Damaged Bank Notes Fall into One of the Following Categories:

Contaminated and Mutilated Bank Notes

  • Contaminated notes could be harmful to one’s health or safety because they have come into contact with toxic substances (e.g., blood, mould, sewage, drugs, and unknown substances).
  • Mutilated notes show signs of excessive damage from fire or water, missing pieces, or other forms of deterioration. These notes are likely to damaged or brittle to be used for payment or must be specially examined to determine their value.

The Bank offers a service for contaminated and mutilated notes. This service provides for the reimbursement, in appropriate cases, of Canadian bank notes which have become contaminated or mutilated beyond normal wear and tear. Bank staff will, subject to any health and safety issues noted below, carefully examine notes submitted for reimbursement and assess the value of the claim in accordance with the Bank's reimbursement policy. In most cases, the condition of the notes allows for easy visual inspection, authentication and reimbursement.

NOTE: The Bank only redeems Canadian bank notes. We do not accept coins or foreign currency. The Bank may disclose any information provided in connection with any claim to third parties, including law enforcement agencies, the Canada Revenue Agency and the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada.

Submitting Contaminated and Mutilated Notes to the Bank of Canada

Complete the contaminated and mutilated notes claim form.

The Bank of Canada may contact the claimant for additional information.

The Bank of Canada aims to evaluate and settle straightforward mutilated/contaminated note claim requests within 30 to 60 business days of receipt at its Ottawa Mutilated Notes Laboratory. In most cases, the condition of the notes allows for easy visual inspection, authentication and counting, and the request covers a value of $1,000 or less.

NOTE: Some cases are more complex and may take longer to evaluate and settle owing to a number of variables: the condition of the notes themselves (more complex cases have greater levels of deterioration or excessive damage), cases with incomplete information from the claimant, the quantity of notes submitted in one case, and the volume of cases received at the Bank at any given time.

Handle With Care

Contaminated and mutilated notes should be carefully packaged to ensure the health and safety of those who handle them, and to prevent further deterioration during transportation.

Packaging Contaminated Notes

Depending on the nature of the contamination, the bank notes may be subject to certain legislative shipping and handling requirements (e.g., if they become contaminated with sewage and classified as “dangerous goods” under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992).

Questions about whether contaminated notes in your possession require special shipping and handling?

The Bank encourages you to contact CANUTEC at Transport Canada for more information:

For ALL contaminated note submission requests, at a minimum, the Bank of Canada requires that:

  • Notes be placed in an appropriately sealed, clear, tamper-evident and leak-proof bag;
  • Paperwork and all relevant documentation (including the claim form) be placed in a separate appropriately sealed, clear, tamper-evident and leak-proof bag; and
  • The bag containing the contaminated notes and the bag containing all paperwork are placed in an additional appropriately sealed, clear, tamper-evident and leak-proof bag. It should be clearly labeled as “Contaminated” to avoid risks of further contamination.

    To source appropriate packaging, a List of Vendors for Type 1A and 1B Containers for Infectious Substances is available at: https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/moc-infectious-suppliersab-140.html.

If the notes are not subject to legislative shipping and handling requirements, the Bank still recommends that you exercise caution and adhere to safe practices when handling them.

  • Do not handle contaminated notes more than is absolutely necessary.
  • Do not mix contaminated notes with other notes; package the contaminated notes as indicated above.

Packaging Mutilated Notes

  • Do not handle bank note fragments more than is absolutely necessary, regardless of the condition of the note.
  • If the bank note is brittle or likely to fall apart, pack it carefully in fragile packing material (such as bubble wrap) and place it in a secure container.
  • If the bank note was mutilated while in a purse, wallet, box, or other container, it should be left in the container to protect the fragments from further damage.
  • If absolutely necessary, remove the fragments from the container, and send the container with the currency (if possible), as well as any other contents that may have fragments attached.
  • Remove coins or other metal objects that may have been mixed in with the mutilated bank notes if it is possible to do so without causing further damage to the mutilated notes.
  • If the bank note is flat, do not roll or fold it.
  • If the bank note is rolled, do not attempt to unroll or straighten it out.

For mutilated note submission requests, the Bank of Canada recommends that:

  • Notes be placed in an appropriately sealed, clear, tamper-evident and leak-proof bag;
  • Paperwork and all relevant documentation (including the claim form) be placed in a separate appropriately sealed, clear, tamper-evident and leak-proof bag; and
  • The bag containing the mutilated notes and the bag containing all paperwork are placed in an additional appropriately sealed, clear, tamper-evident and leak-proof bag.

Shipping Contaminated and Mutilated Notes

Submit appropriately packaged notes along with the completed claim form by registered mail/courier to:

* Please note the following changes – effective 11 November 2013

Address Change
Mutilated Notes Services
Bank of Canada
234 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0G9

As of this date, it will no longer be possible to deliver notes in person to Mutilated Notes Services.

Contact Information

Phone: 1.800.303.1282
info@bankofcanada.ca