Do stamps in your country expire? 🤔

Do stamps “expire” or stop being valid in your country after a period of time?

Portugal’s stamps expire after about 10 years, and I don’t think there’s a valid justification for this. I’m planning to make a formal complaint about it, but before that, I would like to understand whether this happens in any other country, other than for very specific reasons (eg, currency devaluation, new currencies being introduced, etc).

How does it work in your country? If your currency is still the same, can you still use postage stamps that are 20 or 40 years old?


The US stamps do not expire. They are worth the value on them.


Stamps in Canada can be used as long as Canada Post exist. We even have “permanent” stamps that hold the same value for a letter anywhere in Canada. I didn’t even know that stamps could expire somewhere, as it is basically just “cash.”


Here in Germany all stamps with an Euro-Value are still usable, even those with DM and Euro. Only the old stamps out of the Deutsche-Mark-time are no longe for use allowed.


In France you can still use the stamps with the old currency, but obviously you have to convert to get the right number of stamps needed in €.
Also some stamps have no value on them, which means you don’t have to add more stamps if the price increases after.

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Somewhere on postnords facebook page I read that we can use any old stamps in Sweden as long as no additional glue ist needed to affix them.

The Polish Post on its website provides a list of stamps excluded from circulation (expired).

According to this list, all stamps issued after 2005 are valid. The year is always printed on the stamps.

In the 90s, we had a major monetary reform in the country and due to the denomination of the currency (złoty), the old stamps are invalid.

Nevertheless, I happened to receive parcels with invalid stamps attached :blush:. Apparently, the postal staff doesn’t check it that carefully.


In Spain the stamps with value in euros don’t “expire”.
I don’t understand that.

“Forever” stamps and “Postcard” stamps here hold their value forever (you could in theory wait a hundred years and they would still send a letter or postcard.) Other stamps (with a money amount printed on them) never expire either, but we do have to add extra stamps to use the old ones, because the cost of postage keeps going up.


Yes, this is what irritates me. It’s a little piece of paper that is worth money, and there’s no reason why this money should go out of circulation on an arbitrary date that they decided.


Here in the USA, stamps don’t expire, ever since 2012 I believe, all stamps a “forever” stamps (meaning they always work, even if the price goes up) if it’s an older stamp, it’s still worth whatever it was worth then (so for example a 1980 stamp that was worth let’s say the price was 10cents, is still worth 10 cents today, but let’s say the price in 2015 was 10cents, it has now gained value to the current cost of that denomination of stamp)

Yes, once. For the Handover back into Chinese rule from the British, there was a grace period when it came to stamps, but once July 1997 passed, stamps no longer had the Queen’s head on it. Now they are definitely not legal now, you get fined twice the amount of postage if you use a Queen’s head postage.

In your case I think that’s ridiculous. I’d happily sign a petition if there was one! Keep us posted, Ana!

United States postage stamps from 1860 (yes “eighteen”) onwards are valid at full face value. The reason for the specific date is the American Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln ordered the Postmaster General to annul all stamps in circulation to prevent the Rebellion from using them to finance their military. Only post offices still under U.S. control were issued the new stamps. According to the dating system then in use, the new stamps were “Series 1861”. The “1860” maybe an error over the years, or to make clear that it included all of 1861. The latest stamps in use until then were “Series 1857”.
And so the law has not changed since. Stamps that old are worth far more in collector value than postage value (and there are jokes about the ultra wealthy using them for postage because they can afford it). However, most basic rate stamps from about 1950 onwards have little or no collector value so that is why many people still use them for Postcrossing, etc. In fact stamp dealers often sell perfectly valid unused ones for UNDER face value just to get rid of dead inventory.


In Australia, any stamp issued since the change to decimal currency (1966) can still be used.


As others have said, here in the US they do not. I have even used “Special Delivery” stamps on mailings to members.

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Yep - I’m still using stamps that are well over 60 or 75 years old!


U.S.A. stamps are like SPAM…

…good forever :ok_hand:t3:


And I love to use a batch of old and new stamp values to make up the current cash value. It’s fun to match old stamps with a card theme.


There’s no specified period for Malaysian stamps, I had used one Federation of Malaya (1957-1963) stamp together with other stamps once and it arrived lol, so I guess any stamp issued after independence in 1957 is accepted… (although I guessed the mail centre just missed it lolz)

We even have one stamp issue that wasn’t valid for local mail (“international definitive stamps”) that is now valid for local mail as the Goods and Services Tax was removed in 2018 :joy:

However, older stamps are very difficult to find. We usually deal with stamps issued within the past 5 years, and for “old stamps” that we usually use for mail… in the past 30 years


I think it depends on the stamp. Some are super expensive.

Issued in 1980, 8 cents. But now 8000-12000 yuan.

This one issued in few years ago, face value 28.8 yuan, now 350-550 yuan.