Major Changes To Postal Stamps – Coming Before 31 January

The Royal Mail are adding barcodes to their regular stamps. After 31 January 2023, regular stamps without a barcode* will no longer be valid. You can either use up these stamps before this deadline or swap them for the new barcoded ones.

The stamps that are changing are the stamps (pictured below) that will be very familiar to you. They feature the profile of Her Late Majesty The Queen on a plain coloured background. The barcodes will enable some new services by connecting physical stamps to the digital world through the Royal Mail app which you can download here.

Image of Royal Mail's new barcoded stamps


Note: Special Stamps with pictures on and Christmas Stamps without a barcode will continue to be valid and don’t need to be swapped out.

Swapping them out

Your non-barcoded stamps can be exchanged for the new barcoded version through the Stamp Swap Out scheme. To swap out your stamps, simply complete one of the Stamp Swap Out forms (see below) and send it back to the Royal Mail along with your non-barcoded stamps. The step-by-step process for doing this is explained below.

How to get a ‘Stamp Swap Out’ form

  • If you have a printer, you can swap out up to £200 worth of non-barcoded stamps by printing out and completing this Stamp Swap Out PDFOpens in a new windowpdf, 200.48 KB. You can send this back free of charge, along with your stamps, by writing on the envelope Freepost SWAP OUT. No other address details or postcode are needed.
  • If you have a printer, and more than £200 worth of stamps to swap out then use the Bulk Stamp Swap Out formOpens in a new windowpdf, 156.37 KB. Royal Mail recommend sending this and your non-barcoded stamps back to us via a secure service with suitable cover. The address to send to is:

    Royal Mail
    Swap Out
    Tallents House
    21 South Gyle Crescent
    EH12 9PB

  • If you don’t have access to a printer you can request a Stamp Swap Out form to be posted to you by completing this form online. The instructions for sending back to us will depend on the form you request.
    ‘Stamp Swap Out’ forms are also available from the Customer Service Point at your local Delivery Offices (but please note they will only have the forms for the up to £200 option). Or you can call Royal Mail’s Customer Experience Team on 03457 740740.