In many cases, you can get a copy of a money order without a receipt. Some companies offer a research service to find your money order under those circumstances. However, the lack of that documentation means it will cost you more and take longer – sometimes up to eight weeks.
Contact the Issuing Company
Large companies, such as Western Union and MoneyGram, offer research services to help customers obtain a copy of their money orders, even without a receipt. Banks can usually find the details of your money order by looking at your account history. Some other issuing companies may not be able to find your money order without the tracking number, which is listed on the receipt. For instance, the U.S. Postal Service issues money orders, but cannot research your transaction without the serial number found on your receipt. Start by contacting the company that issued your money order to find out if they can research your transaction.
Gather Necessary Information
Provide some basic information to help the issuing company find the transaction:
- Your contact information such as address, phone and email
- The amount of the money order
- The date of purchase
- The time of purchase, if known
- The location of the purchase
- The name of the payee on the money order
- The location of the purchase, including the agent number if you can obtain it
If you purchased another money order at the same time, and you have that receipt, you can provide the issuing company with that information. This helps narrow down the time frame that the other money order was issued.
Complete the Request Form
Input the information you've gathered on the appropriate form. For instance, Western Union's Money Order Research Request form asks for all the information the researcher needs to locate your money order and provide you with a copy. MoneyGram's form is similar. Mail the form to the address listed. You also may be able to fax or email a copy of the form. If you purchased the money order from your bank, call or visit your branch to have them perform the research. Most banks only issue money orders to account holders and should already hold your identification details.
Pay the Processing Fee
Money order companies charge a fee to obtain a copy. If you need the company to research your money order, you'll pay about double the price of the fee. For example, as of this publication, Western Union charges $15 to obtain a copy of a money order if you have your receipt, but $30 for research and a copy if you do not. MoneyGram and Western Union both note that their processing fees are non-refundable, even if the companies can't locate your money order. Check with your money order's issuing company regarding their fee policy.
Expect to Wait Longer
When the company has to complete research before it can locate your money order, you'll have to wait longer for processing. For example, while a typical request for a copy of a money order takes about 30 days for Western Union to complete, a research request may take 6 to 8 weeks.
- MoneyGram Money Order: FAQ
- Western Union: Money Orders
- USPS: Money Orders
- United States Postal Service. "Sending Money Orders." Accessed Jan. 13, 2020.
- Western Union. "Do Money Orders Have an Expiration Date?" Accessed Jan. 13, 2020.
- Western Union. "How Do I Request a Money Order Refund?" Accessed Jan. 13, 2020.
- United States Postal Service. "Money Orders - The Basics." Accessed Jan. 13, 2020.
- United States Postal Service. "Money Order Inquiry System." Accessed Jan. 13, 2020.
- MoneyGram. "Money Order Information." Accessed Jan. 13, 2020.
- MoneyGram. "Money Order Claim Card." Accessed Jan. 13, 2020.
- Western Union. "All About Money Orders." Accessed Jan. 13, 2020.
- Western Union. "Money Order Research Request." Accessed Jan. 13, 2020.
- Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. "Answers About Forgery and Fraud." Accessed Jan. 13, 2020.
Cate Rushton has been a freelance writer since 1999, specializing in wildlife and outdoor activities. Her published works also cover relationships, gardening and travel on various websites. Rushton holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Utah.