When mailing a large envelope or package that weighs over 1 ounce, you typically need to apply additional postage. The standard Forever stamp currently costs $0.60 and covers 1 ounce of weight. If your large letter weighs over 1 ounce, you will need to add extra postage to account for the additional weight.
Can you put 2 stamps on a large letter? Yes, you can put 2 stamps on a large letter that weighs over 1 ounce to account for the additional weight and ensure proper delivery.
How many stamps do you need for a large letter? For a large letter weighing up to 3 ounces, you need 2 stamps. From 3-4 ounces requires 3 stamps. Over 4 ounces may require additional postage.
Does a large letter need extra postage? Yes, any letter over 1 ounce in weight needs extra postage beyond a single Forever stamp which covers up to 1 ounce.
Determining Postage for Large Letters
When mailing a large letter or oversized envelope, the first step is to weigh it. You can use a small postal scale to weigh your letter and determine if it is over 1 ounce. The standard weight classes for letters are:
- 1 ounce or less
- Over 1 ounce up to 2 ounces
- Over 2 ounces up to 3 ounces
- Over 3 ounces up to 3.5 ounces
- Over 3.5 ounces up to 4 ounces
A Forever stamp currently valued at $0.60 covers a 1 ounce letter. So if your large letter weighs 1.5 ounces, you would need 2 Forever stamps to mail it properly. For a 3 ounce large letter, you would need 3 Forever stamps.
Postage Costs for Large Letters
Here is a breakdown of the postage costs for mailing large letters based on weight class:
|1 ounce or less
|$0.60 (cost of 1 Forever stamp)
|Over 1 ounce up to 2 ounces
|$1.20 (cost of 2 Forever stamps)
|Over 2 ounces up to 3 ounces
|$1.80 (cost of 3 Forever stamps)
|Over 3 ounces up to 3.5 ounces
|Over 3.5 ounces up to 4 ounces
As you can see, you need to add an additional Forever stamp for each extra ounce over 1 ounce when mailing a large letter. Using multiple Forever stamps to cover the additional weight is the most common solution for ensuring proper postage on large letters.
Guidelines for Large Letter Postage
When determining the proper postage for your large letter, keep these guidelines from the USPS in mind:
- Letters over 1 ounce up to 3.5 ounces can use Forever stamps to match the weight. So a 2 ounce letter needs 2 stamps.
- Letters over 3.5 ounces cannot use Forever stamps. You must pay the exact weight based postage.
- The maximum weight for First Class large letters is 3.5 ounces for regular mail and 13 ounces for large letter parcels.
- Oversized letters that exceed the maximum dimensions for letters may be subject to parcel rates.
- Always round weight up to the next whole ounce increment.
Following these guidelines will ensure you apply proper postage for heavy and large letters based on the weight. Using a digital kitchen scale can make it easy to determine the exact weight.
Mailing a 3 Ounce Letter
A common example is mailing a large 3 ounce letter. At this weight, you would need 3 Forever stamps to mail it properly via USPS First Class service. A single 1 ounce Forever stamp covers up to 1 ounce in weight. So you need 3 stamps to cover the 3 full ounces of a large letter weighing over 2 ounces up to 3 ounces.
Without the proper postage, USPS may return your large letter for insufficient postage or delay delivery while they await payment. So weighing letters over 1 ounce and applying the right postage via Forever stamps prevents problems.
Other Postage Options for Large Letters
Forever stamps provide a convenient option for applying postage to large letters over 1 ounce. However, you can also use these other methods to pay postage on heavy letters:
- Postal Meters – With a postal meter you pre-pay for postage and it prints the calculated rate on your mailpiece when you are ready to send. Helpful for bulk business mailings.
- Online Postage – Pay for postage and print shipping labels with exact calculated rates through USPS online tools or other vendor websites.
- Postage Stamps – Denominated postage stamps are available for common letter rates like 5¢, 10¢, etc. You can combine denominated stamps to match the weight.
- Post Office – You can always take large letters to the Post Office and have the clerk weigh them and determine the exact postage amount for you.
