The New $5 Bill is Designed to be Smarter, Safer, More Secure


Due to enter circulation in March, the new $5 bill offers security-enhancing features.

The Federal Reserve Board and the U.S. Treasury announced the newly designed $5 bill will enter circulation on March 13. Businesses that have vending and self-checkout machines must adapt their machines to accept the new bill.

Existing $5 notes will continue to circulate, therefore the self-checkout and vending machines will have to be able to accept both designs. Retailers should contact the manufacturers of these machines to confirm necessary updates have been made.

In a prepared statement, Rose Pianalto, assistant to the board of governors of the Federal Reserve Board, said, “Because the $5 bill is used so extensively in vending and self-checkout machines, encouraging businesses to get those machines updated to accept the new design has been a particular focus for us.”

The U.S. Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing also recommended training employees who accept cash so they can quickly identify the security features incorporated in the new $5 bills. Employees should hold the bills to the light to check for these features:

Watermarks: The redesigned $5 bill contains two watermarks. A large number “5” watermark is located to the right of the portrait, replacing the previous watermark portrait of President Lincoln found on the older-design $5 bills. A second watermark, consisting of a column of three smaller “5”s, has been added to the new design and is positioned to the left of the portrait.

Security thread: An embedded security thread runs vertically and has been moved from its position to the left of the portrait in older-design $5 notes to the right of the portrait on the redesigned $5 bill. The letters “USA” followed by the number “5” in an alternating pattern are visible along the thread from both sides of the bill. The thread glows blue under ultraviolet light.

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