Bank Note Redemption Service

Here’s how to submit a claim to redeem Canadian bank notes that are mutilated or contaminated, or that will no longer be legal tender.

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bank of Canada staff are currently working remotely. We are therefore unable to process bank note redemption claims until further notice. Please do not send bank notes to our service at this time. We apologize for this inconvenience and look forward to re-opening our service when conditions permit.

Mutilated bank notes

Mutilated bank notes show signs of excessive damage from fire or water, missing pieces, or other forms of deterioration.

These bank notes are likely too damaged or brittle to be used for payment, so you can send them to us for redemption. We will examine them to determine the value of your claim.

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We do not accept the following:
  • coins — contact the Royal Canadian Mint
  • bank notes issued by other countries
  • bank notes delivered in person to the Bank of Canada

Submitting a claim

  1. Complete the Claim Form.
    We may contact you if we need additional information.
  2. Carefully pack the bank notes in a clear, secure bag or container.
    If they are likely to fall apart, use bubble wrap or similar packing material. Do not handle bank note fragments more than absolutely necessary, regardless of the condition of the notes.
  3. Place the sealed bank notes, along with the form, in an envelope or package.
    Do not put the claim form in the bag containing the bank notes.
  4. Send the package by regular or registered mail, or by courier, to:

    Bank of Canada
    Bank Note Redemption Service
    234 Wellington Street
    Ottawa, ON, K1A 0G9

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Bank notes are sent at your own risk, so make sure to take appropriate measures to insure against loss or theft.

Next steps

  1. We will send you a letter and case number to confirm that we received your bank notes.
  2. Our experts will carefully examine your submitted bank notes to assess their value in accordance with the Bank’s Policy on the Redemption of Contaminated or Mutilated Canadian Bank Notes.
  3. If your claim is straightforward, we will typically evaluate and settle it between 30 and 60 business days. Exceptions include the following:
    • claims that are complex, or over $1,000
    • claim forms with incomplete information that require follow-up
    • increases in the volume of claims we receive

Contaminated bank notes

A bank note is considered contaminated if it has come into contact with toxic substances, either liquid or solid (for example, drugs, blood, mold, sewage, and unknown substances) and could be harmful to your health or safety.

These bank notes are likely unusable for payment, so you can send them to us for redemption. We will examine them to determine the value of your claim.

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We do not accept the following:
  • coins — contact the Royal Canadian Mint
  • bank notes issued by other countries
  • bank notes delivered in person to the Bank of Canada

Before you begin

If you suspect your bank notes are contaminated:

  • Contact the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Directorate at Transport Canada to see if your bank notes are subject to any legislative shipping and handling requirements — for example, if they have been contaminated with sewage and are classified as “dangerous goods” under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992. For more information, contact .
  • Consult the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations.
  • To find appropriate packaging, see the List of Vendors for Type 1A and 1B Containers for Infectious Substances.
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Even if your bank notes are not subject to legislative shipping and handling requirements, we still recommend that you exercise caution and adhere to safe practices when handling them.

All hazardous or dangerous substances should be carefully labelled as such.

Submitting a claim

  1. Complete the Claim Form.
    We may contact you if we need additional information.
  2. Place the bank notes in a sealable, clear, leak-proof bag, clearly labelled “contaminated”. Indicate the source of the contaminant, if possible.
  3. Separate contaminated bank notes from any other bank notes you are sending to avoid contamination.
  4. Place the sealed bank notes, along with the form, in an envelope or package.
    Do not put the claim form in the bag containing the bank notes.
  5. Send the package by regular or registered mail, or by courier, to:

    Bank of Canada
    Bank Note Redemption Service
    234 Wellington Street
    Ottawa, ON, K1A 0G9

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Bank notes are sent at your own risk, so make sure to take appropriate measures to insure against loss or theft.

Next steps

  1. We will send you a letter and case number to confirm that we received your bank notes.
  2. Our experts will carefully examine your submitted bank notes to assess their value in accordance with the Bank’s Policy on the Redemption of Contaminated or Mutilated Canadian Bank Notes.
  3. If your claim is straightforward, we will typically evaluate and settle it between 30 and 60 business days. Exceptions include the following:
    • claims that are complex, or over $1,000
    • claim forms with incomplete information that require follow-up
    • increases in the volume of claims we receive

Bank notes that will no longer be legal tender

As of January 1, 2021, the Canadian $1, $2, $25, $500 and $1,000 bank notes will no longer be considered legal tender. Essentially, this means that you will not be able to use them in cash transactions.

Don’t worry—these bank notes will not lose their face value. Here are your options:

  • redeem your bank notes for face value at your financial institution;
  • redeem your bank notes for face value by submitting a claim to us;
  • keep them.

Some bank notes, such as the $25 and $500, may be worth significantly more than their face value to collectors. To find out if your bank notes have a different value, you can refer to a collector’s catalog, or obtain an evaluation from two or three money dealers who cater to collectors.

alert-triangle
We do not accept the following:
  • coins — contact the Royal Canadian Mint
  • bank notes issued by other countries
  • bank notes delivered in person to the Bank of Canada

Submitting a claim

  1. Complete the Claim Form.
    We may contact you if we need additional information.
  2. Place the bank notes in a sealable, clear, leak-proof bag.
  3. Place the bagged bank notes, along with the form, in an envelope or package.
    Do not put the claim form in the bag containing the bank notes.
  4. Send the package by regular or registered mail, or by courier, to:

    Bank of Canada
    Bank Note Redemption Service
    234 Wellington Street
    Ottawa, ON, K1A 0G9

alert-triangle
Bank notes are sent at your own risk, so make sure to take appropriate measures to insure against loss or theft.

Next steps

  1. We will send you a letter as soon as we receive your claim.
  2. Our experts will carefully examine your submitted bank notes to assess their value.
  3. If your claim is straightforward, we will typically evaluate and settle it between 30 and 60 business days. Exceptions include the following:
    • claims that are complex, or over $1,000
    • cases with incomplete information about the claimant
    • increases in the volume of claims we receive