Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

You can exchange soiled or mutilated currency notes free of cost at any bank

  • Remember that any note that has message of any political nature ceases to be a legal tender and the claim on such a note will get rejected
  • Notes that are found to be deliberately cut, torn, altered or tampered with may also get rejected for exchange

Besides “I hate you," three other words that can break your heart could be “ye nahi chalega," (this will not work) said with the right disdain by a vendor or shopkeeper when you present them with a soiled currency note. While it is difficult to turn hate into love, don’t get disheartened if you end up with mutilated notes as they can be easily exchanged at a bank. Remember, you do not have to be a customer of that bank to exchange notes. Irrespective of its condition, currency notes command the value written on the note. According to Reserve Bank of India (Note Refund) Rules, 2009, all bank branches are required to display a board indicating the availability of notes and coins exchange facility for information of general public. Read more about the condition of notes that can be exchanged and the exchange value that you can get.

Soiled notes

A soiled note is a note that gets dirty over a period of time. It also includes notes that have their pieces pasted together using any adhesive. These notes should be accepted at bank counters while paying government dues like taxes, utility bills and so on. You can also request the bank to credit the amount in your bank account. You typically get the full amount during exchange.

Mutilated notes

A note is considered mutilated if a portion is missing or it comprises of more than two pieces. According to the rules, for notes valued between 1 and 20, you can get the full value in exchange if you have at least 50% of the surface are of the note. If it is less than 50%, you will not get anything. For all notes above 20 denomination, full value would be refunded if the area of the single largest undivided piece of the note is more than 80% in size. However, if it is 40-80%, half the value will be payable. You will not get any exchange value if the piece of note is less than 40% in size.

Burnt or stuck together notes

Notes that have turned extremely brittle or are badly burnt, charred or inseparably stuck together and, therefore, cannot withstand normal handling, are not accepted by the bank. However, such notes can be exchanged at the issue offices of RBI. Issue offices are typically the bank’s regional offices.

Other conditions

There are limits and conditions for exchange of notes. In certain conditions, a bank can also deny the facility or charge for it. If the number of notes presented is up to 20 pieces with a maximum value of 5,000 per day, banks should exchange them for free. However, if it is more than 20 pieces or 5,000 in value in a day, banks may accept them against receipt for value to be credited later. A service charge may also be levied in such cases.

Remember that any note that has message of any political nature ceases to be a legal tender and the claim on such a note will get rejected. Notes which are disfigured may also be rejected. Notes that are found to be deliberately cut, torn, altered or tampered with may also get rejected for exchange. So do keep these criteria in mind the next time you go to exchange soiled notes.

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