How to Fill Out a Money Order: A Step-by-Step Guide

Written By
G. Dautovic
February 24,2022

Money orders offer an alternative to payment methods such as using checks, credit cards, and cash. These paper documents provide a straightforward, safe way to send and receive money. Filling out a money order is relatively simple, but it is possible to make mistakes. In this helpful guide, we’ll show you how to fill out a money order properly. 

What Do I Need To Fill Out a Money Order?

Before you get started, you will need to ensure that you have the relevant information to fill out a money order correctly. So what are the requirements to fill out a money order?  The exact ones vary according to the financial institution or organization, but in most cases, you will need the following information:

  • The name of the payee (this is the person who will receive the money order)
  • The address of the payee
  • The amount you wish to send 
  • Your name and address
  • A reason for the payment and/or the relevant account number (for paying bills)
  • Payment information (how you plan to purchase the money order, for example, cash or debit card payment)

How To Fill Out a Money Order in Five Easy Steps

When you buy a money order, you will need to fill in several fields and then sign it. Follow these simple steps to fill in a money order:

Fill out the name of the recipient

Add the name of the payee, the person who will receive the payment in the box marked ‘Pay to’ or ‘Pay to the order of.’ Make sure you provide the right name, correct spelling, and legible writing.

Always write the name of the payee as soon as you purchase the money order, as this will prevent anyone else from writing their name in the box if the money order gets lost. You may also be asked to provide the payee's address in a separate field. 

Fill in your details

if there is a field marked ‘Sender’ or ‘From,’ add your name and address to the money order.

Add the payment reason and account number

There should be a field on your money order that enables you to add information about the payment, including what it is being used for and your account or order number. If you are paying a bill, for example, you can add this information in the designated box. 

Sign the money order

Sign the money order in the field provided on the front of the money order. This will usually be marked ‘Signature’ or ‘Purchaser.’ It is important to note that you should not sign the back of the money order. This is where the recipient (the payee) will sign. 

Keep your receipt

Your receipt contains a tracking reference, which will enable you to see when the payee cashes their money order. There may be a processing fee for replacing money orders if you or the recipient lose them.

It’s also important to store the receipt somewhere safe so that you can cancel the payment if your circumstances change and you no longer want to send the money. 

How Can I Buy a Money Order?

Money orders are widely available from banks, credit unions, US postal offices, and some large stores. If you want to buy a money order, you can usually pay by using a prepaid debit card, check, or cash.

Some organizations will not accept credit card payments. It is usually wise to avoid using a credit card to purchase a money order even if the institution does accept credit card payments, as these may carry additional fees. 

In some cases, there are limits on the size of the money order. Check with the issuer before you proceed. Limits vary according to where you buy your money order. 

What Are the Advantages of Using Money Orders?

Money orders are prepaid, and they offer a simple, safe and secure way to send and receive money. They allow you to pay people or settle bills by buying a money order and filling out the form. Here are some of the key advantages of using money orders:

  • Safer than carrying cash and using checks
  • Suitable for people who want to pay bills but don’t have a bank account
  • Versatile: with money orders, you can pay bills or send or receive money to and from people you know
  • Payees can cash out the money order without having a bank account
  • A simple, hassle-free way to pay monthly bills
  • Gives the ability to track payments to see when the recipient cashes the money order
  • Allows you to cancel payments if your circumstances change and the money order hasn’t been cashed


Whose address do you put on a money order?


When you fill out a money order, you will be asked to provide your address. There will be a designated field on the form for you to provide your address. You may also be asked to include the address of the payee (the recipient) in a separate box.

Who is the purchaser on a money order?


The purchaser is the person who buys the money order. If you are paying a monthly bill using a money order, for example, you will be the purchaser and the payee will be the company or organization you are paying. You will be asked to provide your name and the name of the person or business you are paying on the money order.

Do money orders need to be signed?


Yes. If you buy a money order to send money to somebody you know or pay a bill, you will be asked to provide your signature on the front of the money order. It is important to check all the information on the money order before you sign. Do not sign the back of the form. This is where the payee will sign. When the recipient signs the back of the money order, this endorses the form before the order is cashed. Check out our guide above for a detailed explanation of how to fill out a money order.

About author

I have always thought of myself as a writer, but I began my career as a data operator with a large fintech firm. This position proved invaluable for learning how banks and other financial institutions operate. Daily correspondence with banking experts gave me insight into the systems and policies that power the economy. When I got the chance to translate my experience into words, I gladly joined the smart, enthusiastic Fortunly team.

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