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Mutilated Currency FAQs

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.