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Topic: Stale postage

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Subject: Stale postage
Date Posted: 12/30/2010 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2006
Posts: 4,938
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Someone at my office gave me a stip of metered postage that she did not use.  Basically she'd printed too many strips.  It has a date on it.  I know that I can run another meter tape at 0 with the current date to activate and use the postage.  My question is, is there any time limit for me doing this?  If the stale postage is dated 12/15, can I wait till say, March to run a new meter and use it?

Date Posted: 1/2/2011 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
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Issa, not sure if you ever found an answer, but this is all I found on the topic at the USPS site.  It doesn't specify any length of time or any "expiration date" for the stale postage, so I'm assuming you could use it just by running the 0.00 strip like you were saying, although sooner is probably better than later.  Good luck!


  • Stale Meter Date

    A meter stamp must bear the current date. If the postage bears a previous or future date, the meter stamp is considered "stale."
    • The meter date must be updated daily. Mail must be metered with the actual date of mailing.
    • Mail deposited after the day's last scheduled collection may bear the actual date of deposit or the date of the next scheduled collection.
    • Authorized dispatch prepared presort mail accepted after midnight may bear the previous day's date.
    • A customer who has mail with stale meter dates, but correct postage may run the mail piece through again to produce meter indicia with the correct date but $0.00 postage.
    • This correction may be run on the reverse side of the envelope (upper right corner). For flats and parcels the correction should be made next to the existing meter stamp


      If you have questions regarding operation or meter settings, you should contact the Mailing Requirements office of your local Post Office facility.

      Note: The United States Postal Service examines metered mail to detect irregularities in preparation and dating. If stale dated metered mail is identified by a postal employee (machines do not catch stale meter dates) the mail piece(s) will be cancelled with the correct date. If the mailer submits a large amount of mail with stale dates, the USPS will return the mail to the mailer for correction before it will be accepted.

Date Posted: 1/4/2011 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2006
Posts: 4,938
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Wow Sheila, thanks for looking that up.  I'll just try it no matter how much time has passed.  Just hate to see all that money going to waste.

Date Posted: 1/6/2011 3:24 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I know that I use the APC machine at my postoffice and you can buy extra stamps and the date is the sale date and they can be used any time