Contaminated and mutilated bank notes
Damaged bank notes fall into one of the following categories:
- Contaminated notes could be harmful to one’s health or safety because they have come into contact with toxic substances (e.g., blood, mould, 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 too damaged or brittle to be used for payment or must be specially examined to determine their value.
The Bank offers a redemption service for contaminated and mutilated notes. The notes will be carefully examined by an experienced and specially equipped team at our Ottawa laboratory. All claims will be assessed in accordance with the Bank’s reimbursement policy.
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 and the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).
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 days of receipt at its Ottawa laboratory. In most cases, the condition of the notes allows for easy visual inspection, authentication and counting, and the request covers a value of $500 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 prevent further deterioration during transportation.
Packaging Contaminated Notes
- Do not handle contaminated bank notes more than is absolutely necessary.
- Do not mix contaminated bank notes with other notes.
- Place all contaminated bank notes in clear, tamper and leak-proof bags.
- Place the plastic bag inside a cloth bag.
- Label the cloth bag “Contaminated Bank Notes – Dry” or “Contaminated Bank Notes – Wet.”
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.
Shipping Contaminated and Mutilated Notes
Submit the notes along with the claim form by registered mail to:
* Please note the following changes – effective 11 November 2013
Currency Production and 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 Currency Production and Services.