Damaged money

Replacing euro and DM banknotes

The Bundesbank replaces damaged genuine euro and DM banknotes if more than half of the note is still intact or it can be proven that the rest of the note has been destroyed.

Submissions of banknotes that have been treated with chemical or other hazardous substances must be accompanied by a written declaration specifying what substances have been used (eg material safety data sheet).

Deliberately damaged euro banknotes will not be replaced. The same applies to euro and DM banknotes that have already been devalued by a Bundesbank branch.

Banknotes are generally replaced by the Bundesbank free of charge.

Replacing euro and DM coins

The Bundesbank reimburses or replaces euro coins that have become unfit for circulation due to long circulation or accident.

The Bundesbank does not reimburse euro coins that have been altered either deliberately or by a process that could reasonably be expected to have the effect of so altering them. All euro coins that are deemed unfit are taken out of circulation.

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

Pursuant to section 3 of the Act Governing the End of the Deutsche Mark (DM-Beendigungsgesetz) the Bundesbank will not exchange DM coins for legal tender if they have been counterfeited, contain holes or have been altered in any way other than through normal use.

The Bundesbank does not accept any euro or DM coins whose acceptance or processing would constitute a health risk for its staff. Submissions of coins that have been treated with chemical or other hazardous substances must be accompanied by a written declaration specifying exactly what substances have been used (eg material safety data sheet listing substances used).

A processing fee for replacing coins is not charged at present.

If you have any specific questions, please contact the National Analysis Centre for damaged banknotes and coins directly.

What should I do?

Seal everything up – even the smallest pieces or the residue (eg ash) – so as to avoid further damage. In the case of burnt banknotes, please ensure that solid objects such as coins do not further damage the ash during transport.

Please use the Reimbursement application for damaged DM/euro banknote(s)/coin(s) to submit damaged money. Make sure that you provide precise details about the cause of damage and what has happened to missing parts of banknotes so as to avoid any time being wasted with unnecessary queries. Please also inform us of any possible health risks if you believe that the banknotes or coins may be contaminated.

Ask your bank whether it is willing to forward the money to a branch of the Bundesbank, or take the money directly to a Bundesbank branch yourself. Please make sure that you submit the complete form. The Bundesbank branch will return the final page to you as confirmation of receipt. Alternatively, you can also send the damaged money directly to the following address:

Deutsche Bundesbank
Hegelstrasse 65
H 313
55122 Mainz

Please note that the Deutsche Bundesbank cannot accept any liability for money lost on the way to us. Please ask your delivery service provider whether and how cash (especially coins) can be sent and how to correctly pack, declare and, if necessary, insure your cash.

What happens next?

If it is not possible to exchange your money at a Bundesbank branch directly, it takes up to three months from the time the money is lodged with a Bundesbank branch until reimbursement is made or reimbursement is denied in writing.

In particularly difficult or labour-intensive cases, the examination process may take longer.

Any further questions?

You can find answers to frequently asked questions in our FAQs. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call us.