Personal Finance 

No Law Requires Acceptance of US Currency

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CoinsTake any bill out of your wallet, notice the little “Federal Reserve Note” written in the ribbon at the top of the bill? You may have heard that it’s considered legal tender and that you are required to accept it as payment.

As it turns out, while the Coinage Act of 1965 states that “United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues,” there is no such law that requires anyone to accept them. Section 31 U.S.C. 5103 of the act only states that the coins and currency are considered legal tender, but a business has the option must accept it as payment.

So the next time you want to “get back” at a business by paying in pennies, they are legally allowed to tell you to pound sand.

(Photo: r-z)

{ 48 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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48 Responses to “No Law Requires Acceptance of US Currency”

  1. tygrr1 says:

    If this is the case then the inscription on all US paper money old and new is a lie and if any part of it is not true then the whole is not true. So if this is so then why is a untrue statement continually printed on our currency. It plainly says. this note is legal tender for all debts public and private.

  2. Marie Souleyret says:

    It took some digging for my husband to find out that a rental agency could demand a check only for payment; however, if cash is refused (and my husband had a witness for the event) and he laid the cash on the agent’s desk where all s/he had to do was pick it up, and s/he refused to do so. My husband then picked up the money and asked the witness if he did in fact note that the agent would not take the money.
    Now, here is the thing, the agency could sue my husband for the money, but all my husband had to do was go to the Judge of the case, explain that he had a witness who saw my husband offer the agency the money in US cash. My husband is then left with the opportunity to counter sue for harassment, or whatever his lawyer would recommend. OH! By the way I should say at first that my husband PAYS THE JUDGE the contended amount to use as the Judge thinks proper. If my husband does not sue, all he need do is to then walk out with whatever receipt the court would provide, and leave the state (which is what we were doing!) He has no obligation to appear to answer the agent’s suit, as the matter is settled as far as we are concerned. The agent is left with the costs, if any.

  3. Anonymous says:

    they cant refuse as its legal tender they have to accept it

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