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First Day of Issue Postmarks

First Day of Issue Postmarks

Christopher Arndt |

You've probably seen one. Or you've received one. But have you ever sent one?

I'm talking about a U.S. Postal Service's First-Day-of-Issue postmark covers.

If this term is new to you, a First Day Cover is a special commemorative postmark issued on the first day a new stamp is released—like the Year of the Rabbit seen in the image above.

Did you know you can get your postcards canceled with these cool collectible postmarks too?

Read on to learn how.

First day of issue postmark

There are two types of first-day-of-issue postmarks: traditional black ink or digital color.

Here's a quick summary of how to receive a commemorative first-day-of-issue postmark:

  • Apply the newly issued stamp to your postcard(s) and mail it to USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services no later than 120 days after the stamp's issue date.

  • Black ink postmarks are FREE—up to 50.

  • Digital color postmarks are 50 cents each—the minimum order is 10.

  • If you pre-address your postcard(s), the USPS will place each postcard in a protective sleeve and mail it directly to your recipient.

  • If you enclose a self-addressed return envelope with sufficient postage, the USPS will mail your postmarked postcard(s) back to you.

  • The entire process can take between 3-6 weeks.

For step-by-step instructions, visit the link below to visit the U.S. Postal Service's guide—which describes all the steps, showcases the current and upcoming postmarks available, how to pay, and where to send your postcard(s).

Lastly, did you know we have a section on our website called "Postcards by Stamp"?

Now you can easily match up your favorite postage stamps with corresponding postcards. It's a winning combination!