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Damaged money

Requirements for replacing banknotes

The Bundesbank will replace damaged euro and Deutsche Mark banknotes if more than half of the note is presented or it can be proved that the missing (larger) part of the banknote has been destroyed.

Deliberately damaged euro- or Deutsche Mark-banknotes will not be replaced. The same applies to euro- and mark-banknotes that have been exchanged and devalued by branches of Deutsche Bundesbank.

Requirements for replacing coins

The Deutsche Bundesbank reimburses euro coins deemed unfit for circulation on the basis of Chapter III of Regulation (EU) No 1210/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 2010 concerning authentication of euro coins and handling of euro coins unfit for circulation (published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 22 December 2010, document number L 339/1).

The Bundesbank reimburses or replaces euro coins which have become unfit for circulation due to long circulation or accident. The Bundesbank does not reimburse euro coins which have been altered either deliberately or by a process that could be reasonably expected to have the effect of altering them. All euro coins which are deemed unfit are withdrawn from circulation.

Furthermore, euro coins which have been counterfeited or which have already been exchanged and devalued by a Bundesbank branch or another ESCB central bank cannot be replaced.

A processing fee is not levied at present.

Since 11 January 2011, the Bundesbank no longer exchanges DM coins for legal tender if the said coins have been counterfeited, contain holes or have been alteredin any way other than from general use. This is in line with the amendments to its current exchange policy, which is based on Section 3 of the Act Governing the End of the Deutsche Mark (DM-Beendigungsgesetz).

The Bundesbank does not accept any euro or DM coins where the acceptance or processing of these would constitute a health risk for its staff. Submissions of coins which have been treated with chemical or other hazardous substances must be accompanied by a written declaration specifying the exact substances which have been used (e.g. Material Safety Data Sheet of the substances used).

For specific information, please contact directly to the National Analysis Center for damaged cash.

What should you do?

Seal everything up - even the smallest pieces or the residue (eg ash) - so as to avoid further damage. Please ensure, that there are no massive objects like coins between burned banknotes, because those could grind the ash to powder.

Ask your bank whether it is willing to forward the money to a branch of the Deutsche Bundesbank, or take the money directly to a branch yourself. Alternatively, you can send the damaged money to the address mentioned in the following form directly. Please take note that we don’t accept any liability in case of loss during transport. Please ask the transport company for further information about packaging, declaration and insurance of cash.

When submitting the money, use the application form (available in German only) and give exact details of the cause of the damage and the whereabouts of the missing parts of the note. Please also inform us of any possible health risks if you have cause to believe that the banknotes or coins may be contaminated.

What happens next?

Damaged banknotes or coins which the Bundesbank branches are unable to exchange immediately are forwarded to the National Analysis Centre at the Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland Regional Office for examination. As a general rule, once the money reaches a branch office, it takes around four weeks until either the redeemed amount is credited or the claim is rejected in writing. In more difficult or labour-intensive cases, the examination process may take several months.

Does the Bundesbank charge a fee for replacing money?

The Bundesbank only charges a fee to exchange euro banknotes which have been damaged through the inadvertent activation of an anti-theft device. Otherwise it replaces money free of charge.

Application form for submitting damaged money

Additional information


Deutsche Bundesbank
Hegelstraße 65
H 313
55122 Mainz


National Analysis Centre

+49 6131 377-4363


Branches of the Deutsche Bundesbank  

Here you can find the contact data of all Bundesbank branches.