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 effective in August. First class went to 58¢ and postcards to 40¢, with most other rates remaining unchanged.
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
A reprint of the 2016 Amish Quilts first class presort coil (Scott 5098-5099) used the same B11111 plate number, but the plate number on the reprint appears on the blue center circle Quilt stamp, Scott 5099.
(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 B11111
Imperf BB-8 (Scott 5578a) and imperf Chopper (Scott 5582a)
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
Scott 5593a var, no die cuts, red shifted up, plate number B11
Image courtesy of Stuart Katz
Awnings on Yellow Building (Scott 5594) and Open Window (Scott 5597)
Awnings on Yellow Building (Scott 5594a) and Open Window (Scott 5597a)
Plasma Blast (Scott 5602) and Sunspots (Scott 5604)
Plasma Blast (Scott 5602a) and Sunspots (Scott 5604a)
(F) Yogi Berra (Scott 5608; no die cuts 5608a): B1111111 in LL & LR
Max Pollak (Scott 5609) and Ayodel Casel (Scott 5613)
Max Pollak (Scott 5609a) and Ayodel Casel (Scott 5613a)
(F) Mystery Message (Scott 5614; no die cuts 5614a): B1111 in LL & LR
To decode, just take off your glasses; it worked for me!
Hat (Scott 5615) and Buckle (Scott 5616)
(98¢, 3-ounce rate) Ursula Le Guin (Scott 5619): P1111
(F) Raven Story (Scott 5620; no die cuts 5620a): B11 in LL & LR
Montauk Point Lighthouse - NY (Scott 5621) and Navesink Lighthouse - NJ (Scott 5622)
Imperf Montauk Point Lighthouse (Scott 5621a) and imperf Navesink Lighthouse - NJ (Scott 5622a)
(F) Missouri Statehood (Scott 5626; no die cuts 5626a): B1111
Badminton (Scott 5633) and Baseball (Scott 5631)
Imperf Badminton (Scott 5633a) and imperf Baseball (Scott 5631a)
(F) Happy Birthday 2021 (Scott 5635): P1111
Red Monster (Scott 5639) and imperf Red Monster (Scott 5639a)
Orange-eye Skull (Scott 5640) and Purple-eye Skull (Scott 5643)
Imperf Orange-eye Skull (Scott 5640a) and imperf Purple-eye Skull (Scott 5643a)
Santa with Sack (Scott 5644) and Santa in Chimney (Scott 5645)
Swimming Otter (Scott 5648), and Otter Sliding to Right (Scott 5649)
UL and UR plate numbers were not normally issued on panes where the plate number appears only at LL and LR, and are not listed in stamp catalogs. "Upper left" and "upper right" PNS of stamps issued in uncut press sheets can be contrived by extending the selvage of stamps from the top strip in a pane of an uncut press sheet to the bottom row of the issued panes. Examples are Scott 5555, 5555a, 5556, 5556a, 5573*, 5577*, 5583*, 5583a*, 5587*, 5587a*, 5593, 5593a, 5594, 5594a, 5597, 5597a, 5602, 5602a, 5604, 5604a, 5608, 5608a, 5609, 5609a, 5613, 5613a, 5614, 5614a, 5620, 5620a, 5621, 5621a, 5624, 5624a, 5639 and 5639a. Such contrived examples can usually be distinguished by an abnormally large cross-gutter selvage. Examples marked with an asterisk (*) denote Scott numbers from multi-design issues that do not appear with a plate number in any position, except through such contrivances.
Pending, expected, unannounced or unofficial
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, from pane of 20 (Scott RW88): P1111
$25 Hunting Permit self-adhesive pane of 1 (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) Against All Odds (Memorial Day)
(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; unclear whether the 2021 Sun Science issue fulfilled this
(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.
Postponed from the announced or rumored 2014 - 2020 programs
(F) The Beatles (although an individual John Lennon stamp was issued in late 2018)
(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 January 21, 2023.
Opinions expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the APNSS, its officers or members.