Banco Central de Costa Rica


Damaged banknotes


Damage to banknotes is directly related to their handling, as well as to other aspects related to the environment in which they are used, such as humidity.


Banknotes are made so that they can be safely used for a definite period, known as their lifespan. However, the lifespans of many banknotes are reduced by bad handling.


Below are some simple tips to help extend banknote lifespan:


-Do not crumple them unnecessarily

-Do not staple them

-Do not scratch them

-Do not write, place stamps or draw on them

-Do not expose them to humidity or fire

-If a banknote is torn, repair it with adhesive tape and deposit it in the nearest bank.


 Damaged banknotes


Damaged banknotes are withdrawn from circulation following the guidelines set forth by the Banco Central de Costa Rica, because damaged banknotes are difficult to identify and handle.


It is important to keep in mind that damaged banknotes can be changed if:


-Their authenticity can be verified

-Their denomination can be verified

-The front and back sides are preserved.


Below are the criteria set forth by the Banco Central de Costa Rica for changing damaged banknotes:


Deformed banknote:

-If the banknote has all its parts, it should be possible to change it.

-If a segment of the banknote is missing, a complete segment with at least 60% of the new dimension of the banknote must be preserved for the banknote to be changed.


Mutilated banknote:

-If the banknote is missing an area of less than 12 sq cm, it may be changed.

-If the missing area is over 12 sq cm, the banknote may be changed if it has a complete segment of at least 60% of its original size.


Repaired banknote:

-If the repaired banknote is complete, it may be changed.

-If a segment is missing, it may be changed according to the rules defined for cases of mutilated banknotes.


Contaminated banknote:

-Banknotes must be decontaminated before they are presented to be changed.


Below are the details for each of the categories of damaged banknotes and their characteristics:


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