A few people may wonder how money will get ripped or torn, especially a large sum of money. However, there are several ways in which your money can get damaged. You can mistakenly add your wallet to the laundry, and this can ruin any cash that is inside the wallet. Money is not damaged only by getting ripped or torn; it could get destroyed by an inferno. People usually keep their money in banks. However, there are times people keep a huge amount of cash at home, and this cash can get damaged in incidence of fire.

Whether your money is damaged as a result by an inferno, partially eaten by your dog, or torn as a result of laundry, regardless of how your money got damaged, you will be left with the question “what do I do with ripped money”? Or can you use ripped money?’ Depending on the amount of cash, you can decide to discard the damaged or torn money. However, if you have quite a huge amount of ripped money, discarding it will be a big loss.

Every year, the Treasury Department takes care of approximately 30,000 claims of mutilated currency that is valued over $30 million. This should give you an idea of what to do with damaged money. You can simply turn it over to the Treasury Department. However, the Treasury Department does not accept all ripped or torn money. This article will give you tips on what to do with a ripped dollar bill and the appropriate place to take your torn money to.

Answer this first: Is your money damaged or mutilated?

Meanwhile, before that, we will need to make clarifications on the difference between damaged money and mutilated money. This is because, depending on whether the money is damaged or mutilated, the procedures for retrieving damaged money and mutilated money are not the same, and this will help you decide on the best course of action to take to recover your money.

Damaged money is any money that is more than one half of the original currency, and it does not require any special examination to know its original value. Money ripped in half is not exactly more than one half of the currency. However, if the value of the money can be determined without any special examination, it can be referred to as damaged money. Damaged money is mostly as a result of a tear, badly soiled, worn out or disintegrated. You can even spend damaged money in a store. People sometimes wonder will stores still take ripped money. Some of them do. Depending on how damaged your money is, some stores actually collect damaged money as a means of payment. Some stores can collect money that is slightly ripped, but not all stores collect damaged money. What really matters is how damaged or ripped the money is. You don’t necessarily have to take your ripped money to a store though, read on and you will learn what to do with ripped bill.

On the other hand mutilated money is a different case. Mutilated money is any money that is less than 51% of the original currency, and the value of the money cannot be determined without a special examination. People will often wonder, what can make money mutilated to the extent that you cannot even know its value without special examination. There are actually a number of ways money can get mutilated. Money can get mutilated through fire incidence, flooding, explosions, rodents or pest. These are incidence that can mutilate your money although they are not very common.



Also, people can be responsible for mutilating money by deliberately tearing money in a bid to protest or just for fun. However, damaging money intentionally is technically illegal. People are fond of defacing money in a bid to protest against the banking system or just because they feel it is theirs, so they can do whatever they can with it. There is a specific law state that ‘anyone who mutilates, cuts, defaces, disfigures or perforates, or unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking association, or federal reserve bank, or the federal reserve system, with intent to render such bank bill, note, or other evidence of debt unfit to be reissued’ is committing a crime. This shows that damaging money on purpose is a crime and people should desist from doing so no matter the circumstances.

What to do next?

Where to take either damaged money or mutilated money is different. Damaged money can easily be replaced at the bank. At first, you may be asking, do banks accept ripped money? Yes, they do. All you need to do is to confirm whether your money falls under the category of damaged or mutilated using the explanation that was given earlier in the article. Also, apart from the one and a half rule of damaged money, money that is dirty, torn or defaced can also be changed at the bank. Replacing damaged money is easier than replacing mutilated money.

All you have to do is to take the damaged money to the bank, and they will replace the money for you. If you are lucky enough, you won’t need to take your damaged money to the bank. Some stores actually collect damaged money and go to the bank to change it themselves. Mutilated money, on the other hand, is usually mailed to the U.S Department of the Treasury for replacement. In addition to the reasons why money can be mutilated mentioned earlier, in the past, people have the habit of burying money in the ground, and this makes money old and tattered depending on the number of years the money has been buried underground. Some people are lucky enough to inherit this type of money or even find it from digging, and they will wonder what to do with that type of money.

Don’t throw away “damaged” money

The one thing they should not do is to throw away the money thinking it is damaged because it has been buried for a long time. It will be a big loss especially if the amount of money is very much. They can mail the money to the Treasury Department, and the best part is they do not charge for replacing mutilated money. They offer this service to everybody as public service. So if you eventually dig up some cash from the ground, you have a way to redeem the money no matter how torn or tattered the money is for free.


All you have to do is to mail the mutilated money or personally deliver the money to the Treasury Department. When mailing or delivering the money, according to U.S Treasury, you should add a letter that gives the estimated amount of the money and also an explanation on how the money got mutilated. After submission, your mutilated money will be examined by a mutilated currency examiner. The amount of time it takes to fully examine your mutilated money depends on how mutilated the money is. Money that is badly mutilated will take a longer time before it is fully examined.

Bigger volume can equal more waiting time

Also, the volume of the money also determines the time it will take. People are advised to carefully package their mutilated money when mailing or delivering to Department of the Treasury. In fact, it is best to leave the money as it is. Don’t attempt to clean it off or glue back. All you have to do is to package it in a bag and deliver it. This is to avoid further damage in an attempt to rectify it. However, mutilated money will only be replaced if more than half of the dollar bill can be identified as U.S currency or if less than half of the dollar bill that is identifiable as U.S currency is present and the Treasury accepts the way the bill was mutilated.

Next time you mistakenly rip your money or damage it. Don’t just discard it; you can keep saving each damaged money until you have saved quite a lot. You can easily go and change it at the bank or the Department of the Treasury depending on the level of damage.

Also, keep in mind that if you have some foreign, old currencies from all over the world that are torn, obsolete, discontinued, you can take a look at our exchange rates and contact us if you want to quickly get rid of unwanted bills and coins.