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Registering your savings bonds

When you buy a savings bond, you must declare who owns the bond. We call that "registering the bond."

The registration determines who gets the interest on the bond, who can cash the bond, who can change the registration later, who can do other tasks with the bond, and what happens if the owner dies.

Paper bonds: You see the registration information on the bond.

Electronic bonds: You see the registration information in your TreasuryDirect account.

This page is for individual owners (not entities like estates, trusts, corporations, and so on). For estates, trusts, corporations, and other entity registrations: About entity accounts

Registrations for individuals

You have 3 options for registering your savings bonds for people (not entities).

These options also apply to savings bonds you buy for a child under 18 and to savings bonds you buy as gifts for people.

Before you decide:

A note about paying for college or other higher education

You may be able to save on federal taxes by using the interest from a savings bond you cash when you, your spouse, or your child goes to an eligible college or other higher education institution.

However, the IRS rules are that the owner of the bond must be 24 years or older when buying the bond.

If you plan to use this tax exclusion, register the bonds in YOUR name NOT the child's name. For this situation, the child may be a beneficiary but cannot be the owner or co-owner of the bond.

For more information: Using savings bonds for higher education

The 3 options for individual registrations

The option What it means
One owner That person is the only one who gets the interest, may cash in the bond, may make other changes.

If that person dies, the bond becomes part of their estate.

Our names for this type of ownership:

Paper bonds: "single ownership"

Electronic bonds: "sole ownership"

Example: LESLIE DOE

Owner and beneficiary Just as with a single or sole owner, only the owner — in this case, the person named first — gets the interest, may cash in the bond, may make other changes.

However, if the owner dies, instead of the bond going into the person's estate, the beneficiary automatically becomes the single or sole owner.

The beneficiary must be a person, not an entity.

The registration says "POD" standing for "PAYABLE ON DEATH."

Example: LESLIE DOE POD DANA DOE. Leslie is the owner and Dana is the beneficiary.

Two owners Two owners co-own the bond.

If one owner dies, the other becomes the single or sole owner.

Neither owner can be an entity.

What co-owning means differs for electronic and paper bonds:

Co-owned electronic bonds

The first-named owner is the primary owner. The second-named owner is the secondary owner.

The registration says "WITH."

Example:

LESLIE DOE SSN xxx-xx-6789 WITH DANA DOE SSN xxx-xx-4321

Co-owned paper bonds

Either owner may cash the bond without the knowledge or approval of the other. Both owners must sign for most other transactions.

The registration says "OR."

Example:

LESLIE DOE OR DANA DOE

Treasury Hunt®

Do I own a savings bond that's ready to be cashed?

Use the Treasury Hunt® tool to discover if you own savings bonds that have reached their 30-year maturity date. That means they're no longer paying interest and ready to be redeemed!