Services

ServicesAlison.Wargo@bep.gov Tue, 12/28/2021 - 17:46

The BEP is pleased to provide the public with a variety of currency-related services. 

 

Mutilated Currency Redemption

Mutilated Currency Redemption
Alison.Wargo@bep.gov Mon, 01/10/2022 - 14:25

The BEP’s Mutilated Currency Division provides free mutilated currency redemption services for individuals and institutions, such as businesses and financial institutions, in possession of United States mutilated currency notes.
 

On average, BEP receives more than 22,000 requests for examination of mutilated currency for possible redemption each year, with an estimated value in excess of $35 million.

Mutilated currency is currency which has been damaged to the extent that one-half or less of the original note remains, or its condition is such that its value is questionable.  Currency notes can become mutilated in any number of ways.  The most common causes are fire, water, chemicals, and explosives; animal, insect, or rodent damage; and petrification or deterioration by burying.

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The Director of the BEP has the final authority with respect to mutilated currency submission redemptions.

Lawful holders of mutilated currency may receive a redemption at full value when:

  1. Clearly more than 50% of a note identifiable as United States currency is present, along with sufficient remnants of any relevant security feature; or
  2. 50% or less of a note identifiable as United States currency is present and the method of mutilation and supporting evidence demonstrate to the satisfaction of the BEP that the missing portions have been totally destroyed.

No redemption will be made when:

  1. A submission, or any portion thereof, demonstrates a pattern of intentional mutilation or an attempt to defraud the United States.  In such instances, the entire submission will be destroyed or retained as evidence.
  2. A submission appears to be part of, or intended to further, any criminal scheme.  In such instances, the entire submission will be destroyed or retained as evidence.
  3. A submission contains a material misrepresentation of facts.
  4. Fragments and remnants presented are not identifiable as United States currency.
  5. Fragments and remnants presented which represent 50% or less of a note are identifiable as United States currency but the method of destruction and supporting evidence do not satisfy the Treasury that the missing portion has been totally destroyed.

Personal deliveries of mutilated currency are not accepted at this time.

Submit a Request for Examination of Mutilated Currency for Possible Redemption

Federal Reserve Currency Procedures for Financial Institutions

How to Submit a Request for Mutilated Currency Examination

How to Submit a Request for Mutilated Currency ExaminationAlison.Wargo@bep.gov Mon, 01/10/2022 - 14:25

Personal deliveries of mutilated currency are not accepted at this time.

All requests for mutilated currency examination for possible redemption must be submitted using BEP Form 5283.

Form 5283 Instructions

Privacy Act Statement  Please read before submitting BEP Form 5283.

Certification Statement  Please read before submitting BEP Form 5283.

By clicking the button below you will be leaving BEP's website.  In order to successfully submit the form you must go through all pages and receive a Record Locating Number.

Form 5283

Mutilated Currency Division Contact Information

Mutilated Currency Division Contact InformationAlison.Wargo@bep.gov Mon, 01/10/2022 - 14:25

The best way to contact the BEP’S Mutilated Currency Division for information about pending requests is via email:  mcdstatus@bep.gov

The BEP is experiencing a high volume of mutilated currency redemption requests.  Thank you for your patience as each examiner carefully processes each request.  Every effort will be made to respond within 48 hours.  If you utilize caller ID for incoming calls, please note that U.S. government phone numbers are not identified for security reasons.

Mutilated Currency Packing Directions

Mutilated Currency Packing DirectionsAlison.Wargo@bep.gov Mon, 01/10/2022 - 14:25

The mutilated currency examiners are best able to determine the value of the currency when it has been carefully packed and boxed as described below.  As a result, failure to follow the directions below may result in denial of a mutilated currency redemption request:

  • Regardless of the condition of the currency notes, do not disturb the fragments any more than absolutely necessary.
  • If the currency is brittle or inclined to fall apart, pack it carefully in cotton and box it as found, without disturbing the fragments, if possible.
  • If the currency was mutilated in a purse, box, or other container, it should be left therein, if possible, to protect the fragments from further deterioration or from being lost.
  • If it is absolutely necessary to remove the fragments from the container, send the container along with the currency and any other contents found. 
  • If the currency was flat when mutilated, do not roll, fold, laminate, tape, glue or in any other way alter the currency in an attempt to preserve it.
  • If the currency was in a roll when mutilated, do not attempt to unroll or straighten it out.
  • If coin or any other metal is mixed with the currency, carefully remove it.  Do not send coin or other metal in the same package with mutilated paper currency, as the metal will break up the currency.  Any fused, melted, or otherwise mutilated coin should be sent to the United States Mint for evaluation.

