Do You Keep a Money Order Stub?

by Maggie McCormick ; Updated July 27, 2017

A traditional money order consists of two parts that you must fill out when sending. One is the payment part that you send to the recipient; the other is the stub, or receipt, that is your record that you sent the payment. Although most transactions go off without a hitch, you may encounter a problem. In these cases, it's a good idea to hold onto your money order stub.


When you purchase a money order, you fill out the information on the stub for your records, listing the recipient of the money and the dollar amount. Holding onto your money order stub shows that you purchased the money order. Most importantly, it carries a tracking number that corresponds to the tracking number on the actual money order.


You may need to use the money order's number in a few scenarios. For example, if the recipient claims that she never received payment, you can return to the location where you bought the money order and use the tracking number to track payment. You also can use the number to stop payment on the money order in cases where the recipient believes the money order was lost or stolen. If the recipient refuses payment for some reason and you have access to the original money order, you can show it along with the stub to receive a refund.

After Cashing

If you've verified that the recipient has received and cashed the money order, either using the money order's tracking system or by seeing that a payment has posted to your account, you no longer have to keep the stub. However, you still may want to keep the stub as a proof of payment.

Lost Stub

If you've lost the money order stub, you don't necessarily have to do anything about it. If the recipient receives the money order and that there's no question about the payment, the stub is not necessary. However, if you need to do any of the transactions that normally require the stub, you may have a difficult time. Return to the location where you purchased the money order, and the company may be able to locate the tracking number and take care of your transaction. This usually is associated with higher fees.

About the Author

Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.