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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.
April 16, 2018
Banking, Banking Basics
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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 the bottom where it says “purchaser’s signature.”
  • Keep your receipt.

It’s easy to learn how to write a money order, but it’s essential that you do it right. By following these five steps, you can complete a money order correctly and make sure your funds are delivered to the right person or business:

How to Fill Out a Money Order

» Here’s when to use a money order and when to opt for a cashier’s check

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.

2. Write your address in the purchaser section

You’re the purchaser, so your information goes in this section. You’ll want the recipient to know how to contact you if there are questions or issues with the payment.

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

Some money orders have a “payment for/account number” field. Filling it out helps make sure your account is credited for the payment.

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

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

5. Keep your receipt

This is your proof of payment. Store your receipt in a safe place, in case there’s a problem later.

When you know how to do 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.

Updated Oct. 16, 2017.

Margarette Burnette is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: Twitter: @margarette.