If you lost your Series I savings bonds, or if your savings bonds were destroyed or stolen, you don't need to panic. All savings bonds are what Wall Street likes to call "registered securities." That means the United States Treasury maintains records that show your name, your 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. Better yet, the Treasury now issues electronic replacements, so you won't have to worry about losing it again.
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'll mail it back to the Treasury Retail Securities Site's address. As of Feb. 2021, the address was as follows:
Treasury Retail Securities Site
P.O. Box 214
Minneapolis, MN 55480-0214
Before the government can process your claim, you must provide 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.
That's all there is to it—within a few weeks, you should receive replacement savings bonds electronically. The replacement bonds can be added 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 replacements, they now belong to the United States Government and you must send them back to the Treasury Retail Securities Site at the address above.
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 change information. Here is a handy list of guidelines to help you determine if you'll need your savings bonds reissued or replaced. Visit TreasuryDirect.gov for more information and to verify that these procedures are current.
Bonds DO NOT need to be reissued if there are name changes due to marriage, minor typos in the spelling of your name, address changes, or if the social security numbers are printed wrong. In the 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 personal information like the incorrect and correct social security numbers, and information for the affected bonds like the serial number, issue date, denomination, and the registrants.
Bonds DO need to be reissued if there are significant errors in first or last name, or any other major typos or misspellings. Also, a reissue is required if a court appoints 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 its own guidelines to follow and forms to fill out.
More About the Series I Savings Bond
For more, read the 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—like how you can add them to your portfolio, annual purchase limits, ownership requirements, tax benefits, and much more.