Can You Still Pay With A Torn Dollar Bill?

We've all been in that scenario where a dollar bill accidentally rips in half or we find a five hanging by a thread in the couch. Don't fret! You don't have to throw away or shred the bill, especially if you've still got 3/4 of the bill in hand and the serial number in tact. If you've ever wondered what to do next – check out this advice from our friends at Coinage. American currency is surprisingly durable – but just in case it does tear, here is what you can do.

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

[SOUND] Coinage, life, well spent. Presented by Geico. Worried that Sparky got in to your wallet again or your kids thought those $20 bills should be used for confetti? Most of the time, your damaged cash is always salvageable. As long as you have three quarters of the bill and the bank can see the serial number, the bill is usually savable. If it's torn, you can use some tape to repair the bill or you can exchange it at your local bank. If the damage is more dramatic you can take or mail the money to the mutilated currency division of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing where it will be reviewed by US currency experts. The Bureau issues a whopping $30 million in mutilated money claims each year. Luckily, US currency is pretty sturdy. A $100 bill can last for up to 15 years while the lifetime for smaller notes is up to 5 years. That might be because paper notes aren't actually made of paper. They're 75% cotton and 25% linen. They're built to withstand about 4,000 double folds before tearing. So don't worry about that torn in your wallet. Now you know. [MUSIC] Coinage, life well spent. Presented by Geico.
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