Can Money Orders be Traced? How to Trace a Money Order?

Can Money Orders be Traced? How to Trace a Money Order?

Yes, money orders can be traced. There are many ways you can trace a money order. The easiest way is to call the financial institution and ask them about the money order. You have to provide the money order receipt number to trace the money order.

Key Takeaways

  • Money order works like a cheque but it won’t bounce like a cheque 
  • You can purchase a money order using cash, debit card, traveler’s card, etc.
  • You have to provide the serial number of your money receipt to trace a Money Order
  • It is possible to trace a money order without a money receipt
  • If you lost your money receipt, then Western Union will charge a $30 fee to trace the money order for you

What is a Money Order?

According to Wikipedia

“A money order is a directive to pay a pre-specified amount of money from prepaid funds, making it a more trusted method of payment than a cheque.”

The money order was first introduced in 1792 and basically, it is a type of certificate with pre-defined funds on it. A money order can only be issued by the government, private banks, and financial institutes. A money order works quite similarly to a cheque with some differences. You won’t need a bank account to send the money order to someone. You can buy a money order with cash, a debit card, a traveler’s check, etc. Moreover, a money order won’t bounce like a cheque. While buying a money order, you have to provide the recipient’s name, address, issuing financial institution’s name, etc. All this information will be printed on the money order. This is why a money order is one of the safes ways of sending money.

The Working Procedure of a Money Order

If you want to send a money order then you have to visit a financial institute that sells money orders. You have to provide some information that includes –

  • Payee name
  • Payee address
  • Date of purchase
  • The amount you’re paying
  • Your name and address
  • Reason for payment, etc.

Depending on the financial institution, you might have to fill out a form and then sign it. Then you have to submit the form along with the money. Along with the face value of the money order, you also have to the issuer’s fee. In the USA, you can buy Money orders from various financial institutes including –

  • The United States Postal Service (USPS)
  • Retail banks, like Wells Fargo
  • Pharmacies, grocery stores, convenience stores, etc.
  • Check-cashing and payday loan stores  

How to Track a Money Order

There are quite a few methods available that you can use to track a money order. If you want to know about these methods then check the below information.

Method – 1: Track a Money Order using a Receipt

  • If you have the money order receipt then you can easily track the money order. Follow the below steps –
  • First, check the money receipt and identify the serial number on the receipt
  • Now contact the issuer of the money receipt; you can contact them via phone, mail, online, or by physically visiting the office
  • If you call customer service then you have to provide the serial number along with the recipient’s name and money order amount. The same goes for mail, online, or physically visiting the office
  • Once you provide the serial number, the agent will check your money order and let you know the current status of the money order
elegant blue gray vector invoice template design

Method – 2: Track a Money Order without a Receipt

If you lost your money order receipt then don’t panic. Most banks and financial institutes allow you to trace your money order without a receipt. But, to do so, you have to provide some information like the name and address of the recipient, the amount of the money order, etc. You might also have to show some valid photo id before the bank or financial institute will allow you to track the money order. Now follow the below steps –

  • First, you have to contact the issuer of the money order.
  • Then you have to provide some information:
    • Date and time of purchase
    • Your contact information
    • Where you bought it
    • The recipient’s name and address
    • The amount of the money order, etc.
  • The agent will verify the information and if the information matches then the agent will tell you the status of your money order

Tracking a Money Order Depending on the Issuer


You can easily check or track the money order from the USPS official website. In order to do so, you have to provide some information like the money receipt’s serial number, post office number, dollar amount, etc. You have to visit the website from your computer and provide the information in the required field to track the money order.

2. Western Union

You can trace a money order at Western Union with or without a money receipt. If you have a money receipt then you have to provide the serial number to trace the money order. On the other hand, if you don’t have the money receipt or the serial number then you have to complete and submit Western Union’s Money Order Research Request form. You should keep in mind that you have to pay a processing fee of $30 to trace the money order! Once you fill-up the form, you can submit it in three ways –

  • Fax: 1-720-864-0477
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Mail: Western Union Financial Services, Inc., PO Box 7030 Englewood, CO 80155-7030
 Western Union

3. MoneyGram

If you have purchased a money order from MoneyGram then you can trace it through the website or mobile app by filling out the online form or by calling 1-800-542-3590. You have to provide the money receipt serial number as well as the money order amount to trace a MoneyGram money order.


Money Order Fees and Limits of various Banks & Retailers in the USA

Name of the CompanyFeesLimits
Bank of America
Wells Fargo
U.S. Bank
PNC Bank
BMO Harris Bank
TD Bank
Capital One
Regions Bank
BMO Harris Bank
M&T Bank
Does not issue money orders
$5 for customers and $10 for non-customers

FAQs about Can Money Orders be Traced? How to Trace a Money Order

Can a money order be traced to your account?

Well, usually a money order can’t be traced back to a bank account especially if you buy the money order using cash. However, if you use your debit card to make the payment then there are some possibilities for tracking your bank account using the money order.

Can a postal money order be traced?

Yes, a postal money order can be traced. You will need some information like your money receipt, serial number, name of the recipient, money order amount, etc. to trace a postal money order.

Can money orders be traced without a receipt?

Yes, a money order can be traced without a money receipt. However, you have to provide some information like the date and time of purchase, contact information, recipient’s name and address, amount of the money order, etc. to trace a money order.

Do money orders get reported to IRS?

Usually, banks or financial institutes don’t report money orders to IRS. However, if there is something unusual then the bank or the financial institute can report a money order.          


Last Updated on December 25, 2023 by Magalie D.

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