Before cashing your savings bonds, check the issue date. Only cash bonds that you have held for the minimum retention period. Bonds issued after February 2003 have a minimum retention period of 12 months. If you have held your bond for at least a year, check all the other information on it for accuracy. If you have changed your name since buying the bonds, you may need to have the bonds reissued or you may need to indicate your new name when cashing them.
Reissuing the Bonds
Reissue your bonds if you have changed your name, but not because of marriage. For example, if you change your name in a divorce, you must reissue the bonds. Request a reissue application from the U.S. Treasury Department or download one from the Treasury's website (treasurydirect.gov).
Fill out the application, providing the bond number, issue date and face amount for each of the bonds. Provide your Social Security number and mailing address. Indicate that the reason for the reissue request is a name change.
Bring the application to your bank and sign it in the presence of an authorized certifying officer.
Mail the application and all the bonds to: Treasury Retail Securities Site, P.O. Box 214, Minneapolis, MN 55480-0214.
Cashing the Bonds
Bring the reissued bonds to your bank.
Sign your current name and your previous name on each savings bond if your name changed due to marriage and you did not reissue them. Some banks may require that you write your current name, followed by “changed by marriage from,” and then your former name.
Present the teller with a valid, official identification that includes your physical description. Acceptable documents include a driver's license, state-issued identification card or U.S. passport.
Catherine Chase is a professional writer specializing in history and health topics. Chase also covers finance, home improvement and gardening topics. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American studies from Skidmore College.