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How to Send a Money Order


Simply inserting a completed money order in a stamped, addressed envelope might get it to its destination, but arrival or proper tracking and credit of the payment isn’t always reasonably assured. Reduce the chances of a money order getting lost or stolen!

Before Mailing

Keeping good records is important in safeguarding your money order payment. Because money orders are often lost or stolen, the receipt reports crucial information needed to trace the order. Ensure the payee, money order number, amount, and date are properly noted on either the stub or carbon copy-type receipt and file it safely before mailing the money order.

Mailing cash is never a good idea; cash is the top mailed item stolen. Checks and money orders are safer than cash but can be lost or stolen as well. One way to increase the security of mailing any kind of payment is to enclose it in a piece of paper, folding it around the mode of payment, before putting it in the envelope. Sandwiching the money order between folded pages of an invoice can help, but generally a bill payment envelope is easily recognized. If used, fold the invoice into itself, hiding the amount due. If the amount being sent isn’t visible, chances of theft fall drastically. Encase the payment separately and place behind the invoice in-folded invoice. The payment amount and the payment, itself, are completely hidden.

When Mailing

Ensure the envelope is tightly sealed. Use tape to fully close when possible, reducing the possibility of the money order slipping out or getting damaged en route.

Obviously, ensure the mailing and return addresses are correct and fully visible and legible. Every year, mail containing money totaling a small fortune cannot be delivered or returned because of missing or illegible addresses. The USPS marks the mail as undeliverable and hold it until people attempt to trace their missing payments. The USPS keeps records diligently, but it could take quite some time to determine if a particular money order is among the lost mail items.

If ensuring successful delivery is paramount, send the properly enclosed money order via a tracked mail system, such as certified or registered mail. Mark the “return receipt requested” box, and file the mail receipt with the money order receipt. When the delivery confirmation arrives, attach the green card to the other documents.

Maintain those records until at least six months past payment confirmation by the money order payee.



Office of Inspector General, USPS; “Mail Theft by Employees and Contractors,” USPS OIG Investigations; found at:

Post & Parcel; “US Postmaster General tells subcommittee postal service moving forward but still needs help,” (c) April 23, 2010; found at:

United States Postal Service; “Domestic Money Orders: Money orders let you send money safely through the mail,” found at:

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