Mailer’s Postmark Permit #1

After 10 weeks of wrangling with the United States Postal Service, I have managed to convince them that it is perfectly legal (and, in fact, covered in the Domestic Mail Manual) for them to issue me a permit that allows me to cancel my own stamps before mailing, instead of having them do it.

Why? Besides the fun of taking on a government which is ignorant of its own rules, I hate the new ink-jetted text that passes for a postmark nowadays. I’ve also noticed that I get one or two mailpieces a month from mailers that have their own permits, and one can actually tell when and from where it was mailed.

My cancellation device (an “indicia”, really just a rubber stamp ordered from a private manufacturer) arrived a couple of days ago, and I presented it at the Post Office for approval and received my permit. I am sure they were happy to see the back of me.

I am holding off on using it for now; I ordered some special postcards to commemorate the first day of use and am awaiting their arrival. If you’d like a snazzy piece of “First Day of Use” mail with my new postmark, leave a comment.

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17 Responses

  1. I cannot BELIEVE how incredibly, amazingly cool this is. WOW. I am in awe. Of COURSE I want one of the special postcards with your own personal hand-cancel!!

    I need to know a little more on the insider story of how you managed this. Amazing.

    “Besides the fun of taking on a government which is ignorant of its own rules…” *chuckle*

  2. Roberta says:

    ” I am sure they were happy to see the back of me.” Laugh out loud funny.

  3. Christine says:

    This is so cool. Now, of course, I want one too!

  4. Postmuse says:

    I would love a to have your special mailing, too. And one of these days I am going to figure out how to get my own cancellation.

  5. Tim says:

    Mailer’s Postmark Permits *are* a lot of fun!
    This is a great place to learn how to do it… and anyone can get one quite easily.
    http://www.mppclub.org/HowToObtain.htm
    (From my experience and what I’ve heard from others, the smaller the size of the post office, the less hassle-some a task it is!!) :-)

  6. Count me in. I must have a first day of use postmark as well. And, as everyone else has already said, “This is way cool!”

  7. Christine says:

    Hi Chris,

    Your postcard with the special first-day cancellation arrived today. Too cool! I absolutely love it.

    Thanks!

    Christine

  8. The first day of use was on 9 February; all cards have been sent.

  9. Thea says:

    Hi Chris,
    I received your postcard with the mailer’s postmark – first day of use. Fantastic. I love it.
    ‘Allez Escargot’!
    Thea

  10. Lisa says:

    This is soooo cool! I just found a link to your site and found out about this. Too bad I missed the first day of use postmark. I collect unusual postmarks. I totally understand what you mean about the current cancellations – boring, no personality. I’m going to have to check into a postmark permit for myself. Thanks for the idea!

  11. Very cool. I want one!

  12. Talisheek says:

    It took me many years to get mine. I even needed to send a letter to the postmaster general, but they finally realized I was allowed to have one.

    Using them even makes paying bills kind of fun.

    We need to get lots more of them in use.

  13. Mike VanderZee says:

    Chris, I love “Mailer’s Postmarks”! Could I send you some stamped postcards in an envelope to send back to me with your postmark? I’d very greatly appreciate it.

  14. Donovan says:

    I keep trying to work up the nerve to talk to my postmaster about this. Good job!

  15. Mysterious Postcard Collector says:

    I completely agree with you on the terrible postmark that the post office uses (canada too!)

    If I have outgoing postcards, I take them to the post office and have them round stamp them so that the recipient has a chance to see where it came from!

  16. David LBurk says:

    Ive heard many bad stories of people trying to get their MPP. I had one from Kalamazoo, MI way back in the late 60’s. But when I moved to Delton, MI and retired I decided to get one from Delton. I had the form all filled and took it in to the Postmaster. The Postmaster told me that he didn’t think he had any of these permits issued before. He ask me what number I wood Like. I told him #1 would be ok. Of course this was a small post office. I walled out of the post office 15 minutes later with my signed MPP in hand. David

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