Monday 15 November 2021

Special Delivery Guaranteed & Royal Mail Signed For Stamps - a definitive statement from Royal Mail

Back in July we reported that Post Offices would not be selling the Special Delivery and Royal Mail Signed For stamps after 31 October 2021 and that all four* of the special purpose non-value indicator stamps are being phased out. 

Despite asking Royal Mail then, and frequently since, just what the story was behind this we had the first official statement only today.  Previously we had been told on social media or at branches that POs would not sell them because Royal Mail had stopped printing them, or vice versa.  The statement reads:

"Royal Mail has withdrawn from sale Special Delivery Guaranteed and Royal Mail Signed For Stamps from The Post Office and Royal Mail Direct Channels. This decision has been taken as a result of continued decline in usage and demand, for the stamps, over a number of years. The services will of course continue to be available using labels printed at point of purchase. The sale of these stamps from Post Office and ceased on 31st October 2021 but will remain available via philatelic channels until 31st January 2022 at which point they will be fully withdrawn."


The predecessor of the RMSF stamp, the Recorded Signed For, was issued on 17 November 2009, being replaced on 27 March 2013 by stamps with the new branding.  

The Special Delivery stamps were issued on 26 October 2010.

Recorded Signed For 1st class and 1st Large stamps issued 2009.

Royal Mail Signed For stamps issued 2013


The only good thing about this is that collectors with a limited budget who would otherwise like to have every stamp with every year code, will save £19.44 by there not being reprints this year.

Update.  For those people who have difficulty navigating Royal Mail's very difficult shop, the make-up values and airmail values can be found here (this is sorted into lowest first).

UPDATE 30 November: On the MBPC website a member has commented: “Regarding RM’s September stocklist, I checked with RM but the stock number has already been deleted from the system. The operator had just received a message to that effect."

This suggests that these stamps may only be available to dealers, which is misleading (and bad practice). 

UPDATE 3 December: reporting this to my Royal Mail contacts I have been advised that 

"The products are not available Online, as this is a general channel not exclusively a philatelic channel. Our Philatelic channels are Regular Order, Mail Order (telephone/post via Doxford) and Trade. The data set up team have checked, and confirmed, that the part codes are still available for ordering via our philatelic channels."

Stock codes for ordering are 

1st class Signed For DLR - DS 155; 1st class Signed for Walsall - DS 155WL;
1st Large Signed For DLR - DS 185; 1st Large Signed For Walsall - DS 185WL

Further update: as I was publishing this I had an email from a reader who "tried to use one of these stamps on an item today and was told by the counter staff that these are no linger valid."

I have told him otherwise,  and will contact POL.


  1. Actually, I could not find any these stamps through RM online shop now.

    1. has never been a source of Machin-design NVIs in counter sheets. I don't think that the special delivery or signed-for counter sheets have been on sale there for a long time now. Indeed I can not remember ever having seen any of them there, and I have looked on numerous occasions.

      In addition only sells 1st and 2nd Machins in the standard range of booklets and business sheets. As far as I know, it has never sold Machin-design post office counter sheets of 50 1st, 1st large, 2nd or 2nd large. This has always struck me as being a little odd, because it DOES sell sheets of Christmas stamps and of innumerable different special issues.

    2. See

      I have added a picture and this link to the post; this is where SD & RMSF used to be available.

  2. We can now expect to see Horizon Labels folded round the top or side of DL, C6 and C7 envelopes with the address centrally placed and space needed for the ‘Royal Mail Signed For’ or ‘Special Delivery’ label.
    I think I remember that when the ‘RECORDED SIGNED FOR 1ST‘ and ‘RECORDED SIGNED FOR 1ST Large‘ stamps were issued back in 2009 there was the intention to subsequently issue ‘RECORDED SIGNED FOR 2ND‘ and ‘RECORDED SIGNED FOR 2ND Large’ ones but that of course never happened.
    And I think these four withdrawals makes ten NVIs that have been discontinued now ( twelve including the RECORDED SIGNED FOR / ROYAL MAIL SIGNED FOR change ) , E, Europe to 20g, Europe to 40g, Worldwide Postcard, Worldwide to 20g and Worldwide to 40g not lasting more than a few years each. The remaining four look set to continue indefinitely unless Royal Mail abandons the ‘First Class’ and ‘Second Class’ distinction which surely isn’t beyond the realms of possibility.
    We can expect Machin definitives for new overseas rates at the end of next month ( £1.70, £2.55, £3.25, £4.20 – each plus about 10% ) and I’ll be interested to see whether or not they’re barcoded stamps.

  3. Hmmm. There is something wrong with the list of stamps displayed in your post. Where is the 1p!! Where are the £2, £3 or £5? What is that James Bond stamp doing there?

    I don't know what went wrong. I tried your link and I got the same list.

    For a more intelligible, complee and accurate list try:-

    Yes, it's the same website. Ours not to reason why ...

  4. Perhaps Royal Mail could and should use the above statement regarding the endless stream so called commemorative stamps, certainly not that many issues needed, maybe we just need definitives or as RM said 'labels being printed' which these days are actually the norm.

  5. For what is not readily visible in the online shop try the current stocklist

  6. The Post Office website - - say in the Posting abroad section, that ‘…or as make up values and are available at all Post Offices in denominations from 1p to £5.’ None of the offices local to me (###025/###026) have anything higher than the current definitive range or the 50p & £1 stamps and haven’t since 2009.

    Have Post Office changed their policy or are the detail incorrect (as usual for the Post Office website)?

  7. You said that the stamps in this post are no longer issued but are still valid for postage. As I'm trying to use up any definitive stamps but don't have a need for recorded delivery/special delivery stamps as such, do you know what their current value would be if I used them on international mail, for example? I know I could probably ask Royal Mail but given their lacklustre (and, in one case incorrect) response to some other queries I've made about using up old stamps, I think your information is more accurate.

    1. Kate, thank you for your kind words; we do our best!

      The old stamps remain valid for the current cost of the service, just as 2nd & 1st class do.

      So RMSF are £2..5 & £2.85
      SD are £6.85 and £7.65 on the 6 April 2022 tarriff.

      All usable on all types of mail, inland and international, even including International premium and economy (surface) services. Not available on Parcelforce services though.

      Prestamp parcels and don't brook any argument from Post Office branches.


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