How to Fill Out a Money Order (MoneyGram, Western Union, USPS, etc)

The steps to fill out a money order vary slightly depending on which issuer you choose, but all money orders require you to fill in the purchaser’s (your) name and the recipient’s name and/or address at a minimum. Some money orders also have a “memo” field in which you can state the purpose of the money order. The money order agent you visit will print the amount onto the money order when you pay for it, so you do not need to write out the amount.

Below, we provide specific instructions for how to fill out a money order with each of the major issuers — MoneyGram, Western Union, and the United States Postal Service (USPS) — plus some general tips to keep in mind when writing a money order.

How to Fill Out a Money Order

MoneyGram

Note: The video above shows the step-by-step process of filling out a MoneyGram money order.

Step 1: Fill in the name of the person or company where you’re sending the money order on the “Pay to the Order of:” line.

Step 2: Sign your name on the “Purchaser, Signer for Drawer” line.

Step 3: Fill out your complete address — street, city, state, and zip code — on the “Address” line. Be sure to use your address, the purchaser; MoneyGram money orders do not require the recipient’s address.

Where Can I Find the Money Order Number?

A MoneyGram money order’s serial number appears in red in the left-hand margin of both the money order and the receipt stub. The money order number is 10 or 11 digits long and does not include the number in the box at the end.

Western Union

Note: Watch the process of filling out a Western Union money order in the video above.

Step 1: On the “Pay to the Order of” line, fill in the name of the company or person where you plan to send the money order.

Step 2: Fill out your first and last name and complete address on the “Purchaser’s Address” line. Be sure to use your own address; Western Union money orders do not require the recipient’s address.

Step 3: State the reason for the money order or the account number for which you wish to apply the payment on the “Payment for/Acct. #” line.

Step 4: Sign your name on the “Purchaser’s Signature” line.

Where Can I Find the Money Order Number?

Western Union’s serial number appears on the top right of the money order (above the money order amount). On the attached receipt, you can find the money order number just above the barcode. The money order number is 11 digits long.

USPS

Note: USPS typically requires you to fill out your money order at the counter with the postal clerk when you purchase it. Because of this, we are unable to provide video instruction for USPS money orders; however, you can view a sample money order at the USPS website.

Step 1: Fill in the recipient’s name on the “Pay to” line.

Step 2: Fill out the recipient’s complete address on the “Address” line below the “Pay to” line.

Step 3: Fill in your name on the “From” line.

Step 4: Fill out your complete address on the “Address” line below the “From” line.

Step 5: Fill in the “Memo” line with the reason for sending the money order.

Where Can I Find the Money Order Number?

The serial number for a USPS money order will appear in the top left corner, between the USPS logo and the “Pay to” line. On the attached receipt, you can find the serial number in the bottom left corner; it is 11 digits long.

Other Issuers

In addition to the issuers listed above, you can purchase money orders from banks, credit unions, check cashing stores like Amscot, and other places. While these money orders may look somewhat different, they generally require similar information to MoneyGram, Western Union, and USPS. You can expect to fill in the following:

  • Recipient’s information: Name and/or address
  • Purchaser’s information: Name and/or address and signature

The money order amount will always be printed on the money order; you will not need to handwrite it.

Tips for Writing a Money Order

  • Fill out the money order as soon as possible. Once you’ve paid for it, a money order is as good as cash. If you lose a money order before you fill it out, anyone can pick it up, fill it out to themselves, and cash it.
  • Triple check the recipient’s information. Make sure the recipient’s name and address are exactly correct. If the recipient’s name doesn’t match their photo ID, they might have trouble cashing the money order. If you make a mistake, see our research on how to correct a money order.
  • Keep the stub/receipt. If the money order is stolen or lost, you’ll be able to use the stub as proof of purchase when seeking a refund. (See our related research on how to request a money order refund.) You can also use the stub to track the money order’s status.

Ready to send your money order? See our instructions for how to mail money orders domestically and internationally. Or, if you want to know more about how money orders work, see our money order FAQ.