Can Postage Stamps be Reused? Solved!

Can Postage Stamps be Reused? Let’s find out in this article. Stamps are official items that are attached to packages and letters. A stamp on the mail shows that the fee has been paid. It is not legal to send your letters without using these stamps.

In addition, every mail passes through official postal procedures and steps before being delivered to the destination. Mail usually goes via a sorting machine, referred to as the cancellation process. The sorting machine imprints a mark on the stamp.

Can Postage Stamps be Reused?

can postage stamps be reused? All You Need to Know
No, you cannot, and you should not reuse stamps in any circumstances. It's also against the postal laws to do it anyway.

Consider an unused stamp to be a receipt for a transaction that has yet to be completed. Postage stamps are considered to be used only once. The post office workers place a postmark over the postage stamp when a letter is prepared to be sent from the postal facility.

This postmark informs the post office of several details, such as the letter’s postal code and the time when it was sent. While collecting fresh letters which are supposed to be sent, post office staff check for evidence of a postmark. 

They will refuse to acknowledge postage if they find pieces of it on a stamp and will demand fresh postage to be issued.

Most stamps are also “marked” with UV ink, which is usually cleared away when the stamp is taken from the envelope. Finally, removing stamps from used envelopes takes time. Considering time is precious, removing the stamp will cost you more effort than buying a new stamp.

However, this restriction doesn’t apply to letters that haven’t passed through the Postal procedures. Therefore you can use it again but only if you place a stamp over an envelope without mailing the letter.

Will You Get Arrested for Reusing Postage Stamps?

Once a postal stamp is used, it is a criminal violation to use a postage stamp again, whether canceled before or not. If you have any query related to circumstances in which you can use reused stamps, contact the Postal Inspector. Otherwise buy a new stamp.

Will You Get Arrested for Reusing Postage Stamps?
Will You Get Arrested for Reusing Postage Stamps?

Most crimes seem to be too little to identify as criminal activities. But you should always remember that reusing stamps is a kind of violation of rules. And every violation is penalized under the law. Therefore, if you’re convicted of this violation, you will get charged.

However, the chances of getting legally charged or getting arrested for this violation are very low. Usually, mail and letters with reused stamps return to the sender, or the receiver might have to pay for the new stamp.

Therefore, one should have to buy a new postage stamp so that you don’t end up making the receiver pay for your violation.

But this won’t be the situation if you repeatedly violate the postage rules. Also, some individuals try to sell used stamps in the market. For a case like this, the punishment is generally severe and it can lead to getting arrested.
For example, most individuals are guilty of duplicating stamps.

If, however, it is done for personal use and in limited amounts, they would face a lower penalty usually getting charged for the violation. But individuals who are reselling postage stamps to customers will be obliged to pay a fine and face a prison sentence.

Can the Post Office Detect If You Reuse a Stamp?

Using used postage stamps is indeed a crime but most people reuse the postal stamps to escape from paying money for new postage stamps.
For this reason, some of the post offices and their workers are now started marking the postage stamps using UV ink which the human can’t notice, but the machines can easily identify the ink.

How Can Stamp Clear The Legal Postage Procedure?

If you want to clear all the legal postage procedures without getting any issues the edges of the postage stamps should not be torn or ripped. If the postal stamp is torn or ripped, the sorting machine may not recognize the stamp and you may have to buy a new stamp and may have to send it again using a new stamp.

However, a slight rip won’t cause a stamp to become invalid. Also, make sure to avoid using glue and tape over your stamps. If the original adhesive of the stamp has gotten weak, you might consider buying a new one.

How to Take a Stamp off an Envelope Without Getting it Torn or Ripped?

Trying to remove a stamp from an envelope can be challenging and time-wasting too. You can save even more time and money by purchasing a new stamp than peeling one from an envelope.

Therefore, if you’re planning to take a stamp off an envelope, check that the stamp hasn’t passed through the postal service. If you still want to take off a stamped envelope you can do it by following the below-given procedure.

  • To get a stamp off an envelope you just have to fill a basin full of water.
  • Then, gently immerse the stamps in the water. Let it soak for at least 15 minutes. You’ll see the stamps removed from the envelopes.
  • Then, you can take the stamp off the envelope.
  • Additionally, you can soak it longer. The longer you immerse it, the clearer it gets.


The simple answer to the question can postage stamps be reused? is every letter or mail requires the need of a postage stamp. It’s always recommended to only use the stamp once.

Every mail and letter is processed at the postal processing facility. When a letter or mail is prepared for the dispatching process, it travels through the sorter machines. The postage stamp must have a logo or a postmark on it.

This postmark provides the postal workers with details such as the letter’s destination and the postal code. The vast majority of letters are dispatched from the sender’s nearest postal facilities without getting physically canceled.

On the other hand, if the letter does not get physically canceled a reused stamp gets instantly rejected by the machines available in the postal facility.

Avatar for Charles Helms

Charles Helms is the owner and head writer of the well-known platform TrackingAdvice. With a career as an Operations Manager and over a decade of first-hand experience working with major courier shipping companies, Charles has the knowledge to help you to solve shipping and packaging-related queries.

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