How To Exchange Ripped Money

how to exchange ripped money

Exchanging Ripped Money: A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding Mutilated Currency

Before delving into the processes of exchanging ripped money, it is essential to comprehend what constitutes mutilated currency. Mutilated or damaged money denotes any bill that's visibly damaged to the point where its value or denomination cannot be readily identified. Condensed into simpler terms, if you possess a banknote that's ripped, torn, partially incinerated, water-damaged, or defaced, you’ve got mutilated currency.

Seek Professional Opinion

If your money is mutilated, do not try to fix it yourself! Exercise patience and leave the currency as it is. Reach out to a professional or a financial institution for their expert opinion on your next best course of action. An attempt to scotch-tape your bills together could unintentionally worsen its condition, thus rendering the bill worthless and unexchangeable.

Proceed to a Local Bank

Your local bank may not be the first place you’d think to visit when you have ripped money. However, as per the Bank of Canada's policy, if more than 50 percent of a note is clearly present, or if both numbering panels (situated on the top left and right corners of banknotes) exist, the bank typically considers it redeemable.

Bank of Canada’s Services

Should you find a local bank unable to exchange your ripped money, get in touch with your area branch of the Bank of Canada directly. They have services that deal specifically with damaged money. The Bank advises you to place each individual piece of your damaged bill in a separate plastic bag or envelope. Label each bag/envelope clearly with the denomination of the note, and send it to the Bank of Canada via registered mail.

Avail Services of Private Companies

Private companies, like exchanges and check-cashing enterprises, also often offer services for exchanging torn or mutilated notes. These businesses generally must adhere to the same rules and guidelines as banks. You'll likely successfully exchange your damaged money here, providing your bills meet the criteria (again, usually if more than 50% of the note is identifiable).

Recourse with Severely Destroyed Banknotes

Severely mutilated banknotes necessitate more decisive action for redemption. The Bank of Canada's Currency Department will assess these notes to determine if a reimbursement is plausible. It's crucial to send as much of the damaged banknote as possible, along with a written explanation of how the banknote was mutilated. Full or partial reimbursement is dependent on the condition and identified value of the banknote.

Preventing Future Damaged Currency

Avoiding the hassle of dealing with ripped money starts with proper care and storage. Keep your bills flat and in a safe, dry location. Refrain from folding or tearing them excessively, and most importantly, keep them away from toddlers and pets.


Exchanging ripped money might appear daunting at first. Still, with patience and the right guidance, you'll find the process rather straightforward. And remember, prevention is always better than cure, so handle your money with care. With this guide, you’re now well equipped with the necessary knowledge to manage and exchange your damaged currency effectively.