Do you know what to do to replace badly damaged currency?

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing redeems partially destroyed or badly damaged currency as a free public service.

Every year the U.S. Treasury handles approximately 30,000 claims and redeems mutilated currency valued at over $30 million.

The Office of Financial Management, located in the BEP, uses experts to examine mutilated currency and will approve the issuance of a Treasury check for the value of the currency determined to be redeemable.

What is Mutilated Currency?

Notes which are:

  • NOT CLEARLY more than one-half of the original note and/or,
  • in such condition that the value is questionable and special examination is required to determine its value.

Currency can become mutilated in any number of ways. The most common causes are: fire, water, chemicals, explosives; animal, insect or rodent damage; and petrification or deterioration by burying. Under regulations issued by the Department of the Treasury, mutilated United States currency may be exchanged at face value if:

  • More than 50% of a note identifiable as United States currency is present; or,
  • 50% or less of a note identifiable as United States currency is present, and the method of mutilation and supporting evidence demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Treasury that the missing portions have been totally destroyed.

Examples of Mutilated Currency

What is Not Mutilated Currency?
Any badly soiled, dirty, defaced, disintegrated, limp, torn, worn out currency note that is CLEARLY MORE than one-half of the original note, and does not require special examination to determine its value. These notes may be exchanged through your local bank.

Learn how BEP examiners piece together mutilated currency in a segment produced by NBC's Today Show and get additional information, by visiting The Bureau of Printing and Engraving website.

This is a guest article. The thoughts and opinions in the piece are those of their author and are not necessarily the thoughts of the Certified Collectibles Group.

Articles List