Mutilated Currency FAQs

Mutilated Currency FAQsAlison.Wargo@bep.gov Mon, 01/10/2022 - 14:25

What is considered mutilated currency?

Mutilated currency is currency which has been damaged – to the extent that: (1) one-half or less of the original note remains; or (2) its condition is such that its value is questionable.  Currency notes can become mutilated in any number of ways.  The most common causes are fire, water, chemicals, and explosives; animal, insect, or rodent damage; and petrification or deterioration by burying.

 

What is not considered mutilated currency?

Unfit currency for redemption is currency which is unfit for further circulation because of its physical condition such as dirty, defaced, limp, torn, or worn.  Unfit currency should not be forwarded to Bureau of Engraving and Printing for redemption, but may be exchanged at commercial financial institutions.

 

How long does the mutilated currency redemption process take?

The amount of time needed to process each case varies with its complexity and the case workload of the examiner.  Standard requests can generally take from six months to 36 months to process depending on the condition of the currency notes.

 

Is there a fee for this service?

No, the redemption of mutilated currency is a free, public service.

 

Who is the final authority?

The Director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing has the final authority with respect to redemptions of mutilated currency submissions.

 

Where can I find the Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s regulation pertaining to the redemption of mutilated currency?

The regulation can be found here.

Currency Accessibility

Currency AccessibilityAlison.Wargo@bep.gov Mon, 03/28/2022 - 09:51
Two hands holding a $20.


The BEP is committed to providing meaningful access to U.S. currency for blind and visually impaired individuals.
 

Meaningful Access Program

Meaningful Access Program
Alison.Wargo@bep.gov Mon, 01/10/2022 - 14:25

In May 2002, the American Council of the Blind and two visually impaired individuals filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia alleging that the currency of the United States violates the rights of the blind and visually impaired because they cannot denominate United States paper currency. 
 

Six years later, the District Court ruled that the Department of the Treasury must provide meaningful access to U.S. currency for blind and other visually impaired persons in the next currency redesign.  The Court also directed BEP to file status reports every six months, describing the steps taken to implement the Order and Judgment.

In July 2009, BEP commissioned and published a comprehensive study to review and analyze the needs of the blind and visually impaired, examine various methods that potentially could improve access to the currency, perform a cost impact analysis of the possible accommodations on various government and industry sectors, and provide a Decision Model whereby BEP could compare and contrast various accommodations.  The BEP utilized the study to generate its recommendations on providing meaningful access to Federal Reserve notes.

On May 20, 2010, the Department of the Treasury and BEP issued a notice in the Federal Register to inform the public of the features BEP will propose to the Secretary of the Treasury and to solicit public comment on the proposed accommodations.  The public comment period closed on August 18, 2010.  Comments may still be viewed at www.regulations.gov.  As part of the public comment process, BEP hosted two open public forums simultaneously at its Washington, D.C. and Fort Worth, TX facilities. Transcripts from these forums are available to view at www.regulations.gov.

On May 31, 2011, Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner approved the methods that the Department of the Treasury is pursuing to provide blind and visually impaired individuals with meaningful access to U.S. currency.  The Secretary approved the following accommodations which are based on feedback from the study and feedback from the public:

  • A Raised, Tactile Feature:  Adding a raised tactile feature to U.S. currency unique to each Federal Reserve note that it may lawfully change1, which will provide users with a means of identifying each denomination via touch.  1Currently, U.S. law prohibits any changes to the $1 Federal Reserve note.

