Can Local Stamps Be Used Internationally?

Sending letters between different countries can often be confusing and sometimes even stressful.

There is always the worry that letters could get lost in the mail, and they will not reach their destination, or the chance that they will arrive with some potentially hefty import fees which need to be paid. 

Can Local Stamps Be Used Internationally

This is why getting the correct information on how to send letters internationally is important, and you will want to make sure that you are able to use the right stamps, so the letters will reach their destination.

So can you use your local stamps for a letter to be sent internationally.

If you live in the US, to send a letter to a country internationally, your best bet is to use a USPS Global Forever stamp, as it will save you the process of having to use multiple stamps or perhaps mixing up stamps.

The best part is, is that these stamps are only $1.40 and will ensure that your letter will reach its destination.

These stamps will work on 1oz letters or postcards and will work for almost any foreign country which can be delivered to.

If you want more details on how to do this process, we have included a step-by-step guide to make sure that you know everything you have to do before sending the letter to make sure it will get to its correct destination!

Step By Step Guide To Sending Letters Internationally

Before sending a letter internationally, make sure to go through the steps which are included here to make sure you do not miss anything out to ensure that your letter will reach its correct destination!

1. Ask If You Are Able To Send It

This is perhaps the most important step. Each country has different rules about what can be sent and where things can be sent so the best thing to do is research the Index of Countries and Localities and abide by the rules which are dictated there.

There are certain things you can and cannot send even if they could be sent in the same package. For example, you are unable to send items like money, or things which have cash value without a customs form.

The easiest way to work all of this out is to go to a post office and talk to a professional who can give you all the advice you need and let you know how everything works in your local area and in your country.

If you have any level of uncertainty sending a letter internationally, do not rush and go and ask someone who’s opinion you trust on this subject.

2. Choose An Envelope Or Postcard

When sending letters internationally you can choose to use either an envelope or a postcard. These both have their pros and cons, but it is usually quite obvious which is best for the role you need it for. 

Envelopes are best when you are sending paper documents which you want to keep contained like; letters, forms, and cards.

Postcards on the other hand are better for shorter messaged and because of this they do not need to be put into an envelope which is a small cost saved.

You can put postcards in envelopes if you want to send them with something else, but this is by no means a necessity.

3. Address The Mail

Apart from making sure if you are able to send the letter, this is perhaps the most important part of the process as this is what makes sure the post will reach its destination and needs to be clear and legible.

Each country has its own address format which you will need to comply to as this will make sure it will get delivered properly when it is in the country it needs to be delivered to.

You will however, want to ensure that you write the delivery address in English, and then if it needs to be translated you can put the translation next to each line.

Can Local Stamps Be Used Internationally (1)

When using an envelope you will want to write the address on the front with the return address in the top left corner of the envelope and the delivery address ear the center a bit lower down.

You will want to make sure the country name is in English on the last line of each. 

Once again, each country has its own address format, so make sure to comply with this, but when it comes to specifics, you may need to refer to the first step again. 

When using a postcard, these tend to have different formats, but make sure to put the address in the space left for it, and where you need to put the stamp should also be clearly labelled too.

4. Calculate Your Postage

If you are using the USPS Global Forever stamps, you will need just one of these to send a standard postcard or letter to any country in the world available.

For envelopes, you will put the stamp in the upper right corner, and for postcards you will put it in either the top right, or wherever has been labelled as the correct spot.

If your letter is larger or heavier than average, there is a good chance that you may have to end up maying more for it to be sent and need extra stamps, but these will all be made clear in the post office, so make sure to bring in what you are sending when buying stamps, so you can ensure you are getting the right type of stamps for it.

5. Send The Mail

Once you are sure that your letter or postcard has all the correct stamps and services paid, and that the address is properly laid out, you can be confident that your letter or postcard is ready to send.

You can just use a mailbox or a collection box at a post office, but if it is a larger package you usually need to use a collection spot. 


Hopefully this guide has given you all the guidance you need to confidently send letters which are going abroad, so you can be confident that they will reach their destination.

If you are unsure or unconfident in what you have done to make sure the letter will arrive, go to a post office and ask them the specific questions which you have as they should be able to answer you and help you use the services which you are looking for.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Regular Stamps To Mail International?

You can, but you nearly always need to add extra stamps or specific types of stamps, that is why using standard stamps is usually not recommended in favor of specific services, however, if you have stamps you want to use, this could save money, but it might also be more confusing.

What Stamps Do I Use For International Letters?

The best stamp to use for sending letters internationally is a USPS Global Forever stamp which tends to cost $1.40, but this price could fluctuate.

Andy Domar
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