Money orders are a convenient substitute for checks when the payer doesn’t have a checking account or a checkbook.
The United States Postal Service is one of the most ubiquitous issuers of money orders, selling both domestic and international kinds.
But you might be wondering: How long are USPS money orders good for? Do they ever expire? Keep reading for the very encouraging answer.
How Long Are USPS Money Orders Good For?
Money orders issued by the United States Postal Service never expire, and unlike some others, they never devalue, either. Whereas some money orders begin to decrease in value by a certain percentage after a prescribed amount of time, USPS money orders can be cashed for the full value at any time by the printed recipient.
If you’ve found an old USPS money order and you’re wondering if you can cash it, or you’re wondering if you can cancel one, or you want to know what to do if you lose one, then you’ll need all the information I’ve found for you below.
Can You Cash an Old Postal Money Order?
Money orders issued by the United States Postal Service do not expire; thus, as long as your name is on the money order, you can cash it!
The very best place to cash a USPS money order is with the Postal Service.
You can head down to your local Post Office, and they will take care of it.
Just one thing before you leave – do not sign it yet.
Rather, the postal employee will instruct you when to sign it so that they can watch as you do it and ensure that it is indeed you, the intended recipient, making their signature.
Can You Cancel a USPS Money Order?
Say you got a USPS money order because you lost your checkbook somewhere and don’t have time to look for it.
Before you get the money order to the recipient, wonder of wonders – you find your checkbook! So now you don’t need this money order.
Can you cancel it?
As a matter of fact, you very likely can.
The best thing to do is bring the money order, your ID, and your receipt back to the Post Office where you purchased it.
Explain what happened and that you would like to cancel it and get your money back.
According to thebalance.com, USPS is among the money order issuers who will generally cancel them and give you your money back.
What Should You Do If You Lose a USPS Money Order?
Losing a USPS money order can make you frantic because if it never expires, that means a criminal who finds it could wrangle a way to cash it.
Here’s what you should do, courtesy of USPS.com themselves.
You’re going to want to act fast. The quicker you act, the less likely the money order is going to be fraudulently cashed.
If you’re the purchaser of the money order and you lost it, you will need to find the receipt for it and bring it to the Post Office.
(If you’re the recipient, reach out to the purchaser, and with any luck, they still have it and can donate it to the cause.)
Explain that it’s lost (or possibly stolen, if that’s the case), and they will start an investigation called a Money Order Inquiry.
They’ll give you the information you need to check the status of the inquiry while they’re investigating.
Basically, the Postal Service has ways of confirming if the money order is really lost or stolen.
Once your inquiry is approved, they will issue you a brand-new money order.
Mind you, the Postal Service website doesn’t give a timeframe for how long this process takes, so if the money order need is urgent, you will have to figure something else out in the meantime.
Can You Cash a USPS Money Order Made Out To Someone Else?
As far as I can tell, the Postal Service is included in the list of money order issuers and cashers who will allow you to cash a money order made out to someone else.
This can be useful if you had one made out to a friend, never gave it to them for whatever reason, and then they told you to keep the money.
After all, USPS money orders never expire, so when you have one or find one, it can always be cashed!
But before you can pocket those dollar bills again, you must get them to sign it over to you.
They can do this by signing their name and then writing “Pay To [Your Full Name]” beneath the endorsement lines on the back.
You will then bring it into the Post Office (or other cashing store) with your ID.
Then, as with any money order, you will sign under the text endorsing you as the new recipient in the presence of the clerk.
They will check to ensure that the original recipient’s name is the same as the one on the front before issuing you the cash.
To learn more about USPS services, you can also read our posts on whether or not USPS sells money orders, whether USPS first-class has insurance, and what USPS in-transit to destination means.