  • High Contrast Numerals:  Continuing the program of adding large high contrast numerals and different colors to each denomination that it is permitted by law to alter.

  • A Currency Reader Program:  Implementing a currency reader distribution program for blind and visually impaired U.S. citizens and those legally residing in the U.S.

In June 2012, the Senate Committee on Appropriations issued Senate Report 112-177. This report directed BEP to provide a detailed plan, including a timeline, to develop, design, test and print currency with accessibility features.

Two years later, BEP proudly launched a program making currency readers available for free for all eligible U.S. citizens and national residents who are blind or visually impaired.

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.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

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.

Mobile Applications

Mobile Applications
Alison.Wargo@bep.gov Mon, 01/10/2022 - 14:25

The BEP provides meaningful access for a large segment of the blind community through mobile device applications, which allow smartphones and similar devices to function as currency readers.  The apps are free and denominate currency with a few easy steps.
 

EyeNote® App

Originally released in 2011, EyeNote® is a free mobile device application developed by BEP as an aid for blind or visually impaired individuals to identify denominations of Federal Reserve notes from Series 1996 to the present.  EyeNote® is built on the Apple iOS platform and is available to download for free in the Apple App Store℠.

The app uses image recognition technology and the device’s integrated camera to recognize a Federal Reserve note and communicate the note’s denomination back to the user.  Since it utilizes a continuous scan function, there is no need to hold the device still or capture a photo first; once the app scans the note, it denominates the currency.

As of January 22, 2018, the updated EyeNote® 3.0 app is now 64-bit and works on Apple mobile devices that support iOS version 9.1 or greater.  These include Apple iPhone® 5 and newer models, 5th generation iPod® Touch and later generations, and iPad®2 and newer models.

Other EyeNote® Features:

  • Utilizes VoiceOver for vocal and gesture feedback if it is turned on for the target iOS device
  • Privacy mode communicates results with an audible beep or pulse pattern
  • Runs without any special filters or background material
  • Does not require a data connection – all processing on device
  • One touch, hand-held operation
  • Identifies face and back of note in any orientation
  • Camera flash is not required
  • 2 to 4 second response time
  • Supports English and Spanish languages

EyeNote® does not authenticate a note as being either genuine or counterfeit.  Please refer to the license agreement on the Apple AppStore℠ for additional information.

Directions regarding installing and using the EyeNote® app can be viewed here.

 

IDEAL® Currency Identifier

The BEP, in collaboration with the Department of Education, assisted in the development of the IDEAL® Currency Identifier, a free downloadable app that operates on the Android platform.  It uses text-to-speech voice and advanced image recognition technology to read a note and, in a matter of seconds, provides users with an audible response indicating the note’s denomination.  IDEAL works locally on the device and needs no Internet connectivity.  This application was not designed to, and does not, identify counterfeit currency.

The U.S. IDEAL Currency Identifier 2.0 application may be temporarily unavailable through Google Play App Store as it is being updated to meet Google Play’s interface requirements.  If you currently have the U.S. IDEAL Currency Identifier mobile application on your Android phone, it will continue to read U.S. currency with no interruption.

 

Any reference or web links on BEP’s website to any particular person or organization or to activities, products, or services related to such person or organization, is for information only and does not constitute affiliation, endorsement, sponsorship, sanction, or recommendation by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Department of the Treasury, or the United States government. If you currently have the IDEAL Currency Identifier mobile application on your Android phone, it will continue to read U.S. currency with no interruption.

The launch of these apps is not in lieu-of the other accommodations the government is developing to assist blind and visually impaired individuals in denominating U.S. currency.  These apps simply provide another option for the public, who are increasingly using mobile devices, to independently denominate U.S. currency.

Shredded Currency Distribution

Shredded Currency Distribution
Alison.Wargo@bep.gov Mon, 01/10/2022 - 14:25

Shredded currency is available through BEP.  Small amounts, as pre-packaged novelty souvenirs, are available for sale in the Washington, D.C. and Fort Worth visitor centers.
 

