ID requirements to redeem Savings Bonds

Thursday, November 18th, 2004
Categorized as: Cashing in US Savings Bonds

I work for a nursing home and one of our residents has bonds she needs to redeem. However, she has no ID. How can we help her get these bonds redeemed?

Tom’s response

To redeem a Savings Bond, you need a bank official to certify the owner’s signature on the back of the bond. Although banks generally require some type of personal identification, the actual requirements are up to the bank.

I recommend you contact the nursing home’s bank and explain the situation. An officer of the bank may be willing to certify your resident’s signature.

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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 March 7th, 2006 Jason said:

Can I cash a bond if I am not a member of that bank?

On March 7th, 2006 Tom Adams said:

Jason – it’s up to each individual bank whether they will cash Savings Bonds at all or if they will cash a Savings Bond for any particular individual.

Certainly having an account at a bank helps, but it’s not always a requirement and some banks won’t cash Savings Bonds even if you do have an account with them.

If you have difficulty finding a bank that will complete a Savings Bond transaction for you, this post explains how to buy or cash in a Savings Bond through the Federal Reserve.

On May 4th, 2008 jim hill said:

If I’m divorced can I cash bonds that I bought with my wife where some have my name and some hers. we had a non-contested divorce where we both just got what we each had. We did both pay for the bonds but because of the business I was in I got the bonds and she got the cash. The bonds are all older than ten years.

On May 5th, 2008 Tom Adams said:

Jim – you can cash the bonds that list your name first. You can cash the bonds that have your name second if “OR” is between the names. Otherwise, you’ll need your ex-wife’s help in cashing the bonds, as only she can legally redeem them.

Tom Adams

On July 23rd, 2008 Mark Wemmer said:

My daughter has a number of bonds issued in her maiden name. Now that she’s married how does she
go about cashing in these bonds as her married name won’t be on the bonds?

On July 24th, 2008 Tom Adams said:

Mark – this is extremely common; banks deal with it everyday. Your daughter will simply need to show documentation that the name on the bonds is her maiden name – maybe her marriage license?

Why women take their husband’s names rather than keeping their own baffles me. It’s much simpler just not to change your name.

Tom Adams

On February 6th, 2009 mike said:

can i cash a savings bond that does not have my name on it

On February 9th, 2009 Tom Adams said:

Hi Mike – No. Your name has to appear on the bond as the owner or co-owner or it’s not legally yours. Thus no one will cash it for you.

Tom Adams

On December 18th, 2009 James McClanahan said:

Hi Tom,

My 80 year old father is incapacitated, he is semi-coherent and legally blind. He has no checking account either. How can I cash his savings bonds, which are in his name? Do I need to create an estate in his and my name? It would nice to have additional funds to cover his expenses.


On December 21st, 2009 Tom Adams said:

James – This form is what you need. Read the instructions, particularly 4B, carefully.

Tom Adams

On February 3rd, 2010 Kathleen Severson said:

For bonds bought for infant children, is the mother able to cash it in if the child is not legal age yet and her name is not on it?

On February 4th, 2010 Tom Adams said:

Kathleen – either custodial parent can sign for his or her own minor children and cash the bond.

Tom Adams

On February 7th, 2010 Shannon said:

I purchased savings bonds in the name of a former friend’s child. My social security number is on the bonds. Can I cash them in or return them for the purchase price?

On February 8th, 2010 Tom Adams said:

Shannon – You may be able to return the bonds for the purchase price, but this is an unusual transaction and there’s no form for it. The best thing to do is ask the Treasury what their process is for this.

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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