How to recover lost Savings Bonds
Monday, July 12th, 2004
Categorized as: Lost or stolen US Savings Bonds
If you own Savings Bonds that have been lost, stolen, or destroyed, you can have them replaced or redeemed without a fee. The process is the same no matter what series the bond is in.
First click here to get a copy of Public Debt Form 1048. Start by reading the instructions on the last page of the form, which include the address where you should mail the form after completing it.
You can provide approximate issue dates and you can enter "unknown" for denominations, serial numbers, and anything else you don't know. At a minimum, you need only provide your name and Social Security Number, but the more information you can provide the more likely it is that records of your Savings Bonds will be found.
If the Savings Bonds were a gift to you, the SSN on the bonds could belong to the person who gave you the gift rather than to you. So if you're looking for Savings Bonds your grandmother gave you and you have your grandmother's SSN, it would be useful to include it in a separate letter and submit it with the form, along with any other information you might have about the bonds that don't fit on the form.
After you have completed the form, you will have to take it to a financial institution that handles Savings Bonds to have your signature certified. In most states, most banks, savings and loans, and credit unions handle Savings Bonds. Unless you are well known at the financial institution, you will need identification. After that, send the form to the address it gives you.
The Treasury will search for the bonds in its records. If it finds them, it will make sure they haven't already been cashed. On the form, you can ask to have the bonds replaced (they'll have the original issue date), or you can ask to have them redeemed.
If the bonds you've lost were purchased through a payroll savings plan while you were in the military, also take a look at my post about reclaiming Savings Bonds held in military safekeeping.
If you haven't lost your savings bonds yet, you should make sure you have a complete inventory listing of your bonds, including their serial numbers. If you have a bond's serial number, you are certain to be able to get it replaced. My book, Savings Bond Advisor, describes several easy ways to create an inventory listing of your Savings Bonds.