Modern small-size federal reserve notes began printing with series 1928. The series printed on paper money does not indicate the year in which the note was printed. You can learn more about how and when series change here.

Serial Number

Serial numbers start with one or two letters, followed by eight digits, ending with either a letter or star. You can learn more about serial numbers here.

Federal Reserve District Seal and Federal Reserve District Number

Paper money is printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in either Washington DC or Fort Worth, Texas. The paper money is issued to the 12 Federal Reserve Banks, which are responsible for distributing it into circulation (through banks and other institutions). The 12 districts each have a letter and number associated with them:


  • 1 - A: Boston
  • 2 - B: New York
  • 3 - C: Philadelphia
  • 4 - D: Cleveland
  • 5 - E: Richmond
  • 6 - F: Atlanta
  • 7 - G: Chicago
  • 8 - H: St. Louis
  • 9 - I: Minneapolis
  • 10 - J: Kansas City
  • 11 - K: Dallas
  • 12 - L: San Francisco

Signatures: Treasurer of the United States and Secretary of the Treasury

All Federal Reserve Notes are signed by both the Treasurer of the United States and Secretary of the Treasury. Here you can see a list of all signers of paper money 1928-present (coming soon).

Plate Position

Modern paper money (with the exception of Web Notes) is printed on large sheets of "paper" with multiple notes on each sheet. Those sheets are then stacked and cut into individual packs of notes. The current standard is either 32 or 50 notes per sheet. The plate position indicates where in that sheet the note came from. You can read more about how paper money is printed here.

Plate Number

The current printing process uses metal plates, etched with the front and back designs, to apply ink to currency paper. Each of those plates is given a different number. You can read more about how paper money is printed here. In this same area, some notes will show a "FW" and some will not. This indicates where the note was printed. If it has a "FW" it was printed at the Fort Worth, TX printing facility. If there is no "FW" it was printed at the Washington DC printing facility.