Customer Support Ruling

Precanceled and Unprecanceled Stamps

UPDATED October 1996

PS-225 (604.1.2)

This CSR discusses the use of precanceled and unprecanceled stamps to pay for regular postage and fees.

Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 604.1.2, provides that bulk rate and Nonprofit rate stamps may be used to pay regular postage and fees for special services, provided the mailpiece is endorsed as required to indicate the appropriate class of the mailpiece and, if applicable, the special service desired.  The total postage affixed must at least equal the postage charge for the class of the mailpiece and, if applicable, the proper fee for the special service desired.  As such, unprecanceled bulk price and Nonprofit price stamps may be used to pay the First-Class price of postage on letters provided each letter bears the applicable legal price of postage and is marked "First-Class."

DMM 604.3.3, provides that stamps precanceled with the price category may be used to pay single piece priced postage on mail provided the mail is endorsed to show the proper class, such as First-Class Mail. The endorsement must be placed immediately below the postage.  Thus, if a permit to use precanceled stamps is obtained at a post office, precanceled stamps may be used to pay postage on single letters which are mailed at the First-Class price of postage. However, each letter must bear the endorsement "First-Class."  Postage must be affixed at the proper First-Class price.  A fee is not required to be paid for processing a PS Form 3620, Permit to Use Precanceled Stamps or Government Precanceled Stamps Envelopes Application.

DMM 604.3.1.6 prescribes that mail bearing precanceled postage must be presented to the post office where the permit is held to authorized postal employees at weigh units, window units or detached mail units.  Deposit of mail bearing precanceled postage in street collection boxes is not permitted.  Therefore, precanceled stamps may not be used to prepay postage on courtesy reply envelopes that will be used for the conveyance of matter through the mails (at any price of postage) to a company from different locations.

Anita J. Bizzotto


Mailing Standards

Headquarters, US Postal Service

Washington DC  20260-3436