How Long Is A Money Order Valid- Explained In 2024

A money order does not have an expiration date. So, they are valid for life. 

Have you purchased a money order but can not find the expiration date? Then you might be wondering, How long is a money order valid? 

Well, worry no more. In this post, I will explain How long is a money order valid. Moreover, I will also talk about the validity of different money order issuers, extra fees, and everything related to this topic. So, stay here till the end. 

Let’s start by finding out, Do money orders have an expiration date?

Find out Can you deposit a money order online 

How Long Is a Money Order Valid

how long is a money order valid

Usually, money orders do not have an expiration date. This means you should be able to cash a money order no matter how old it is. 

Money orders are safer than cash and checks in many ways. Because they can be tracked easily, they do not bounce and only the recipient can cash them. Moreover, money orders do not have an expiration date either. This is applicable for money orders issued from any provider domestically. 

However, there is a catch. Because most money order issuers except USPS start to charge extra service fees after a certain period of time. The time frame varies depending on the issuers. Generally, it’s 1 to 3 years.  This means if you do not cash a money order within 1-3 years then you will be charged extra fees to cash them. 

On the other hand, if the money order is damaged or altered then it becomes invalid and can not be cashed. 

Do International Money Orders Expire?

No, like domestic money orders international money orders also have no expiry date. So, you can cash them any time you want. 

Money orders do not have an expiry date no matter whether it’s domestic or international. However, you might need to pay extra processing fees if you do not cash the international money order. The fee varies depending on the country. 

However, there is a risk with international money orders if they remain uncashed. Because the money order issuer might go out of business in the county. In that situation, it can be really hard to cash the international money order. So, it’s better to cash an International money order ASAP.  So, How long is a money order valid Western Union?

How Long Is A Western Union Money Order Good For

Western Union money orders do not have an expiration date. So, they can be cashed even after years. 

However, as time passes by Western Union starts to add processing fees for the money order. Usually, they do not add any processing fees until the money order is 1-3 years old. The time may vary depending on the state. However, after the time frame, Western Union starts to add a  $2 or more processing fee per month. 

Do Money Orders Expire MoneyGram?

No, MoneyGram money orders also do not expire. 

Like other big money order issuers, MoneyGram money orders also have no expiry date. But after one year MoneyGram starts to charge an extra processing fee. The fees and time frame varies depending on your location. However, you can find the extra fees and time frame written at the back of the money order.  

Do USPS Money Orders Expire?

No, USPS money orders never expire. 

The best thing about USPS money orders is that there are no processing fees. This means US postal services do not charge any proceeding fees if a money order has not been cashed for several years or decades. 

So, you will get the exact amount written on the money order if you go to cash an old money order. 

How To Preserve A Money Order

Although money orders do not expire, they still can become invalid for certain reasons. Here are some of the reasons 

  • The money order is signed long before it’s cashed. So, do not sign until you are ready to cash it. 
  • The money order is torn or physically damaged for a long period of time. Keep it carefully and if it’s damaged change it ASAP. 
  • There are signs of altering the money order. 
  • There is something written on the money order. Never write anything on the money order and keep them out of the reach of children.  

So, keep them carefully until you cash them. Moreover, try to get the purchase slip which will be needed if something goes wrong. 

Extra Processing Fees for Different Old Money Orders

Here is the list of processing fees along with the time frame for major money order issuers for uncashed money orders 

Money Order IssuersTime FrameProcessing Fees
Amscot 1 year$2 per month
MoneyGram1 yearVaries by location.
Western Union1 yearVaries by Location.

By now we have found the answer to how long is a money order valid. Now let’s look at some of the related queries. 


Here are some of the frequently asked queries related to this topic. 

How long is an uncashed money order good for?

An Uncaashed money order is good for a lifetime. However, make sure the money order is not damaged in any way. Because if it’s damaged then it becomes invalid. 

Can I cash a money order 2 years old?

Yes, you can cash a two year old money order. But you might be charged extra processing fees depending on the money order issuer. Moreover, you will need a valid ID to prove you are the recipient.

How Long Is A Money Order Valid In California

In California, a money order is valid for 7 years no matter who the issuer is. There won’t be any extra fees. After 7 years either it should be cashed or you should change the money order and get a new one. 

In Summary

Money orders do not have any expiry date no matter who issues it. But there will be extra processing fees for older money orders. So, you should cash a money order as soon as possible. 

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