Questions about Mailer's Postmark Permit's Answered

Q: What is an MPP and what does it do?

A: MPP stands for "Mailer's Postmark Permit." An MPP is a specific permit issued by a post office that allow business or, in our case, interested individuals to cancel their own postage. 

Q: How can I obtain an MPP from the United States Postal Service?

A: First, register for your free handcancelled.com membership right here, then you'll have access to our how-to guide on obtaining your own MPP right here.

Q: How much does it cost to obtain an MPP from the USPS?

A: Nothing! Obtaining a MPP permit is free for those who wish to use it for philatelic purposes. 

Q: Who is allowed to use an MPP cancel?

A: Anyone! There are no nationality or age requirements. Anyone can apply, obtain, and use an MPP. 

Q: Can I obtain permit #1 from my chosen post office?

A: Maybe! It is up to the postmaster to decide which number is issued, and generally postmark permits are issued sequentially. This said, if you are the first to apply at that office, yes, it is likely you will be issued permit #1. (I have permit #1 from the post office in Kyle, Texas!) 

Q: Can I get an MPP cancel from multiple post offices - local or nonlocal?

A: Yes! There are no residency requirements to obtain an MPP and you can apply at any post office you wish. Several collectors have obtained MPP cancels from a variety of nearby post offices and mail from different offices on different occasions. I have successfully obtained MPPs "by foot" and "by mail."

Q: What color of ink is to be used with MPPs?

A: The USPS has only authorized the use of black ink. 

Q: Can I deposit my MPP handcancelled mail into any USPS collection box? 

A: No! All MPP canceled mail must be dropped of by hand to a postal clerk at the issuing office. It is also possible to send your MPP-cancelled mail in a larger envelope to a post office for remailing if you are not able to drop off your cancelled mail in person. 

Q: My MPP mail gets overcancelled. How do I avoid overcancels?

A: Mail already cancelled with an MPP does not need further canceling, but it does need sorting. Some collectors have had success asking that their MPP mail be deposited along with metered mail.

Q: Where can I obtain a stamp bearing my MPP cancel?

A: Anyone who makes rubber stamps can make an MPP cancel. Prices and styles vary, so check out their offerings.

Q: Can I use fancy cancels, slogans, and other designs in my MPP cancel?

A: No! This is the technical answer as the only authorized style of permits is the Type A or Type Z permits. (Psst... I have seen other designs used successfully provided the stamps are adequately obliterated.)

Q: How long have MPPs been in use?

A: Mailer’s Precancel Postmarks were first authorized on Feb 20, 1925 by Postmaster General Harry S. New in Order 1594. This authorization was made public by Postal Bulletin 13716 dated March 7, 1925.