Where to Put Stamp on Envelope


January 13, 2023

Stamping an envelope may seem easy, but a small mistake can land your letter in the mail pile at the post office. 

You should know how to correctly stamp your envelope if you want your letter or package to reach its destination.

This article can help you place your stamp properly on your envelope. It also answers questions like where to place the U.S. Postal Service stamp on your envelope and where a stamp usually goes on an envelope.

If you are wondering where you can purchase some stamps for your letter, check out FindPostOffice.org and see where your nearest post office is. 

The website provides information about all 31,330 post offices in the United States and pinpoints the one closest to your location.

Can a U.S. Postal Service Stamp Be Placed Anywhere on the Envelope?

No. It is important to place the stamp on the upper right-hand corner of the envelope according to the guidelines of USPS.

Placement of Stamp: How Do You Insert a Stamp on an Envelope?

The size and weight of your envelope and its contents will affect how many stamps you put on it.

The standard rules for postage may vary by country and change over time. Always consult your local post office to find out the latest postage rates.

Where Does the Stamp Go on Envelopes?

Place the stamps on the upper right-hand corner of your envelope.

Do You Have to Put Stamps in the Corner?

Yes, and there is a reason why. When stamps were first issued in 1847, letter senders needed clarification about how and where to place these postage stamps.

During that time, the sorting of letters was done manually by postal clerks, so their placement was not as important. But with the introduction of machines, a standard had to be established.

The location of the stamp is based on the fact that most mail handlers back in the day were right-handed.

USPS’s senior public relations representative says that if the stamp is not in its designated spot, the letter ends up in a pile that has to be manually sorted. 

If you don’t follow the guidelines, it may take longer for your letter to be processed.

Is It OK to Put the Stamp on the Left Side?

USPS guidelines specify that you should place the stamp on the upper right corner of surface mail. 

But the post office will still deliver a letter even if you put the stamp on the wrong side of the envelope.

However, stamps may be invalid if other postage stamps overlap and partly conceal them.

How to Put a Stamp on an Envelope

Addressing and stamping envelopes is the next thing you should do after writing your recipient’s full name and address on the mailpiece.

Before sealing your envelope, ensure that your address format is correct.

With a stamp, the postal service can correctly deliver your letters.

When stamping a mailpiece, you should consider how much the envelope weighs, its destination, and how fast you want it delivered.

Determining the Postage for the Envelope

  1. Make sure that your envelope is the right size. Size 14 envelopes measure 5 inches by 11 1/2 inches and are the industry standard. 

These envelopes are rectangular and come in packages, which you can buy at your local post office.

  • It is possible to use an envelope smaller than a size 14, like a 10-size one with a regular postage stamp.
  • Folding your letter to fit inside a standard rectangular envelope may lower the needed postage.
  • Large envelopes (bigger than size 14) will cost more to mail.
  • Small card-sized envelopes for greeting cards or wedding invitations will require additional postage. 

Additional postage is needed because mailpieces that are square, rectangular, or made of rigid cardstock have an odd shape. 

So these letters can get stuck in mail processing machines.

  1. Weigh your mail. You can weigh it at the post office or at home using a small scale. The weight and size of your letter will affect how much you pay for postage.
  • Using first-class mail, you can send letters in a standard envelope weighing less than 13 ounces (oz) at one flat rate.
  • A standard envelope that weighs more than 13oz will be upgraded to priority class mail and charged accordingly. The cost for this mail goes over the flat rate.
  1. Decide how you want to mail the letter. The U.S. Postal Service rates mail into three categories: standard, priority, or first class.
  • You can use first-class mail to send rigid, square-shaped pieces that are letter sized. 

First-class mail must weigh no more than 13oz, and the postage price is the same regardless of how far your letter travels.

The average delivery time for first-class mail within the United States is three days. But it can take longer, depending on the destination.

First-class mail works best if you only need to send one letter.

  • If you want your letter to arrive at its destination the next business day, use priority mail. 

If you send a package via priority mail, the weight of your package must be at most 70 pounds (lbs).

It is possible to add extra services to your priority mail packages, like tracking and registered mail. These features ensure that the letters reach their intended destination.

The cost of priority mail postage is based on the distance the mail travels.

  • Standard mail is used for larger quantities, at least 200 pieces or 50 lbs.

Envelopes must weigh less than 16oz in total. Flats, or large envelopes, cost more than letters.

People sometimes use standard mail to send advertising documents, newsletters, and catalogs.

You can only send domestic mail through the standard mail service. You cannot use it to send a single envelope.

Putting a Stamp on a Standard Envelope 

  1. Select a postage stamp or stamp based on the size, weight, and class of your letter. For fast delivery, send your letter using priority mail. If you do not need your letter delivered within three to five business days, send it by first-class mail.

Ask a postal worker if you need help determining what class to use for your package.

  • A standard letter weighing less than 13oz to be sent domestically can cost $0.49 at first-class rates.
  • To mail a letter under 13oz in a standard envelope to an address within the same zone by priority mail, you may have to pay $5.75.

The cost of mailing a letter will increase the farther away the destination is from your home.

  1. Place the stamp on the sealed envelope. Peel the paper from the back of a sticker stamp before applying it.

When you use lickable stamps, be sure to lick the back of the stamp before placing it.

  • Place the stamp on the top right corner of the envelope. 

