How to Fill Out a Money Order? A Complete Step-by-Step Guide

how to fill out a money order

Whether you’re paying bills, sending money to family, or handling a transaction that requires a more secure form of payment than personal checks or cash, knowing how to fill out a money order can be an essential skill. Money orders are widely accepted, relatively easy to obtain, and can be purchased at various locations such as post offices, banks, and retail stores. This Guide will walk you through each step of filling out a money order correctly and safely.

Understanding Money Orders

money order

A money order is a request for payment for a predetermined sum. Because it is issued by a bank, post office, or other reliable institution, it is considered a safer payment method than a personal check, particularly for transactions where the payee requires guaranteed funds. Money orders are famous among people who do not have access to traditional banking services.

Where to Purchase a Money Order?

You need to purchase one before you can fill out a money order. Familiar places to buy money orders include:

  • Post Offices (USPS): Offers money orders at a reasonable fee

  • Banks and Credit Unions: Typically available to account holders

  • Retail Stores: Many grocery stores, pharmacies, and convenience stores offer money orders

  • Money Transfer Agents: Locations like Western Union and MoneyGram provide money orders

Each location may have different limits on the amount of money you can put on a money order and the fees associated with purchasing one.

Detailed Instructions for How to Fill Out a Money Order

filling money order

1.Fill in the Recipient’s Name: Write the name of the person or company to whom you send the money order in the “Pay to the Order Of” or similarly labeled line. Be sure to spell the name correctly, as altering a money order can make it difficult to cash.

2.Write Your Address in the Purchaser Section: Most money orders have a section for the purchaser’s address. Include your current address to ensure you can be contacted if there are any issues with the transaction.

3.Sign the Front, Not the Back: On the front of the money order, there will be a line for your signature labeled something like “Purchaser’s Signature.” Do not sign the back; this area is for the person or company cashing the money order.

4.Add Your Account Number if Paying a Bill: If you’re using the money order to pay a bill, write your account number in the memo or “re:” line. It will ensure the money is credited to the correct account without delays.

5.Keep Your Receipt: Detach the receipt section and keep it for your records. It contains essential information such as the money order number, amount, and date of purchase, which you might need for tracking or confirming payment.

Additional Tips for Money Order Safety

Additional Tips for Money Order Safety

  • Keep the Receipt: Always retain the stub or receipt until you’re sure the money order has been received and cashed

  • Avoid Leaving Blank Spaces: Fill out all sections promptly and clearly to prevent potential alterations

  • Secure Purchase: Buy money orders from reputable sources to avoid scams

  • Lost or Stolen Money Orders: Report immediately to the issuer if your money order is lost or stolen. You may need to provide the receipt and pay a fee to stop payment and reissue the money order

Common Uses for Money Orders

Money orders are often used when cash is not viable, and personal checks are unacceptable. Common uses include:

  • Paying Rent: Many landlords require more secure forms of payment than personal checks.

  • Sending Money Long Distance: When sending money nationally or internationally, money orders can be a more secure alternative to mailing cash.

  • Purchasing Items: For transactions where anonymity is preferred or personal checks are not accepted.


Filling out a money order ensures secure payment reaches its recipient without issues. Learn how to fill out a money order with these detailed steps for safe transactions. Treat money orders like cash and keep your receipts. Whether paying bills or sending funds, money orders are a reliable and widely accepted form of payment.

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