One look at what it takes to pass an act of congress and it can only be imagined with great apprehension what it requires to cash in Savings Bonds but this is actually a rather straight forward process that can be done at most banks or online at the Treasury Direct web site.
When the bonds are in an individual's name they are easy to cash in at a local bank provided the person has had their account there for at least six months. In that instance the account alone provides the necessary identification and there are no limits imposed. on the amount of bonds being cashed in.
If another financial institution used where the individual is not a customer they must provide identification and they will be restricted to cashing only $1,000 worth of bonds at a time. Financial institutions can be avoided entirely, however, by simply going through an individual account at TreasuryDirec. By setting up an individual TreasuryDirect account with the U.S, Department of Treasury bonds can be purchased through debiting a checking account . Bonds can also be managed or redeemed through the same account.
There are of course time limits on some of the specific kinds of bonds that determine when they can be cashed in. For instance EE Bonds cannot be redeemed for 12 months. For Series EE/E Bonds and Saving Notes the purchase price of the bonds plus accrued interest is paid. But if the EE Bond is redeemed in less than five years there is a penalty that amounts to three months of accrued interest. There are, however, some special provisions that might allow bonds to be cashed if the owner has been affected by a disaster.
Treasury Bills can be purchased at a discount of face value for very short time periods that can be held from a few days to 52 weeks. And Treasury Notes are a government security that can be purchased for maturity terms of anywhere from two to 10 years.
This naturally only applies to savings bonds that have actually been purchased by the individual. Savings Bonds are non-transferable and cannot be cashed if they have been purchased at auction or belong to someone else, because the registration on the bond is actually a contract between the individual and the United States Treasury.