How to Fill Out a Money Order Step-by-Step

Fill in the recipient and your address; for bills, include an account number; sign it; keep proof of payment.
Reviewed by Kathleen Burns Kingsbury

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Follow these five simple steps for filling out a money order:

  • Fill in the recipient's name.

  • Write your address in the purchaser section.

  • Include your account number if you're paying a bill.

  • Sign where it says "purchaser's signature."

  • Keep your receipt.

5 steps to fill out a money order

Figuring out how to write a money order can be confusing, but it's essential that you do it correctly. By following these five steps, you can make sure your funds are delivered to the right person or business.

1. Fill in the recipient’s name

Write the name of the person or business that will receive the money order on the line that starts with "Pay to the Order Of."

The recipient will be the only person or company authorized to deposit or cash the money order. It's a good idea to fill out this section as soon as possible to make sure it doesn't fall into the wrong hands, and make sure to spell the name correctly so your recipient will have no problem cashing it.

» Everything you need to know about how money orders work

2. Write your address in the purchaser section

You're the purchaser, so your information goes in this section, which might also be labeled “from,” “remitter” or “sender.” This is required so the recipient knows how to contact you if there are questions or issues with the payment. Sometimes your full name is also required.

3. Include your account number if you're paying a bill

Some money orders have a “payment for/account number” field. If you’re paying a utility bill, for example, include your utility department account number (which you should be able to find on your bill) in this field. Providing your specific account number helps make sure the payment goes toward what you owe on your account.

4. Sign the bottom where it says 'purchaser’s signature'

Your signature is important here, because it makes the money order official. Your signature goes on the front of the money order. Don't sign the back. That area is for the person who receives it.

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5. Keep your receipt

Your receipt will come as a detachable part of the money order you just filled out. You might also receive a separate receipt from the cashier when you buy the money order. Keep your receipt as your proof of payment and store it in a safe place. If you lose a money order or make a mistake filling it out, you may be able to cancel it and get your money back if you take certain steps. The receipt will provide helpful information in such a situation.

When you know how to fill out a money order correctly, you have a good option for transferring money. Unlike writing a check from a personal bank account or handing over cash, a money order gives you proof of payment and assures the recipient that the funds are guaranteed.

Frequently asked questions

If you’re sending a money order, you’ll need to put your own address in the purchaser section. This section might be labeled “from,” “remitter” or “sender” rather than “purchaser.”

To fill out any money order — including a MoneyGram money order, a Western Union money order or a Chase money order — follow five simple steps:

  1. Fill in the recipient's name.

  2. Write your address in the purchaser section.

  3. Include your account number if you're paying a bill.

  4. Sign where it says "purchaser's signature."

  5. Keep your receipt.

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