The American Plate Number Single Society
Preliminary stamp program for 2021. Details from all USPS announcements are tentative and subject to change.
All sheet or pane issues have plate numbers in four corners (UL, UR, LL, LR) unless otherwise specified.
Denominations in parentheses are Forever stamps, if first class rate, or nominal rate, if service-inscribed.
The first class rate remained 55¢ for early 2021. However, the charge for extra ounces was increased from 15¢ to 20¢, effective January 24. This pushed the value of "forever" 2-ounce and 3-ounce stamps from 70¢ to 75¢ for 2 ounces and from 85¢ to 95¢ for 3 ounces. The global airmail rate, which is not subject to the same regulations as domestic postal rates, remained unchanged at $1.15. Also, the postcard rate increased from 35¢ to 36¢.
It was originally announced that Priority mail and Priority Mail Express rates would remain unchanged. However, later, small increases were announced.
USPS announced a rate hike to take effect in August. First class will go to 58¢, with other rate hikes still to be determined.
Coil stamps have plate numbers at the bottom center of single stamps and appear in the coil at the interval specified.
Plate numbers and copyright markings for self-adhesive booklet stamps or ATM panes appear on a peelable strip within the pane. Copyright, Pane Position Diagrams (PPD), ZIP code, math aids and other markings have appeared on the back of most regular issues for several years.
As it does every year, USPS has moved the tiny date. For 2021, it appears vertically in the upper left corner.
Regular issues and commemoratives
(F) Love 2021 (with die cuts, Scott 5543; no die cuts, Scott 5543a): P11111
(20¢) Brush Rabbit pane of 20 (Scott 5544): P11111
(20¢) Brush Rabbit coil of 100 (Scott 5545): P11111 every 31 stamps
Round barn (Scott 5546) and Barn with windmill (Scott 5547)
Forebay barn with cloud (Scott 5552)
$7.95 Castillo de San Marcos, priority mail (Scott 5554): P1111 in UL and LR
(F) August Wilson, Black Heritage (Scott 5555; no die cuts Scott 5555a): P11111 in LL and LR
(F) Year of the Ox (Scott 5556; no die cuts Scott 5556a): B111111 in LL and LR
(F) Chien-Shiung Wu, physicist (Scott 5557; no die cuts Scott 5557a): P1111
Ebay images of pairs and other multiples from press sheets with plate number B11111 were faked in order to provide illustrations to bidders before the stamps were issued. The genuine stamps have plate number P1111 whether they are from regularly issued panes with die cuts, die cuts omitted, or press sheets.
Yellow Moth Orchid (Scott 5563) and White Asiatic Lily (Scott 5565)
(70¢ F) Colorado Hairstreak, non-machinable surcharge rate (Scott 5568): B11111
Caffe Latte (Scott 5569) and Espresso (Scott 5570), plate number P1111
BB-8 (Scott 5578) and Chopper (Scott 5582), plate number B1111
Cotton Patch Goose (Scott 5588) and Barbados Blackbelly Sheep (Scott 5592)
Cotton Patch Goose (Scott 5588a) and Barbados Blackbelly Sheep (Scott 5592a)
(F) Japanese-American Soldiers (Scott 5593; no die cuts 5593a): B11 in LL and LR
Awnings on Yellow Building (Scott 5594) and Open Window (Scott 5597)
Awnings on Yellow Building (Scott 5594a) and Open Window (Scott 5597a)
(F) Sun Science, 10 designs: B1111 in LL & LR
(F) Yogi Berra
(F) Mystery Message (to decode, just take off your glasses; it worked for me!)
(F) Tap Dance, 5 designs
(3 ounce rate) Ursula Le Guin
(F) Backyard Games, 8 designs
(F) Day of the Dead, 4 designs
(F) Raven Story
(F) Western Wear booklet, 4 designs
(F) Lighthouses of the Mid-Atlantic States, 5 designs
(F) Missouri Statehood
(F) Message Monsters, 4 designs
(F) Happy Birthday 2021
Pending, expected, unannounced or unofficial
(F) Traditional Christmas
(F) Contemporary Christmas
Although the global airmail stamps of the last few years are intended to meet an airmail rate, they are valid for all types of mailings and there is no indication in the stamps' designs that they are primarily for airmail purposes. Therefore Scott assigns a regular catalog number rather than one with the traditional C prefix. We display images of these stamps at the end of the Modern Airmails web page, but with the non-airmal catalogue number that is assigned to them.
Hunting Permit stamps
$25 Lesser Scaup Drake self-adhesive hunting permit stamp 2021-2022 (expected to be Scott RW88):
$25 Hunting Permit self-adhesive pane of 1 (expected to be Scott RW88A): no plate numbers
Rumored, possible or postponed
Another new semi-postal stamp, subject not announced. USPS originally planned to retire each semipostal after two years. The Alzheimer's semi-postal stamp was withdrawn from sale in November 2019 and was replaced by the PTSD semi-postal. Due to Congressional pressure, stocks of the Alzheimer's stamp were kept in local post offices; they were merely removed from sale. Sales resumed in October 2020.
(F) York (Lewis and Clark Expedition)
(F) Madonna and Child by Bachiacca
(F) James Brown, if they can ovecome copyright issues and other disagreements with Brown's estate and heirs
(F) Five Fishes
(F) Johnny Carson
(F) Steve Jobs
(F) Latino Baseball
(F) Peanuts comic strip
(F) Solar awareness
(F) Distinguished Airmen
(F) Science Fiction Writers (five designs), which was postponed from the previously announced 2013 program, was originally planned for July 2014, but did not happen then or in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 or 2020, so it is apparently now postponed again. There are apparently issues with obtaining the rights from the heirs or estates.
(F) Just Move! issue announced for 2013 but initially delayed to 2014, 2015 or later. Some redesign was required as three of the originally planned stamps depicted activities considered unsafe by some organizations. In late 2014 it was announced that these stamps had not been destroyed but were still in storage, and that a new issue was likely in 2015 with different designs. That didn't happen, nor did it happen in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 or 2020, so the idea seems to have been shelved. Still, the stamps were printed with a Forever rate, and have not been destroyed, so it may just be a matter of time before some make it into the hands of collectors.
Postponed from the announced or rumored 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 programs
A (Forever) two-ounce rate stamp was announced in 2019 but not issued. The sale price at the time would have been 70¢.
(F) The Beatles (although an individual John Lennon stamp was issued in late 2018)
(F) Against the Odds: Memorial Day
(F) Piñatas (multiple designs)
(F) Dora the Explorer (multiple designs)
(F) Stop Bullying
(F) Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters (multiple designs)
(F) Skin Health
(F) Cars (multiple designs)
(F) Elizabeth Taylor (copyright / licensing issues are apparently holding this up)
(F) Graphic Design (pane of 12 designs)
An (F) Aretha Franklin stamp was announced shortly after her death, but has apparently been stalled over copyright / licensing issues.
Official stamps were "officially" discontinued in 2013. Government agencies with stamps used up existing stock, then converted to forever stamps, meters and other postage payment methods.
The plate number information appearing on this page has been contributed by APNSS members Jim Cochrane and Rick Burdsall.
A complete listing and valuation of plate numbers, positions and other marginal markings will appear in the next edition of the Hebert's Catalog of Plate Number Singles.
This page last updated July 5, 2021.
Opinions expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the APNSS, its officers or members.