For convenience and ease, using multiple Forever Stamps is the simplest approach for most individuals and households mailing the occasional large letter or greeting card over 1 ounce. But businesses and organizations with bulk USPS mail may benefit from online postage, postal meters, and other options.
Reasons for Needing Extra Postage on Letters
Why might you need to put 2 stamps or more on a large letter? There are a few key reasons you may need additional postage:
- The letter weighs over 1 ounce – Heavier paper, enclosures, etc can push it over the 1 ounce limit covered by a single stamp.
- The letter is oversized or oddly shaped – Irregular dimensions mean it cannot go through automation, requiring additional postage.
- Extra services have been added – Options like certified mail, return receipt, etc. require postage over the normal letter rate.
- Letter is going to another country – International postage rates are higher than standard domestic rates.
Being aware of these situations where extra postage may be required can help prevent mail from being returned, delayed, or rejected by USPS when you need an additional stamp on letters or packages.
Mailing Thick Greeting Cards
A common time many people realize they need extra postage for letters is when mailing thick greeting cards. Even standard size greeting cards can weigh over 1 ounce when they contain multiple pages, heavy inserts, or other embellishments.
For example, a 5×7 greeting card with 5 folded pages inside may weigh 1.5 ounces. In this case, you would need 2 Forever stamps for proper postage. If there are enclosures like photos or gift cards making it over 2 ounces, then 3 stamps would be required. Weighing your stacked greeting cards and envelopes ensures accurate postage.
Adding Stamps to Letters at USPS
If you arrive at the Post Office with a letter or card that needs extra postage, you typically have two options:
- Purchase sheets of stamps to add the extra amount. Tell the clerk your letter weighs X ounces over 1 ounce and you need to apply more postage. Purchase and add the right number of extra stamps.
- Have the clerk weigh your letter and determine the exact postage. Then they can print and apply a postage label with the correct rate. You pay the rate cost. This ensures accurate postage without needing to purchase full sheets of stamps.
Having to add postage is common for oversized and international letters. As long as the original postage marks are not crossed out, extra stamps or meter labels can be added as needed to meet USPS requirements.
Paying Postage Due on Letters
If you mail a letter without enough postage, USPS may deliver it Postage Due to the recipient. This means the recipient has to pay the insufficient or missing postage amount before they receive the letter.
To avoid inconveniencing recipients and delaying your mail, always weigh letters over 1 ounce and apply the proper corresponding Forever Stamps or other postage. Postage Due mail also incurs a fee paid by the recipient.
Tips for Mailing Large Letters
Here are some helpful tips when you need to mail an oversized or heavy letter with extra postage:
- Weigh your envelopes and cards on a digital postal scale before mailing.
- Round weights up to the next whole ounce. For example, 1.1 ounce rounds up to 2 ounces.
- Add the right number of stamps for the weight class. 3 ounces needs 3 Forever stamps.
- Write or print the weight of the letter on the front. This helps alert the USPS.
- Take letters over 3.5 ounces to the Post Office for weighing and exact rate calculation.
- Consider using extra services like certified mail for valuable contents. This provides tracking and delivery confirmation.
- Always double check postage against USPS rates if unsure. Their Postal Explorer tool has helpful charts.
With scale weighing and the proper postage for weight, you can mail large and heavy letters with confidence they will be delivered properly. This prevents delayed or returned mail.
When mailing a large envelope or letter over 1 ounce in weight, you need to apply extra postage. A single Forever stamp covers 1 ounce. So if your letter weighs 2.5 ounces, you would need 3 Forever stamps to mail it correctly.
Using a digital kitchen or postal scale makes it easy to determine the exact weight of your mailpiece. Apply multiple Forever stamps equal to the weight class to account for the extra ounces. Oversized and international mail may have additional guidelines or higher rates.
Following USPS postage rules prevents returned or undelivered mail. Weighing letters, calculating the rates, and adding enough stamps ensures proper delivery of your large envelopes and heavy greeting cards.