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If you’re not sure how to handle mutilated currency, read this!

The Ops Stop provides your organization with a one-stop shop full of helpful operational resources offered by the Federal Reserve Banks. For this installment of the series, we are reviewing how to handle mutilated currency.

Did you know the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) handles nearly 30,000 claims each year and redeems mutilated currency valued at over $30 million? Anyone with day-to-day cash handling responsibilities is likely to come across mutilated currency at their institution. While the Federal Reserve does not accept deposits of mutilated currency, it’s important to know what to do and what not to do with it.

What is mutilated currency?

Mutilated currency refers to dollars that are so damaged, only half or less of each note remains and could require examination by a trained expert at the BEP to determine its value. Examples include burned, buried or water-damaged currency.

What to do

You can send mutilated currency directly to the BEP’s Mutilated Currency Division with a statement of its estimated value and an explanation of the damage. For shipping instructions and photo examples of mutilated currency, visit the Mutilated Currency Redemption (Off-site) page of the BEP website or call the BEP’s toll-free number at (866) 575-2361.

What not to do

Mutilated and contaminated currency notes are not always the same. Currency that is contaminated, but not mutilated, should be sent to the servicing Federal Reserve Bank using Contaminated Currency Depositing procedures. However, any currency that is both contaminated and mutilated should be sent to the BEP’s Mutilated Currency Division. For more information on contaminated currency, review the Deposit Visual Reference Guide.

Need more info?

The BEP does not accept personal deliveries of mutilated currency at this time. For further information, including the form to use, packing directions and FAQs, please review How to Submit a Request for Mutilated Currency Examination (Off-site).