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Edinburgh Live
Edinburgh Live
Abbie Meehan

Royal Mail confirms exact date traditional stamps will no longer be valid

Royal Mail have confirmed the exact date that traditional stamps will no longer be valid for use in the UK - and it's just a couple of weeks away.

The delivery giants, who have been at the forefront of the news due to the industrial action taken by their workers, are making changes to how their letters are recognised by the digital world.

The stamps will be upgraded with a barcode next to the profile of the late Queen Elizabeth, in order to enable new services provided by the Royal Mail app.

READ MORE - Inside Prince William and Princess Kate's Scottish home they used to 'sneak off to'

The move is part of the Company’s extensive and ongoing modernisation drive and will allow the unique barcodes to facilitate operational efficiencies, enable the introduction of added security features and pave the way for innovative services for customers.

Most Royal Mail stamps will be barcoded, but not all of them. All 'Definitive' stamps are being barcoded - including Christmas stamps. Definitive stamps are the regular ‘everyday’ stamps featuring the profile of HM The Queen created by the sculptor Arnold Machin.

Royal Mail aren't barcoding special issue stamps - printed as a one off to commemorate a person or event - these remain valid as postage so don't need to be swapped out.

Also, although Christmas Stamps are being barcoded, previous years of non-barcoded Christmas Stamps will remain valid as postage.

The date people have to swap their stamps out by is January 31, 2023. So, customers will need to act fast to avoid losing money.

The new and upgraded Royal Mail stamps. (Royal Mail)

Non-barcoded stamps can be exchanged for the new barcoded version through the Stamp Swap Out scheme. To do this, customers just need to complete a Swap Out form and send it back to Royal Mail, along with their non-barcoded stamps.

How to get a 'Stamp Swap Out' form

  • If you have a printer, you can swap out up to £200 worth of non-barcoded stamps by printing out and completing the linked form.
  • This can be sent back free of charge, alongside the stamps, by writing on the envelope Freepost SWAP OUT. No other address details or postcode are needed.
  • If you have a printer, and more than £200 worth of stamps to swap out then you should use the Bulk Stamp Swap Out form.

  • Royal Mail recommend sending this and the non-barcoded stamps to them via a secure service with suitable cover.

The address to send to is:

Royal Mail
Swap Out
Tallents House
21 South Gyle Crescent
EH12 9PB

If you don’t have access to a printer you can request a Stamp Swap Out form to be posted to you by completing this form online. The instructions for sending back to Royal Mail will depend on the form you request.

'Stamp Swap Out' forms are also available from the Customer Service Point at your local Delivery Offices - but customers should note that they will only have the forms for the up to £200 option.

You can also call Royal Mail's Customer Experience Team on 03457 740740.


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