31 U.S. Code § 5153 - Counterfeit currency

Disbursing officials of the United States Government and officers of national banks shall stamp or mark the word “counterfeit”, “altered”, or “worthless” on counterfeit notes intended to circulate as currency that are presented to them. An official or officer wrongfully stamping or marking an item of genuine United States currency (including a Federal reserve note or a circulating note of Federal reserve banks and national banks) shall redeem the currency at face value when presented.


(Pub. L. 97–258, Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 992.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised Section Source (U.S. Code) Source (Statutes at Large)
5153 31:424. June 30, 1876, ch. 156, § 5, 19 Stat. 64.

The words “Disbursing officials” are substituted for “officers charged with the receipt or disbursement of public moneys” for consistency in the revised title and other titles of the United States Code. The word “mark” is substituted for “write in plain letters” to eliminate unnecessary words. The words “counterfeit notes intended to circulate as currency” are substituted for “all fraudulent notes issued in the form of, and intended to circulate as money” for consistency in the revised title and with other titles of the Code. The last sentence is substituted for the words following the semicolon in 31:424 for clarity and to reflect the legislative history of the derivative source. See 4 Cong. Rec. 2225–2228, 3148. In that sentence, the words “United States currency (including a Federal reserve note or a circulating note of Federal reserve banks and national banks)” are substituted for “any genuine note of the United States, or of the national banks” for consistency with section 5103 of the revised title.

The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.

The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013

An empty table indicates that we see no relevant changes listed in the classification tables. If you suspect that our system may be missing something, please double-check with the Office of the Law Revision Counsel.

31 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large


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