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Bank Notes

Contaminated Notes

What is a contaminated bank note?

A contaminated bank note is one that may pose a health or safety hazard. Notes are considered contaminated when:

  • there is risk of exposure to potentially hazardous biological substances, such as water, blood or mold. (Mold occurs most often when bank notes are wet.)
  • there is risk of inhaling potentially hazardous dust particles from notes covered with visible powder, such as drugs or unknown other substances.

How does the Bank of Canada help?

Photo The Bank of Canada offers a free "mutilated-note redemption" service, which includes careful examination of damaged notes by an experienced team at a specially equipped laboratory in Ottawa.

Photo The time needed to assess damaged notes varies with complexity and workload. Settlement, if any, is issued to the client following a formal evaluation of each case.

How do I send contaminated notes to the Bank of Canada?

Before submitting contaminated notes, contact the Bank of Canada at 1 888 513-8512 between 09:00 and 15:00 ET to:

  • Provide a description of the substance on the notes.
  • Specify if the notes are wet or dry.
  • If possible, identify how, when and where the bank notes became contaminated.
  • Provide contact information for an individual who has knowledge of the nature of contamination.

Our staff can then advise you as to how best to ship the notes to the Bank.

When submitting contaminated bank notes, include the following information:

  • your name and address, and
  • a letter explaining how the notes became contaminated and an estimate of their value.

Contaminated notes can be forwarded by registered mail to the Bank of Canada location listed below. The Bank of Canada is not responsible for notes lost in transit.
See: How to Prepare Contaminated Notes for Shipping

Personal deliveries are accepted between the hours of 09:00 and 15:00, ET, Monday through Friday, except holidays.

Bank of Canada
Currency Production and Services
234 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G9
Contact information
Phone: 1 888 513-8212
Fax: 613 782-7458