Validity of a postmark?
January 31, 2008 6:56 AM Subscribe
Question about the validity of a "postmark" from the US Postal Service.
posted by luser to Law & Government (9 answers total)
I mailed a couple of letters last night that needed to be postmarked that day (1/30) for legal reasons. After waiting in line at the only post office open until 7 p.m., I got to the counter only to see a sign saying that after 5:30, they were only postmarking with tomorrow's date. Ugh.
I was directed to the self-service machine. Those machines don't "postmark" your mail per se; they issue a sticker with a bar code that says "sold on 1/30." This is my question: Is this the same thing as a postmark? Couldn't I just buy that sticker and mail the letter a week later? It seems like that defeats the whole purpose of definitively proving the date a letter was mailed. Also, when I put my stamped letters in the slot (which said the next pickup was the next morning), were they stamped again with a 1/31 date? Or does the postage sticker I bought from the machine preclude any further date stamping by USPS?
If it makes any difference, I sent the letters certified mail, with return receipt requested. But again, there's nothing about those forms that indicates any kind of postmark date. In fact, with the certified mail receipt, at the window they put a postmark on that so you can show when the certified mail was sent. Having used the kiosk, I don't even have that.
As you can see I'm a little concerned about whether I have ironclad proof that my letters were mailed last night.