I Lost My Series I Savings Bond Certificate. What Do I Do?
Just Because You Lost Your Savings Bond Doesn't Mean You're Out of Luck
If you lost your Series I savings bonds or your savings bonds were destroyed or even stolen, you don't need to panic. All savings bonds are what Wall Street likes to call "registered securities." That means that the United States Treasury records show your name, social security number and whether or not you have cashed your savings bonds. Thankfully, you can have a replacement bond issued to you with just a little bit of effort on your part.
Reissuing Savings Bonds vs. Replacing Savings Bonds
There is a big difference between replacing lost, mutilated, or destroyed savings bonds and reissuing savings bonds because you want to add a co-owner, beneficiary, remove a divorced spouse from the bonds, etc.
How to Replace Lost, Destroyed, or Damaged Series I Savings Bonds
For Series I savings bonds (as well as series EE bonds) that are lost, destroyed, or stolen, you'll need to file a written claim with the Bureau of the Fiscal Service by filling out FS Form 1048. You'll need to have your signature certified according to the instructions included on the form. Once complete, you then mail it back to the Treasury Retail Securities Site's address; as of August 2018, it was as follows:
Treasury Retail Securities Site
P.O. Box 214
Minneapolis, MN 55480-0214
Before they can process your claim, it is vital you provide include the following information with your completed FS Form 1048:
- Specific month and year of purchase
- Social Security Number (for example 123-45-6789)
- Names, including middle names or initials
- Mailing address
It's a good idea to check TreasuryDirect.gov to see if the address or procedures have changed.
Within a few weeks, you should receive replacement savings bonds electronically, and you can add them to your brokerage account. Because they are now in electronic form, there's no risk of you losing or damaging them again. If you happen to find the lost series I savings bonds after receiving their replacements, they now belong the United States Government and it is imperative that you send them back to the Treasury Retail Securities Site at the address above. That's all it takes!
How to Get Your Savings Bonds Reissued
As I previously mentioned, there is a difference between replacing savings bonds and reissuing savings bonds. There are a handful of situations in which you'll need to have your savings bonds reissued, but others in which you don't. Here is a handy list of guidelines to help you determine if you'll need your savings bonds reissued.
- Situations Where Bonds DO NOT Need to be Reissued
Changes of name after marriage, minor typos in spelling, address changes, and wrong social security numbers. (In case of the latter, the Government will want to have the correct social security number on file for reference and ease of search. You'll need to write a letter to Treasury Retail Securities Site with information including the incorrect and correct social security numbers, and the serial number, issue date, denomination and the registrants for each bond that requires change. Again, please visit TreasuryDirect.gov for more information.)
- Situations Where Bonds DO Need Reissued
You'll need to seek a reissue of bonds if there are significant errors in first or last name, as well as for major typos or misspellings. In addition, a reissue is required if a court appoints of a guardian or conservator over the living owner of the savings bond. Other cases include the death of the savings bond owner or owners; changing ownership of the bond to a personal trust estate; changes of name due to divorce or annulment; adding additional owners to the bond; and changing beneficiaries. Each of these situations has their own guidelines to follow and forms to fill out. If any of these events apply to you, I encourage you to visit TreasuryDirect.gov to seek the most up-to-date information regarding reissuing savings bonds.
More About the Series I Savings Bond
You can read our Guide to Investing in Series I Savings Bonds. This will walk you through tons of information about savings bonds, especially the series I savings bond, including how you can add them to your portfolio, annual purchase limits, ownership requirements, tax benefits, and much more.