Don't know it and won't admit it!
By Joseph Lo Preiato
Although I own more than 30 mailer's postmarks from across the country, like
many of you, I, too have experienced unpleasant situations with pompous
postmasters who have no idea what a mailer's postmark permit is. Let me share
with you some of my experiences in obtaining a mailer's postmark permits.
This will also answer some frequently asked questions I receive on a regular
Firstly, according to current postal regulations; mailing permits of any type
are only issued by a main post office (first class p. o.). Branches, stations
or contract post offices (CPO) are not authorized to issue mailing permits of
any type; although, I have seen a few with the station or branch name.
Secondly, precanceled mail with a MPP cannot be deposited in street mail
boxes: it must be deposited at the Bulk Mail section at the post office where
the permit was issued.
Mailings have been allowed at a post office other than where permits had been
issued, specifically a branch or a station, within or outside the permit
city. You may also be allowed to do this.
I suggest that you contact the person that issued your permit at the main
post office. Ask if you may be allowed to deposit your mail at a branch near
your residence or at a station in the next town where you live. It has been
my experience that most postal personnel are very cooperative in this regard.
Next, have him/her make a phone call to designated personnel at the post
office you have chosen to deposit your mail. The call will alert and/or
educate the designated person.
Case in point; I live in Newington, CT, our town post office is a station of
Hartford, CT post office, located 30 miles away. Hartford issued my permit
but my mail has been deposited to the Newington station for the last 20
years. Rarely have questions arisen; when it has, a quick call to Hartford
resolved the situation. The Mail and Rate Classification Center at the
Hartford Regional Center (RCSCS) is staffed with professionals in the field.
Here is one you may not have heard before. Postmasters from two far away
states where I hold mailer's postmarks, have told me: "You don't have to send
your mail here, you may mail it from your local post office, provided you
have the appropriate postage on each piece and it's postmarked with your
mailer's postmark on the day of mailing."
Local postmasters may request to see proof that you are the owner of the
mailer's postmark. I must confess, I have tried this method even though it
does not meet regulations; it has worked four out of five times at post
offices across the country. As you can see the field is open for deviations
from the DMM. I do not advocate that postmasters break the rules, but they
can certainly bend them just a little when there is no fraudulent intent.
It is always very productive to frequent the same post office, deal with one
or two persons; develop and cultivate relationships. I show my appreciation,
once each year for their cooperation, with a modest reward (under $5) at an
appropriate holiday. A bottle of wine, or a loaf of homemade bread, or couple
packs of cigarettes, or a souvenir from my last trip, or a bag of imported
candy. Remember, don't overdo it. A by product of this relationship with
postal personnel, results in a marked reduction or elimination of
overcanceling your mail.
Whenever you are dealing with postal personnel ignorant of the mailer's
postmark regulations and you sense that a negative situation is developing,
remain calm at all costs, avoid discussions which may be interpreted as
sarcastic. Grandfather's old Italian proverb is still true today: "It's
easier to deal with a brigand than deal with an ignorant".
How can the situation be resolved? Arm yourself with a copy of the MPPC How
to obtain Mailer's Postmark permit . . . a Basic Guide, return to the post
office and see what happens. Suggest that you can leave the guide for them to
go over it. I have yet to hear from anyone who went to the post Office with
the "guide" and was refused a mailer's postmark permit.
Alice, many thanks for your initiative to set up this site for MPPC. Your
dedications and support are deeply appreciated. This spot gives members and
others mailer's postmarkers an opportunity to chat with one another. Also,
enlighten individuals who are looking for an affordable fun alternative.
We welcome anyone to join in the fun and cancel their own.
Joseph Lo Preiato, President
Mailer's Postmark Permit Club (MPPC)
The Official MPP Site
Local Post Collectors Society
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