Can You Staple... A Guide to Stapling Dos & Don'ts

Can You Staple... A Guide to Stapling Dos & Don'ts

Have you ever wondered if you were supposed to staple that dollar bill, or if it was okay to attach multiple pages of your resume together? There are so many dos and don’ts of the real world that it can tricky to keep track of them all. But don’t sweat it, we’ve got all the answers. Here is the unspoken list of what you can and can’t staple!

Can you staple a resume? No

Since your first priority when walking into a job interview is to make yourself look presentable, you may be wanting to do the same with your beloved resume. However, don’t staple it. If your resume is over two pages, simply put your name and page number on the top of the second page. This is even suggested in The University of Texas at Dallas Career Center Resume Checklist. Even better, try to condense all that information onto a single sheet. Less is more.


Can you staple a will? No

Well, it’s not a complete no. This one is complicated. Wills are obviously very important documents, so it’s best to keep an eye out for staples or the presence of previous staples before signing and viewing. If there are staples in a will or even holes from absent staples, it may mean that there were once additional documents attached (which may indicate the will has been altered.) Staples cannot be removed from a will for this reason, nor can wills be re-stapled, says an article by Legal Zoom. Numbering and/or signing each page prevents this issue.

can you staple a will

Can you staple a tax return? Partially 

If you’re looking for a complete guide on assembling and mailing your tax return, you may want to visit this article by The Nest. Though, if you’re simply wondering if you can staple a tax return, the answer is sort of. According to the article, you can staple your W-2 and 1099 to the front of your 1040 (in the appropriate income section.) But, be sure it doesn’t staple through the rest of the documents!

tax return

Can you staple money? No

Destroying or de-facing US currency is illegal and is written so on While stapling money may not necessarily be done with illegal intent (say, attaching it to a document for easier handling), it's definitely not something to do. Also, think of it this way: if a bill has a staple in it, it most likely will not be accepted by an automatic machine, such as vending machine. For any other case, just use a paper clip instead. It’s easier to remove and traceless!


Can you staple checks? Depends

We now know that stapling money is a no go as it defaces the US currency, but can you staple a check? Well, that depends on what you are using the check for. If you are mailing in a check with a document, some states won't accept paperclips and stapling the document and check together is an acceptable option. However, both staples and paperclips can slow the processing of your documents. If you need to send a check as part of a donation, payment, or non-IRS documents, confirm with the recipient if can be stapled. But paperclips or enclosing the check and documents within envelopes is usually best way to go!

blue check

Can you staple mail? Depends

According to this site, if you need to staple mail, clips and staples “should be inserted into the envelope so that the clip or staple is placed in the lower right hand corner and the envelope should be sealed and marked ‘Hand Stamp’ by the originating office.”


Can you staple envelopes being mailed? No

If you have a stack of envelopes going out at once or even all going to the same address, do not staple them together. This not only makes it harder for your mail carrier and post office as the staple will need to be removed for sorting, but it can also be dangerous for both humans and the machine if the staple is not known about. No staples on the outside of envelopes are allowed.


Can you staple a stamp? No

This goes along with the point above. Any staples on the exterior of an envelope are a no-go. For safety and efficiency purposes, do not staple. Simply use a nice, new and sticky stamp.


Can you staple a birth certificate/Social Security card? No

If it’s your original and only birth certificate or social security card, stapling is probably not the best idea. Again, paper clips are far less damaging. If you have made a copy of either and are using it for a certain form, then you may be able to staple it depending on the form/type of document.

birth certificate

Are you tired of hearing no yet? Well, it’s all so you can hear a yes on that job interview (you know, the one with your unstapled resume!)

Overall, it’s better to be safe than sorry. As a rule of thumb, just ask yourself if a staple is completely necessary or if a simple paper clip can do the job. In any case, it’s a good thing there are plenty of other things that you can staple… say, bulletin boards and crafts?