When the U.S. government issues a savings bond, it assigns a unique serial number to that bond. If the bond is later lost, stolen or destroyed, the Treasury Department uses the serial number to track down the bond and issue a replacement or a reimbursement. If you do not have the serial number of a bond you need to replace, you may still be able to get a replacement if you provide your name and Social Security number.
If you lose your savings bond, you can request a replacement by filling out Form PDF 1048. You do not have to have the serial number to request a replacement. However, if you have it, it makes it easier for the Treasury Department to track down and replace your bond than if you do not have the serial number. If you don't have a serial number, at the very least provide your name and Social Security number so that the Treasury Department can track down your bond.
If you purchase savings bonds, you can use a log to keep track of their important information in case you misplace the bond. Write down the serial number, type of bond, date of issue and date of maturity for each bond. If you lose a savings bond, use the information in your log to fill out form PDF 1048 so that you can get the bond replaced.
Social Security Numbers
The Treasury Department uses Social Security numbers as well as serial numbers to trace bonds. However, Social Security numbers are not as reliable because the Treasury Department uses the Social Security number of the original bond purchaser. For example, if your parents or grandparents purchase bonds for you as a gift, you will need their Social Security numbers to track down the bonds if you do not have the bond's serial number.
Recovering Lost Bonds
When you fill out Form PDF 1048, you may request a replacement bond or a check for the bond's value. If the lost bond was a series EE bond and is less than one year old, you cannot legally cash the bond; thus, you will have to get a replacement bond. You must sign the form in front of your bank's certifying officer before submitting it so that he can verify your identity.
- Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images