The Postal Service™ has not authorized a first-day-of-issue postmark design for the first-day-of-issue ceremony in Morgantown, WV. The stamp will be dedicated October 17. All requests must be postmarked by December 18, 2008. Postmasters wanting to produce a first-day-of-sale postmark must follow the instructions from Postal Bulletin 22237 (7-17-08, page 53) (see Exhibit A on page 6).
Effective July 17, 2008, a new first day of sale postmarking service is available to collectors upon request. At the request of stamp and commemorative cover collectors nationwide, this postmarking service was created and will now be implemented as an official postmark. Participation by postmasters/Post Offices™ in this postmarking service is voluntary; however, postmasters/Post Offices are encouraged to participate.
Since January 2007, all new stamps and stationery items go on sale nationwide on the official first day of issue date. Typically, with each new stamp and stationery item, one official first day of issue city provides collectors with an official first day of issue postmark. For all other Post Offices (other than the official first day of issue city), this new first day of sale postmark will now be available for use.
The first day of sale postmark will not only support the hobby of stamp collecting but will assist postmasters in promoting the sale of new stamps and stationery items. Stamp collectors will now be able to collect official first day of sale postmarks on commemorative envelopes.
Postmasters are encouraged to participate in the new first day of sale postmark program.
Postmasters participating in first day of sale postmarking should order their postmarking devices using PS Form 1567, Requisition for Rubber and Steel Hand Canceling Stamps, (see pages 54 and 55) and by calling the rubber stamp hotline at 800-332-0317 (press option 4); or postmasters may directly contact the awarded supplier, The Baumgarten Company of Washington, DC, at 888–852-3852. Postmasters should allow 30 days for the vendor to provide the postmarking device.
The first day of sale postmark is available in two formats:
Size A. Self-inking hand-changeable date stamp for Post Offices with 13 or fewer characters in their Post Office name (characters include the comma and space between the Post Office name and its state abbreviation).
(13 characters maximum in city and state including spaces and commas)
Size B. Rubber composition hand-changeable date stamp for Post Offices with more than 13 characters in their Post Office name (characters include the comma and space between the Post Office name and its state abbreviation).
(More than 13 characters in city and state including spaces and commas)
See Postal Operations Manual (POM) Chapter 2, Philately, for more information about philatelic postmarks.
First day of sale postmarking service may be provided when such service does not interfere with other retail sales or mail processing operations, and/or does not inconvenience other customers. Postmasters may, at their discretion, offer collectors either hand-back or mail-back service and/or arrange for a date/time with the collector for drop-off and pick-up service.
Customers will have 90 days for the official first day of issuance date to obtain first day of sale postmarks on new stamps and stationery items. Collectors should contact the Post Office from which they are requesting a first day of sale postmark to verify that a specific Post Office participates in the first day of sale postmarking program. Collectors may request a first day of sale postmark in person or by mail to the postmaster. There is no charge for servicing of first day of sale postmarks up to 50 covers. Mail-in customers must supply a self-addressed envelope with sufficient return postage applied to return the serviced covers.
All new stamps and stationery items are announced in the Postal Bulletin and through news releases distributed to the press and to philatelic periodicals. No national listing of Post Offices participating in first day of sale postmarking will be maintained. Customers/collectors will have to contact individual postmasters/Post Offices individually to find out if they are participating in the postmarking service. Postmasters wishing to promote this program locally will need to contact their local Corporate Communications office for assistance.