U.S. Currency Reader Program

U.S. Currency Reader ProgramAlison.Wargo@bep.gov Thu, 01/20/2022 - 13:19

The BEP provides currency readers, free of charge, to all eligible blind and visually impaired U.S. citizens and national residents.

iBill Currency Reader

The device is small, compact, and runs on a triple-A battery, which is included.  To use the currency reader, simply insert a U.S. bill into the reader and press the button.  The device will tell the note’s denomination.

Currency reader applications can be downloaded here.



The BEP encourages organizations that support the blind and visually impaired community to distribute these materials, incorporate the information provided into individualized communications, or link to this website.

For questions about an existing reader, please call (202) 707-0048.  For questions about acquiring a reader, the status of your application or reader, or the U.S. Currency Reader Program in general, please call (844) 815-9388 or email meaningful.access@bep.gov.

We appreciate your help in distributing information about the U.S. Currency Reader Program, but please be aware there are restrictions on the use of government symbols and agency names.  31 U.S.C. §333 prohibits using the name, symbol, or emblem of the Department of the Treasury or any of its bureaus as part of any advertisement, solicitation, business activity, or product in a manner that could be interpreted or construed as endorsement by the Department of the Treasury or any of its bureaus.

The BEP partners with the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, Library of Congress (NLS) to distribute currency readers.  NLS also administers a free library program of braille and audio materials available to U.S. residents and citizens living abroad whose low vision, blindness, or physical handicap makes it difficult to read a standard printed page.  More information about NLS can be viewed at https://www.loc.gov/nls/.

U.S. Currency Reader Program Frequently Asked Questions

U.S. Currency Reader Program Frequently Asked QuestionsAlison.Wargo@bep.gov Mon, 01/24/2022 - 14:30

What is the U.S. Currency Reader Program?

As part of the U.S. government’s meaningful access initiative, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is providing a handheld currency reader device to U.S. citizens or legal residents who are blind or visually impaired at no cost to them.


What currency reader is provided and how does it work?

Eligible individuals receive a free iBill Talking Banknote Identifier, a small hand-held device that denominates all U.S. currency in circulation. When a user inserts a note and pushes a button on the side of the device, the reader announces the note’s denomination in one of three modes: a clear natural voice, a pattern of tones, or a pattern of vibrations for privacy. The iBill runs on a triple-A battery, which is included and typically lasts for a year.


Must I provide proof of my visual impairment to get a reader?

To receive a currency reader, individuals must submit an application form, which requires verification of a visual impairment signed by a certifying authority, such as a doctor or other medical professional. If the applicant has verification of a visual impairment issued by another federal, state, or local agency, a copy can be submitted with the application in lieu of certification. If an applicant is currently a registered patron of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) the applicant can indicate that on the application and no additional certification is needed.


Where do I send my application and how long will it take to receive my reader?

The completed application should be mailed to: U.S. Currency Reader Program, 14th & C Streets, S.W., Washington, DC 20228. Upon verification, a currency reader will be shipped via U.S. Postal Service. Individuals should allow up to eight weeks for delivery.


Can I submit my application online, via fax, or over the phone?

Currently, the BEP is only accepting applications submitted by mail. The form-fillable application is available to download from https://www.bep.gov/services/currency-accessibility/us-currency-reader-program/us-currency-reader-application-form. If you prefer, you can call the U.S. Currency Reader Program Information Line toll free at 844-815-9388 and ask for an application to be mailed to you.


I am having trouble getting my currency reader to work.

Operating instructions in large print, braille, and on a CD are included in the currency reader package when it is shipped to you. Instructions are also available on the BEP website at www.bep.gov. Be sure the note is inserted snugly into the slot on the top of the device and that the unit is programmed to the desired output mode (speech, tone or vibration). If you are having difficulty, or need further assistance in operating your reader, please call toll free 844- 815-9388 and an operator can assist.


I received my currency reader and it is damaged.

If you have received your reader and it is broken, please call toll-free 844-815-9388 to request a replacement.


I’ve lost my reader. Can I request another?

If your reader has become lost or stolen, you may request a replacement by contacting toll-free 844-815-9388.


Can I get an additional currency reader?

The BEP will provide one free currency reader to any U.S. citizen, or person legally residing in the U.S., who is blind or visually impaired. The iBill Talking Banknote reader is a commercially available product, however, and individuals wanting additional readers can purchase them directly from the manufacturer.


Can I get a reader for my child, parent, or friend?

Parents or legal guardians for a child under 18, caregivers, legal guardians, or individuals with power of attorney may act as a proxy on behalf of a blind or visually impaired person. A certified application must be submitted for that individual.

U.S. Currency Reader Application Form

U.S. Currency Reader Application Form Alison.Wargo@bep.gov Mon, 01/24/2022 - 14:34

All U.S. citizens, or persons legally residing in the U.S. who are blind or visually impaired can request a free currency reader from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing by downloading the application below. The application is provided in both English and Spanish.  The application must be filled out completely, signed by a competent authority who can certify eligibility, and returned to the mailing address provided on the form.

PLEASE NOTE: The applications provided below are "form fillable" PDF files. While most of the fields can be filled out online, the application cannot be submitted electronically and must be mailed to the BEP for processing.