Best way to replace a torn Canadian $20 bill?
April 9, 2008 4:25 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find guidelines for the usability of torn/ripped Canadian currency? What should I do with this specific $20 bill?

I got a torn $20 from an ATM. I called the ATM company and I have the option of mailing them the bill and getting a credit. But I'm wondering if that's my only option. I don't mind standing in line at a local bank to get a replacement bill, but I don't want to stand in line at a bank to find out if I can get one or not.

Here's the specific bill I got. You can see it's missing about 20% of its width.

I have to say I'm stymied trying to answer this for myself using the 'net. I can't find any Canadian government/bank guidelines and the only reference I have is a 15-year-old memory of a Street Cents episode that seemed to indicate that banks will exchange torn currency for a percentage value based on remaining surface area. A friend is insistent that if the bill has both serial numbers, it's still usable, but my friend has no expertise or reliable knowledge of this topic.

You help will be greatly appreciated.
posted by chudmonkey to Work & Money (9 answers total)
Does your bank have a customer service line? Give them a call and see what they say.
posted by Nelsormensch at 4:36 PM on April 9, 2008

It sounds like you hand it in at a bank, and the Bank of Canada will tell you how much it's worth.
posted by zamboni at 4:39 PM on April 9, 2008

Best answer: As a retail store manager, my bank (TD) will accept torn bills if both serial numbers are intact and legible.
posted by valleys at 4:41 PM on April 9, 2008

Response by poster: zamboni, thank you for that link, but I don't think my bill is sufficiently mutilated to require the services of that specialty department.

Nelsormensch, why don't you call my bank's (or any bank's) customer service line and ask them? It seems like an obvious step, I know, but it only took about 6 minutes to photograph the bill and post this question, whereas my past experience tell me I would invest much more time on hold follwing your suggestion without a real expectation of a response beyond "take it to the branch".

valleys, I can't ask for a better answer from a more reliable source. Cheers.
posted by chudmonkey at 4:48 PM on April 9, 2008

also, i have accidentally torn currency clean in half in the past and just taped it together and used it in some shops around toronto... cashiers don't usually care.
posted by modernnomad at 5:34 PM on April 9, 2008

Agreeing with valleys-- I was told when I worked retail that as long as the numbers are all there, you're okay. I've also taken taped up bills with no issues in the past.
posted by riane at 5:43 PM on April 9, 2008

If you need an authoritative answer, you can email the Bank of Canada
posted by Neiltupper at 8:03 PM on April 9, 2008

Actually you don't even need both numbers. As long as one complete number and a majority of the bill is there a bank will replace it.
posted by Mitheral at 8:38 PM on April 9, 2008

This isn't an official answer, but it's long been a trick that, if you don't trust someone to do a job for you, you rip the bill in half and tell them to come back when they finish the work. As long as there's a number, you should be okay.
posted by acoutu at 9:16 PM on April 9, 2008

« Older What do I do with boring, unwanted photos?   |   Blurry vision with toric contact lenses? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.