EE/E Savings Bonds FAQs
- What should I do if my paper savings bond has been lost, stolen, or destroyed?
- If my paper EE bond contains a misspelling, incorrect address, or incorrect Social Security Number, do I need to get this corrected?
- What is the Education Savings Bond Program?
- What is the penalty if I cash my bond during the first 5 years?
- What are Patriot Bonds?
- I'd like to buy a savings bond as a gift. What if I don't know the owner's Social Security Number?
- In a state that has a permanent escheatment law, can the state claim the money represented by securities that the state has in its possession? For example, can a state cash savings bonds that it's gotten from abandoned safe deposit boxes?
- I noticed savings bonds are being sold through auction sites such as eBay™, but I thought ownership was non-transferable. How does this work?
What should I do if my paper savings bond has been lost, stolen, or destroyed?
Simply fill out the form for Lost, Stolen, or Destroyed U.S. Savings Bonds (Form PD F 1048) and mail it to the address provided on the form.
We must have all of the following information before searching for the record of your security:
- Bond serial number -- If you donít have the bond serial number, provide all of the following:
- Specific month and year of purchase
- Complete social security number (for example 123-45-6789)
- Names, including middle names or initials
- Address (street, city, state)
We will replace your savings bonds if we can establish that a person entitled to cash the bonds hasn't done so.
We can convert paper certificates to electronic format in a TreasuryDirect account. You may want to consider this option if you're concerned about bonds being lost or destroyed. For more information on converting paper bonds, visit the SmartExchangeSM program.
If my paper EE Bond contains a misspelling, incorrect address, or incorrect Social Security Number do I need to get this corrected?
- Misspelled Name -- EE Bonds don't need to be reissued to correct small typographical errors in names. The bond needs to be reissued if the error is significant enough to prevent the bond owner from cashing it. To get a bond reissued, just fill out and sign the proper Reissue Form (PD F 4000) and mail it to the Federal Reserve Bank for your area.
- Incorrect Address -- EE Bonds don't need to be reissued to correct the address that appears on the bonds.
- Incorrect Social Security Number -- EE Bonds don't need to be reissued to correct a Social Security Number. The Social Security Number does not establish ownership or tax liability. It's used to find savings bond records if, for example, the bonds are lost and the owner has not kept a record of serial numbers. Be sure to keep a record of all your bonds including serial numbers.
On paper savings bonds issued or replaced starting August 1, 2006, the first five digits of your Social Security number or Employer Identification number will be masked and replaced with asterisks. This is being done to protect your privacy and to prevent the information from being used for identity theft.
What is the Education Savings Bond Program?
Qualified taxpayers may be able to exclude all or part of the interest earned from eligible EE and I Bonds issued after 1989 when paying qualified higher education expenses. Bonds must be issued in the name of a taxpayer age 24 or older at the time of issuance. Other restrictions and income limits apply. See more details on the education tax exclusion or IRS Form 8815
What is the penalty if I cash my bond during the first 5 years?
If you cash a bond before it is 5 years old, you will forfeit the last 3 months' interest.
What are Patriot Bonds?
Patriot bonds are paper EE Bonds that were purchased through financial institutions. They are inscribed with the words "Patriot Bond."
I'd like to buy a savings bond as a gift. What if I don't know the owner's Social Security Number?
To purchase an electronic savings bond as a gift, the TreasuryDirect account holder needs to know the recipient's full name and Social Security Number and/or taxpayer ID number. The gift bond is placed in the account holder's "Gift Box" until the account holder obtains the TreasuryDirect account number of the recipient and is ready to transfer the bond into the recipient's account.
When you buy savings bonds as gifts, you must hold them in your TreasuryDirect account for at least five business days before you can deliver them to the gift recipient. The five-day hold protects Treasury against loss by ensuring the ACH debit has been successfully completed before the funds can be moved.
The gift recipient will then receive an e-mail announcing the transfer of the bond.
In a state that has a permanent escheatment law, can the state claim the money represented by securities that the state has in its possession. For example, can a state cash savings bonds that it's gotten from abandoned safe deposit boxes?
The Department of the Treasury will recognize claims by States for payment of United States securities where the States have succeeded to the title and ownership of the securities pursuant to valid escheat proceedings. The Department, however, does not recognize claims for payment by a State acting merely as custodian of unclaimed or abandoned securities and not as successor in title and ownership of the securities.
In other words, the Treasury recognizes escheat statutes that provide that a State has succeeded to the legal ownership of securities because in such case payment of the securities results in full discharge of the Treasury's obligation and this discharge is valid in all jurisdictions.
But, payment of securities to a State claiming only as a custodian results in the substitution of one obligor, the Department of the Treasury, for another, the State. Not only is there serious question whether there is authority for a State to effect such a substitution, but also there seems to be no basis for believing that payment to a State custodian would discharge Treasury of its obligation. Even if the discharge were claimed effective in the State to which the payment is made, it is believed that the Treasury's obligation and liability would still remain in force in all other jurisdictions.
I noticed savings bonds are being sold through auction sites such as eBay™, but I thought ownership was non-transferable. How does this work?
Savings bonds are sometimes sold as souvenirs or collectors' items. The sale doesn't affect the ownership of the savings bond, since by regulation, a savings bond is a registered security and ownership is non-transferable. The United States Treasury still has a contractual relationship with the owner or co-owners named on the bond, not the person who bought the bond at auction. Because of this, the person buying it at auction can't cash it--he's just purchased a piece of paper showing a bond that still is the property of the owner or co-owners named on the bond. In some cases, the bond may be the property of the United States Treasury, if it's a bond that was lost and has since been replaced. Bottom line: it's not a good idea to buy a savings bond at an auction, because you do not acquire any title to the bond or have any ownership rights.