Changing the registration in Treasury Direct

Wednesday, September 1st, 2004
Categorized as: Savings Bond registration changesTreasury Direct

How can I change the registration of TreasuryDirect investments?

Tom’s response

(Note: if you want to change the registration on a bond that is marked Restricted Security in TreasuryDirect, see the post What does Restricted Security mean in TreasuryDirect?)

Changing the co-owner or beneficiary: First let’s look at how you would change or add a co-owner or beneficiary. Keep in mind that Savings Bond registrations in TreasuryDirect can list one or two people, but not more.

Since it’s your TreasuryDirect account, the first name should always be yours. The second name can be anyone you like, but you’ll need that person’s Social Security Number. You can make the second person either a co-owner or a beneficiary.

Adding or changing a co-owner or beneficary is never a taxable event in TreasuryDirect, but changing the owner of a Savings Bond is, so proceed with caution – especially if you receive a message that your transaction may be taxable.

Changing the registration is a two-step process. First you have to add the new registrations you want to use to your TreasuryDirect Registration List. After that, you can change the registration on a Savings Bond from what it currently is to one of the new registrations in your list.

To add new registrations to your Registration List, log into your TreasuryDirect account and click the Manage Direct tab in the row of buttons across the top of the screen.

On the page that appears, the first section of links is called Manage My Account. One of the links in that section is called Update my Registration List. Use that link to add the new registration that you want to use to your list of registrations.

First click on the correct radio button at the top of the page. Use Sole Owner if the regisration will have only one name, Primary Owner if you want to share ownership with someone else, or Beneficiary if you want the second person to inherit the bond but not share ownership of it with you before your death.

Unless you want to transfer ownership of the bond, which we discuss below, use your own name as the First-Named Registrant and your co-owner or beneficiary as the Second-Named Registrant.

Once you have the registration the way you want it in your list of registrations, return to the Manage Direct page and find the section of links called Manage My Securities. In that section, select the link, Edit a registration.

Next you will be asked to select the Savings Bond you want to change the registration for. A page describing that bond will appear along with a drop-down with your registration list. The bond’s current registration will be selected. Change it to the one you really want and click the Add New Registration button.

Changing the owner: There are two different ways to change the owner in TreasuryDirect. One is to move a bond to your Gift Box in someone else’s name. The second method transfers the Savings Bond directly to someone else’s TreasuryDirect account.

Keep in mind that an ownership transfer will create a taxable event for you – you’ll owe income tax on the interest earned by the bond up to the date of the transfer. You’ll also set up the recipient for what my book calls the double taxation trap.

To change the owner of one of your Savings Bonds but keep the bond in your own account’s Gift Box, follow the procedure given above to create a registration in your Registration List with the new owner’s name first. To create a registration without yourself as the first-named registrant, you have to check the This is a gift box at the bottom of the page.

Then, as discussed above, change the registration on one of your bonds to the new one. In this case, you won’t be able to change the registration back – a gift is a gift.

The other method of changing the owner is to transfer the Savings Bond to the new owner’s TreasuryDirect account. To do this, click on the Manage Direct button, find the section called Manage My Securities and click on Transfer Securities.

On the pages that follow, you will first select the bond you want to transfer, then you’ll be able to specify who you want to transfer the bond to. You will need both the recipient’s Social Security Number and TreasuryDirect Account Number.

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FDIC Insured Certificates of Deposit can pay 1 or 2% more than savings bonds when held for a similar length of time. See top CD Rates Below:


On October 24th, 2007 JANE SALGADO said:


On October 24th, 2007 Tom Adams said:

Hi Jane – If she died that would prevent the transfer from being a taxable event, but that’s a pretty extreme way to get out of paying taxes. There aren’t any other ways.

Tom Adams

On February 4th, 2008 John Lopez said:

So far, I have named my older son as co-owner on some of my bonds and intend to name my other son also so that they can inherit these in case of my demise.

They do not have a TD Account. How do they access the bonds or monies involved if I expire?

On February 5th, 2008 Tom Adams said:

John – they should contact TreasuryDirect. They will be given instructions on what to do next.

Tom Adams

On January 26th, 2010 Diane Lulloff said:

EE bond, owner deceased in 2001, co-owner wants to change to owner and make grandson co-owner. How to do?

On January 27th, 2010 Tom Adams said:

Diane – Read this.

Tom Adams

On March 16th, 2010 Larry said:

Mom has bonds that are in her and dad’s name. Dad is deceased. Would like to remove dad’s name and put only in mom’s name and add beneficaries. There are three surviving children. What should I do first?? Iam POA

On March 16th, 2010 Tom Adams said:

Larry – the info you’re looking for is here. You may need a POA that specifically mentions Savings Bonds.

Tom Adams

On April 13th, 2010 Jim said:

My wife’s mother has died leaving aprox 26 bonds that where in her fathers name with the Mother listed also, some do not mature until 2016, can we change the name to list the two children that are co executors on the estate so the estate account can be closed

On April 14th, 2010 Tom Adams said:

Jim – you can change the name on the bonds to the heirs, although the process is complicated. I suggest you spend a weekend reading my book and then you’ll know what all your options are.

Tom Adams

On May 3rd, 2010 stephanie jarrell said:

can you get a loss bond reissued or cashed(series ee)without your beneficaries signature

On May 3rd, 2010 Tom Adams said:

Stephanie – the lost bond claim form requires the signatures of everyone named on the bond, so no, you can’t.

Tom Adams

On May 4th, 2010 pat lance said:

if you have a lost bond and beneficary is unable to be contacted what do you do. can you change the beneficary on the vond as the owner

On May 5th, 2010 Tom Adams said:

Pat – you can’t change the registration on a bond unless you have it. Since yours is lost, that’s not an option. You could try submitting the form without a signature and including a letter explaining why you are unable to have the beneficiary sign. I don’t know what the Treasury does in that situation.

Tom Adams

On May 11th, 2010 pat lance said:

what if anything you can do if the treasury won’t reissue or cash your bonds because of a pod that you can’t get thier signature. after all it is the owners money. do they get to keep the money?

On May 12th, 2010 Tom Adams said:

Pat – As I said in response to your previous question, include a letter with your form explaining why your are unable to have the beneficiary sign. The Treasury doesn’t want to keep your money unfairly, but they also don’t want to be a party to fraud, so they’re very careful about this situation. You’ll get farther faster talking to them than talking to me.

Tom Adams

Comments Closed

June 1, 2010

After six years, over 400 posts, 3,680 real comments, and over 90,000 spam comments (thank you, Akismet, for making managing a blog with comments possible), I am closing public comments on I will contine to update the main articles on this site, but not the comments.

Virtually every question about Savings Bonds has been asked and answered on this site multiple times. Use the search feature (see the box in the gray area near the top of this page) or the detailed menu on the lower part of the home page to find the information you're looking for. If you have a copy of Savings Bond Advisor, you can ask me a question here.

Tom Adams

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