Dollar Serial Number Lookup

The United States one dollar note contains a wealth of information about when and where that note was printed. Collectors can use this information to help understand the U.S. system of currency and to make collecting decisions.
  1. Dollar Serial Number Lookup

If a sheet of notes was damaged or destroyed, it was replaced by a Replacement sheet. Replacement sheet notes are identified by a. (star) next to the serial numbers. 1934 Notes with yellow or brown seals are WW II emergency money, issued either for Hawaii or North Africa. See the FAQ for more information on various currency types and their use.

The Federal Reserve Seal and the Federal Reserve District Number.

There are twelve different Federal Reserve Banks responsible for printing paper money in the United States. On the one dollar bill, the bank can be quickly identified by a letter code in the Federal Reserve Seal to the left of the portrait of George Washington. The letter code is also found in the prefix of the serial number. A corresponding Federal Reserve District Number code is found in four locations. The following table is a handy reference for the bank codes:

Reserve Bank Letter Designation
BostonA1
New York B 2
Philadelphia C 3
Cleveland D 4
Richmond E 5
Atlanta F 6
Chicago G 7
St. Louis H 8
Minneapolis I 9
Kansas City J 10
Dallas K 11
San Francisco L 12

Serial Numbers

The serial number of a bill appears twice, once in the lower left hand quadrant and again in the upper right hand quadrant on the front of the bill. The letter which precedes the numbers must be the same number that you saw identifying the Federal Reserve Bank. The last letter of the serial number or suffix letter identifies the number of times that the Bureau of Engraving and Printing used the sequence of serial numbers – A is the first time, B is the second time, C is the third time and so on. With one run for each letter of the alphabet (26) and 32 bill per run, there are a total of 832 bills per serial number.

Series Date (or Series Year)

In the lower right quadrant between the portrait of George Washington and signature of the Secretary of the Treasury is the Series Date. This number is presented as a the year portion of a date - as in 2004 - and sometimes has a letter suffix - as in 2004A. It is important to note that there is not a series for every calendar year. A new series will result from a change in the Secretary of the Treasury, the Treasurer of the United States, and/or a change to the note's appearance such as a new currency design.

  • Design Change - New series year (e.g. 1999).
  • New Secretary of the Treasury - New series year (e.g. 1999).
  • New Treasurer of the United States - A suffix letter is added to the current series year (e.g. 1999A).

Plate Serial Number

The Plate Serial Number appears twice: once on the front of the bill in the lower right quadrant above the Federal Reserve District Number, and again on the back in the lower right corner. It identifies the plate from which the note was printed.

Dollar Serial Number Lookup

Note Number Position

The Note Number Position appears in the upper left quadrant. It is a letter number combination that indicates which position on the plate the note was printed. The number indicates the quadrant and the letter indicates the position within the quadrant. The following chart shows this relationship:

Currency serial number lookup
A1 E1 A3 E3
B1 F1 B3 F3
C1 G1 C3 B3
D1 H1 D3 H3
A2 E2 A4 E4
B2 F2 B4 F4
C2 G2 C4 G4
D2 H2 D4 H4

The Great Seal of the United States

The front (or obverse) of the seal shows an American bald eagle behind the national shield. The eagle holds an olive branch. The 13-letter motto, 'E Pluribus Unum,' on the ribbon held in the eagle's beak means 'Out of Many, One.'

On the reverse of the seal is a pyramid with 1776 in Roman numerals at the base. The pyramid stands for permanence and strength. The 13-letter motto, 'Annuit Coeptis' means 'He has favored our undertakings.' Below the pyramid the motto, 'Novus Ordo Seclorum' means 'A new order of the ages,' standing for the new American era.

D B Cooper's Loot Serial Number Searcher

Found an old $20 bill, and want to easily check to see if it was part of the loot from the most storied skyjacking in American history? Then look no further!

For years, you had to find a copy of the FBI's list of the stolen serial numbers - no easy task! Then, you had to peruse the dozens of small-font pages to see if your suspect bill was listed.

Using the guide below, enter the serial number from the $20 bill (on either half of the bill), and the Series year (located on the lower right corner of Andrew Jackson's portrait) - like the areas highlighted in yellow in the picture below.

Then, press 'Check My Bill'.

Our engine will take the information you supply, and comb our database of the nearly 10,000 serial number of the hijacker's ill-gotten gains. If you got a bill with one of the serial numbers, the program will tell you. It is that easy!

Please note that, when entering a bill that, there can be no spaces between the letters or numbers, and any letters MUST be in all capital letters.

Quick statistics on D B Cooper's loot:

  • Most of the serial numbers of $20 bills started with an 'L' (nearly 87%), which means it originated with the San Francisco Federal Reserve branch

  • Most were from either the 1963A or 1969 series.

  • Nearly all of the serial numbers ended with an A, B, or a star.

Questions? Comments? Find some of his loot?! We want to hear from you!

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