Most major money order issuers do not allow customers to correct mistakes on money orders. You cannot cross the information out and rewrite it or use white-out; instead, you will usually need to get a replacement for the money order.
You may be able to cash a money order with minor errors in the name or address fields, but acceptance policies vary by individual locations and branches. (See our list of places that cash money orders.) Because acceptance varies, most issuers recommend canceling the incorrect money order and getting a new one.
While policies are similar for most issuers, there are a few key differences to note. Below, we summarize the money order correction policies for MoneyGram, Western Union, the United States Postal Service (USPS), and banks. We gathered this information by contacting representatives for each issuer.
MoneyGram Money Order Correction Policy
MoneyGram’s official policy is that you should not correct any information on a money order, including the amount, payee or payor name, or address.
If you cannot find a bank or check cashing location that will cash the money order, the purchaser will need to cancel and replace it. See our related research to find out how to cancel a MoneyGram money order.
Western Union Money Order Correction Policy
Western Union’s policy is that you should not correct any information on a money order yourself, including the amount, payee name, or payee address. If any information on the money order is incorrect, you will need to cancel it and get a new one, a Western Union corporate customer representative said. See our related research for information about the cancellation process and fees.
We contacted several Western Union locations throughout the U.S. to confirm this information. Contrary to the official policy, most of the Western Union agents we spoke with told us that, similar to a personal check, you can cross out, correct, and initial mistakes in names and addresses on a money order (but not in the amount). Some may accept money orders with minor, uncorrected errors in the names or addresses. However, if the agent does not accept the money order, you will need to cancel and replace it.
USPS Money Order Correction Policy
You should not correct a mistake on a USPS money order yourself, customer service representatives for USPS said. Instead, the USPS will replace a damaged or incorrect money order at no charge.
To replace the money order, you must return the money order and the matching customer receipt to a USPS location. Once you complete the PS Form 6401 (Money Order Inquiry), a USPS clerk will immediately reissue the money order.
One representative we spoke with also noted that for minor misspellings, the payee might be able to cash the money order at the discretion of the bank or check cashing location.
Bank Money Order Correction Policies
Correction policies for bank-issued money orders are generally consistent across most banks. We spoke with representatives at Bank of America, Chase, Citibank (which issues Western Union money orders), TD Bank, and Wells Fargo.
Like the other major issuers, banks recommend that you do not make changes to money orders on your own. Some representatives noted that you might be able to correct the name and address fields or cash money orders with minor errors. But, to avoid complications, we were told it is best to cancel the incorrect money order and get a new one at your local branch.
Many banks, such as Chase and TD Bank, offer free money orders for account holders. Additionally, others like Citibank told us that if a mistake on a money order is due to a bank error, the branch should not charge you for a replacement. You can contact your local branch to find out if there are costs associated with replacing money orders.
For more information on how money orders work, see our money order FAQ.