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31 U.S. Code § 5103 - Legal tender

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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. Foreign gold or silver coins are not legal tender for debts.

Historical and Revision Notes

1982 Act

Revised Section

Source (U.S. Code)

Source (Statutes at Large)



July 23, 1965, Pub. L. 89–81, § 102, 79 Stat. 255.



R.S. § 3584.

The words “All . . . regardless of when coined or issued” are omitted as unnecessary because of the restatement. The word “debts” is substituted for “debts, public and private” to eliminate unnecessary words. The words “public charges, taxes, duties, and dues” are omitted as included in “debts”.

1983 Act

This restores to 31:5103 the reference to public charges, taxes, and dues because they are not considered to be debts. See, Hagar v. Reclamation District No. 108, 111 U.S. 701, 706 (1884).

Editorial Notes

1983—Pub. L. 97–452 inserted “, public charges, taxes, and dues” after “all debts”.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date of 1983 Amendment

Amendment effective Sept. 13, 1982, see section 2(i) of Pub. L. 97–452, set out as a note under section 3331 of this title.