Hand-Canceling - Is It a Thing of the Past?
Updated: May 2, 2021
The U.S.P.S. has made some changes. These days, the post office uses machines to sort mail and mark each stamp as being used. However, when it comes to mailing delicate pieces of mail, like an enormous wedding invitation with crystals, wax seals, etc., they are fragile and potentially subject to damage.
According to the United States Postal Service (U.S.P.S.), hand-canceling was no longer available in June 2019. The post office now offers to purchase a non-machinable surcharge stamp, like a Forever Stamp but intended not to put it through the machine. This stamp is in addition to the cost of postage to mail the envelope. The post office has explained the time involved to sort and mark, and with the equipment upgrade they have done, it is no longer necessary. If you have an elegant, embellished invitation or an oddly shaped invitation, we recommend purchasing the optional non-machinable surcharge stamp.
You will have to weigh out the cost-benefit option for your scenario.