Larger amounts of shredded currency for use in artistic or commercial purposes will need to be obtained from a Federal Reserve bank; and written approval from BEP's Chief, Office of Compliance, is required before a Federal Reserve Bank will consider honoring currency residue requests.  Treasury approval will be based upon the following requirements.

  1. The recipient must follow Environmental Protection Agency and other local or state requirements for recycling shredded currency.
  2. The shredded currency must not be recycled into paper of printable quality.
  3. The residue must not be used as confetti, or in loose form such as used in packing materials.
  4. Firmly seal any container in which the residue is placed so that it must be broken in order to remove the residue.  The container must be at least 4 mils thick.
  5. Due to the presence of various chemicals in ink, the recipient must not use shredded currency for the creation of products designed to hold food or drink for human consumption.
  6. If the recipient is intending to make a product with shredded currency, a sample of the product and/or packaging and marketing materials may be required.
  7. The recipient must not claim the value of the shredded currency enclosed in a product as having a monetary value greater than the weight of the shredded currency per ounce, or fraction thereof, multiplied by $165 per ounce.
  8. The recipient must not ship the shredded currency overseas.
  9. The recipient must not place any replica of U.S. currency on any product or container into which shredded currency is placed, or on any related advertising or other written material.
  10. The recipient must agree not to resell or otherwise dispose of the residue without Treasury approval.

Requestors must agree to the above conditions and state intended use in a written request to the following address:

Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Attn:  Chief, Office of Compliance
Shredded Currency Request
14th and C Streets, SW
Room 321-A
Washington, D.C. 20228

Please include the following contact information, and allow 21 days for a response:

  1. Name (First, Last, MI)
  2. Home Address (Street, City, State, Zip Code)
  3. Home Phone Number
  4. Cell Phone Number
  5. Personal Email Address
  6. Name of Business
  7. Business Address (Street, City, State, Zip Code, Room Number)
  8. Business Phone Number
  9. Business Email Address

The Department of the Treasury reserves the right, at its own discretion, to revoke any approval granted if the above conditions are violated. Privacy Act Statement - Use of Shredded U.S. Currency System

Banknote Equipment Manufacturers

Banknote Equipment Manufacturers
Alison.Wargo@bep.gov Mon, 01/10/2022 - 14:25

The information on this page applies to two unique industries:

  1. Banknote Equipment Manufacturers (BEM) - companies that produce any type of equipment that handles banknotes (cash handling equipment) for commercial purposes, which includes but is not limited to, point of sale, counting and sorting, transit systems, vending, gaming, and note validating and dispensing in commercial environments.
  2. Currency Reader Manufacturers (CRM) - companies that produce a product or service commercially available and designed for the purpose of denominating U.S. currency by an individual. 

The BEP offers the following services to facilitate machine recognition and acceptance of genuine U.S. currency:

  • For BEP-approved BEMs and CRMs, the Test Deck Program is used to communicate upcoming changes to U.S. currency in circulation (ex., new currency designs).  It consists of off-site testing by BEM or CRM staff at approved locations using non-monetized samples of Federal Reserve notes provided by BEP at BEP’s discretion.

    If your firm would like to receive sample notes, but your company is not currently an approved BEM or CRM, please review the application procedures that apply to your company by clicking on one of the options below:
  • For companies meeting the definition of BEM, BEP’s BEM Device Lab is used to make informed decisions about providing Test Decks to BEMs.  The BEP realizes that not all variations affect currency acceptance by machines.  The BEM Device Lab consists of an on-site testing service provided by BEP staff at a BEP location using BEP’s non-monetized Federal Reserve note samples and eligible BEM-provided equipment.  The BEM Device Lab may also be used to test counterfeit notes.

If your firm would like more information regarding eligibility requirements and/or how to include your company’s equipment in the BEM Device Lab, please contact BEM_and_CRM_Customer_Support@bep.gov.

In addition to services available through BEP, BEP-approved BEMs also have access to counterfeit notes and genuine notes of varying degrees of fitness for testing purposes through the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond's Currency Technology Office (CTO).  For more information about this program, email the CTO at Rich.CTO.Engineering@rich.frb.org.