Family Finances with Jill Russo Foster

Can You Spend Ripped, Burned or Damaged Cash?

Posted in Currency by jillrussofoster on February 25, 2010
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Damaged CurrencyWhat is damaged / mutilated currency and what can you do with it?

Damaged and/or mutilated currency is paper money that has been damaged in some way. I don’t mean faded and a little soft from being put through the washing machine in your jeans pocket. These are dollar bills that have been ripped, burned, or even partially digested. The money may have been recovered from a fire or even eaten by the family pet. The possibilities are endless.

So now you have this bill or bills that you can’t spend. So what can you do with them? Let’s say you have only part of a $100 dollar bill because it’s been partially burned away. If you have more than 50% of the bill, you can exchange it for a replacement. (Fifty percent typically means that you have one full serial number and a portion of the other one.) You can’t just exchange it at your local bank branch. You will have to either mail it or take it personally to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, DC. If you mail it, you will need to take the necessary precautions for insuring your mail arrives (ask for insurance options at your local post office or special delivery services). If you go in person, you will need to check the specific hours that you can do this and bring identification.

If you have less than half of the dollar bill left, you may still be able to exchange it. The treasury will consider your claim if you have other documentation to support your loss.


9 Responses to 'Can You Spend Ripped, Burned or Damaged Cash?'

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  1. a few nights ago i was given an old looking ten pound note to get the old man who lives next door sme bread i left it on my side and after 4 sme reason i thought ide put it in my pocket until later i looked and found only new notes in there i thought thats odd but replaced the note and got the bread tonight my son went to the loo and looked don the floor and found it half eaten by the dog lol this is y ive come to her to look what to do with it i obviously only have the bit she didnt digest lolololol

  2. Margret said,

    I got hot glue on my dollar bill and I got some off but its spread out on the bill .. Can I still use it?

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  4. Devin said,

    I have a half of a 100 dollar bill you can see the one serial number on the right side of what can i do

  5. Tnt said,

    You still have to send it because you need little bit more than half of the serial number.
    Believe me I tried. 💱💱💱💱💱💱💱💱💱💱💱💱

  6. Damium Stevenson said,

    I have a 5dollar bill with both serial numbers on it but a piece of the number 5 is burned can i spend it or do i have to send it off

  7. Arlene Roche' said,

    I have a bill that was burned, I would like to get it replaced please give me the mailing address in Washington DC

  8. Arlene Roche' said,

    I have the serial number on the bottom right side and a letter of the serial number on the top left can I still send it

  9. naveen said,

    20 usd currency small part cut in bottom of the note,, still i can use it

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