears, etc. – no matter how long ago you bought them, if they say Forever on them, they really are for life.
That’s the beauty of Forever stamps; no matter when you purchase them, no matter how little you may have paid for them, and no matter what the price for them now – they endure.
By endure, of course, that means “remain usable” as First-Class letter postage.
If you’re sending a standard letter envelope or birthday card-sized envelope, and the weight does not exceed one ounce, your Forever stamp will get the mailpiece to its destination.
Think you remember your parent or grandparent using Forever stamps when you were a kid in the 90s or 80s (or earlier)?
Think again. Forever stamps debuted in April 2007, so that USPS could offer “consumers ease of use during price changes.”
As of 2011, all First-Class one-ounce stamps are Forever stamps.
No more tallying postage from several stamps for a birthday card, or having to head into the Post Office just to purchase a one or two-cent stamp to meet the current retail price.
So yes – even that Forever stamp from 2011 or 2012 is still usable, provided it’s in good condition.
Do Forever Stamps Cost More?
Forever stamps are priced at whatever the current rate of First-Class postage is, and unfortunately, that has been on the definite upswing since Forever stamps’ inception.
Currently, in 2022, Forever stamps are priced at either 58 cents pre-July 2022, or 60 cents post-July 2022.
On July 10, 2022, USPS is raising the price on a multitude of different mail classes, including First-Class letter.
When Forever stamps debuted in 2011, they were just 41 cents; the price took the largest jump in 2019, when they went up five cents, from 50 cents each to 55.
They remained at 55 cents from 2019 until August 2021, when the price rose again, to 58 cents.
How Can You Tell If a Stamp Is Still Good?
PostageOnlineNow.com lists the criteria for a “bad” stamp:
- A torn or damaged border
- Blurred/smeared/covered/illegible price or value
- Taped or glued stamp
So if your Forever stamp is torn or stained to the point where you can’t see the word “Forever,” that is likely going to result in the letter being returned to you.
Forever stamps are a good investment, but only if you take care of them.
Now, that doesn’t mean anything special or outrageous to preserve them (as stamp collectors might have).
Rather, you might consider keeping them in a desk drawer under some papers, so that they’re not as likely to get coffee spilled on them.
Or perhaps putting them in a folder, so they remain flat and less likely to be torn.
Preserve them simply and you won’t have to purchase new postage to mail letters or cards for a good while!
Do Forever Stamps Work for Canada?
Forever stamps are considered domestic postage; to send a letter to Canada, you need special First-Class International Forever postage.
These currently cost $1.30 per stamp or $13 for a sheet of 10.
You can buy them in Post Offices individually or as a sheet. You can also purchase them online at the Postal Store, but only as a sheet of 10.
Can You Use Two Forever Stamps for Extra Postage?
You can use two Forever stamps if one does not cover all the postage needed.
For example, if you have put together a birthday card and included a few different gift cards in the envelope, you might have more than one ounce of weight on your hands.
A single First-Class letter Forever stamp only covers up to one ounce worth of postage.
You can absolutely use two Forever stamps, provided the postage needed is no more than the additional 58 cents the second stamp is worth.
(First-Class letter additional postage costs 20 cents per extra ounce, so you can get an additional two ounces’-worth of postage out of another Forever stamp.)
Chances are good, with letters and cards, that you will end up “overpaying” by using two Forever stamps.
But it’s certainly much easier to just slap on a second one, versus purchasing exact postage.
Forever stamps, which first came out in 2007, never expire, and can always be used to send First-Class letter mail, no matter the current postage price. They can also be used for additional postage on letters that go over the one-ounce limit, but may result in “overpaying.”