Teller Toolkit

A Guide to Identifying Genuine Currency

This guide is a training resource for tellers who need to learn how to authenticate Federal Reserve notes. The information in this toolkit can be used to determine whether currency is genuine.

Is that authentic currency?

Details for tellers about specific denominations

The U.S. government redesigns currency to enhance the security of banknotes, but it’s not necessary to trade in your older-design notes for new ones. All U.S. currency remains legal tender, regardless of when it was issued. No matter how technologically advanced a note’s security features are, your help continues to be the best line of defense against counterfeiting.

The toolkit provides detailed information about the security features of the current-design $100, $50, $20, $10, and $5 notes. In addition, the toolkit contains links to resources that provide detailed information about the security features of older-design notes.

An image of the “Know the $100 Note” page in the Teller Toolkit detailing several security and design features of $100 Federal Reserve notes

"Know the $100 Note" page in the Teller Toolkit

Tips to spot easy-to-detect counterfeit notes

Take a quick glance at currency when you receive it.

  • If it has foreign writing on it, it could be fake.
  • If it has "For Motion Picture Use Only" or the word "Replica" on it, it could be fake.

The best way to determine whether a note is genuine is to rely on its security features. If you think you’ve received a counterfeit note, follow your organization’s counterfeit-reporting procedures before notifying your nearest U.S. Secret Service Field Office.

Additional Teller Resources

Training Course

Take our online training course designed to help tellers learn how to spot the security features in U.S. currency. The more you know, the less likely you are to accept counterfeit notes.

U.S. Currency Education Website

Explore this site for more information and training resources on authenticating current and older styles of U.S. currency.

Reporting a Counterfeit

For more information on how to report counterfeit currency, visit the Report a Counterfeit page.

Cash Assist App

With Cash Assist’s suite of tools, you can learn to quickly locate and understand the security features of the cash in your hands. Use your phone’s camera, accelerometer, and more to help you make decisions.

Get this Toolkit