The postage stamp on the envelope will allow your letter to be scanned by the machine.

  • Ensure that the sender’s address (return address), as well as the mailing address, are not hidden or covered by your postage stamp.
  1. Put the letter in the mailbox. You can also take it to a nearby post office. Mail that weighs more than 13oz must be sent through the postal service. 

If you’re planning to send a letter, you can use FindPostOffice.org’s lookup tool and find the closest post office to your location.

Putting a Stamp on a Large Envelope 

  1. Choose the postage for a letter based on its size, weight, and class. A letter weighing less than 13oz can be sent domestically for $0.98 if it is mailed by first-class mail.

Meanwhile, sending a large envelope weighing less than 13oz to a local address by priority mail will cost $5.75.

  1. Stick the stamp on the front of the envelope. The process is the same as the standard mail.
  2. Send the mail. Put the letter in your mailbox or take it to your local post office if it weighs more than 13oz.

How Many Stamps Should You Use

With the right resources, it is easy to calculate how much postage you will need for most parcels. 

This part of the article is a guide on how to use a postage calculator for quick and easy results.

  1. Use a Forever Stamp for regular mail. You only need one Forever Stamp to send your item if it fits into a standard business envelope and weighs less than 1oz.

Postage for large items can be calculated using a postage calculator. If you need specific postage, the easiest way is to use an online retailer.

  • One Forever Stamp costs $0.58.
  • Forever Stamps can mail letters, greeting cards, and light items.
  • Suppose you want to send a standard commercial envelope outside the United States. In that case, you will need to use a Global Forever Stamp. Currently, they cost $1.30 each.
  1. Measure large envelopes or packages that are not a standard size.

Use a tape measure or a ruler to determine an envelope’s dimensions.

Include the thickness of a package or envelope when describing its dimensions. The weight and size of the item will affect how much it costs to mail.

  • Ensure that your measurements are accurate.

You can round the numbers up or down, depending on how you are directed by your postage calculator.

  • Postage stamps are not generally used for oversized packages, which must be shipped through the post office.
  1. Add up the weight of everything you’ve sent in your envelope.

To weigh small items accurately, you can use a scale that can measure weight in ounces or grams.

Ordinary kitchen scales are a good option for weighing parcels and envelopes. Meanwhile, heavy packages can be weighed on a digital bathroom scale.

  • Most calculators will ask you to round up the weight of your item to calculate the postage cost.
  • If you still need a scale, ask the post office to weigh your item and ship it.
  1. When choosing a shipping class, you should consider your shipment’s weight and priority. You should also consider how soon it needs to arrive at its destination.
  • Items sent by ground mail usually arrive within two to eight business days.

Ground mail is also called standard mail. It is best to use the standard service when shipping large quantities of mail and oversized packages.

  • Priority mail guarantees delivery within one to three days. When sending large items, you can choose a flat-rate envelope or box to ship them.

That way, no matter what the package weighs, your postage will cost the same amount.

  • First-class mail typically takes one to three days, but only items weighing up to 13oz are eligible. Additional postage is required for heavier items.
  1. Calculate how much postage the item will require. The postal service will ask you to enter your envelope or package’s size, weight, class, and destination address.

You will also be asked for your home street address, postal code, or ZIP code.

After submitting your item’s information, you will be shown the mailing cost. You can use this amount to figure out how many stamps you’ll need.

  • You can use USPS’s online postage price calculator if you live in the United States.
  • You should fill out all of an item’s data fields so that you will be charged the correct postage.
  1. To calculate the cost per stamp, divide by the current price of a Forever Stamp. The number you get is the amount of postage required. 

If your postage cost is $2.32, you will divide 2.32 by 0.58 to get four stamps. $0.58 is the cost of a Forever Stamp.

  • You can add an ounce or two of postage if you are concerned about whether your envelope will weigh enough.
  • You can also purchase stamps that include the additional postage. 

Additional postage stamps are sold in values of 1 cent, 2 cents, 3 cents, 5 cents, and 10 cents.

  1. Place your stamps in your mail. Peel the stamp off its backing and press it onto your package or envelope.

Placing the stamp in the upper right-hand corner of your envelope will help ensure that a mail handler will not overlook them.

  • Put multiple stamps in one or two rows, ensuring they do not overlap.
  • For help applying stamps or attaching them to your mail, ask one of the clerks at the post office.
  1. If a package requires more than one stamp to mail, take it to the post office. Refrain from mailing overly heavy items through your home mailbox.

To ship these heavy items, you will need to take them to the post office. Once you’ve arrived at the post office, give your item to an employee for processing.

Postal clerks can sell you the required stamps or help you calculate the postage.

You can print shipping labels at home, and the postal service can pick up packages if you do not want to visit the post office.

Quality of Stamp

The USPS uses its discretion when determining whether a stamp is acceptable or not.

If the stamp is not visible, missing, or torn, the postage may not be accepted by the post office. Ensure that the attachment of the stamp is secure.


If a package is too big or oddly shaped, it can be hard to ensure that the stamp fits in its designated spot.

However, USPS can accept your parcel as long as the stamps are grouped together in one place.

Knowing how and where to apply postage is crucial to getting a piece of mail delivered.

The next time you find yourself needing to send a letter or package but do not know where the nearest post office is, you can check FindPostOffice.org and find one that is closest to you.