The United States Postal Service is serious about protecting your personal information. In order to sign-in to your account, you must first change your password. Service / Sample Number. USPS Tracking ® 9400 1000 0000 0000 0000 00. Priority Mail ® 9205 5000 0000 0000 0000 00. Certified Mail ® 9407 3000 0000 0000 0000 00. Collect On Delivery Hold For Pickup 9303 3000 0000 0000 0000 00. Global Express Guaranteed ® 82 000 000 00. Postal Service ® money orders are affordable, widely accepted, and never expire. Your money order receipt will help you track your payment and show proof of value in case the money order gets lost, stolen, or damaged. You can buy or cash postal money orders at any Post Office ™ location. Send Money Orders Internationally. Ordering Free Shipping Supplies - USPS.

  1. Postal Order Post Office
  2. Track Postal Order
One of the most famous postal orders in history: the one alleged to have been cashed by George Archer-Shee

A postal order, postal note or money order is a financial instrument usually intended for sending money through the mail. It is purchased at a post office and is payable at another post office to the named recipient. A fee for the service, known as poundage, is paid by the purchaser. In the United States, this is known as a postal money order. Postal orders are not legal tender, but a type of promissory note, similar to a cheque.


Irish 9 shilling postal order uprated with additional stamp used in 1969. Used postal orders are seldom seen because most were destroyed when they were redeemed or cashed at the post office or bank

The postal order is a direct descendant of the money order, which had been established by a private company in 1792. During World War I and World War II, British postal orders were temporarily declared legal tender to save paper and labour.[citation needed] Postal orders can be bought and redeemed at post offices in the UK, although a crossed postal order must be paid into a bank account.[1] Until April 2006 they came in fixed denominations but due to increased popularity they were redesigned to make them more flexible and secure. They now have the payee and value added at the time of purchase, making them more like a cheque. There is a fee for using this form of payment. The maximum value of postal order available is £250.00 with the fee capped at £12.50.[2]

Use in other countries[edit]

A New Zealand 20 shillings postal note of 1952

The use of postal orders (or postal notes in some countries) was extended to most countries that are now part of the British Commonwealth of Nations, plus to a few foreign countries such as Jordan, Egypt and Thailand.[3]

United States[edit]

United States Postal Money Service were introduced in 1864 by an act on Congress as a way of sending small amounts of money through the mail.[4] By 1865 there were 416 post offices designated as money order offices that had issued money orders to the value of over $1.3 million and by 1882 they has issued orders valued at $113.4 million from 5,491 money order offices.[5]

Currently they facially appear as a draft against an account held by the United States Postal Service, and the United States Postal Service requires a purchaser to know, in advance, where presentment of the instrument will occur. Only special, more expensive United States International Postal Money Orders may be presented abroad. In the United States, international money orders are pink and domestic money orders are green.[6]


Canada had its own postal orders (called postal notes) from 1898 until 1 April 1949, when these were discontinued and withdrawn.

A British Forces Post Office in Suffield, Alberta was issuing British postal orders as late as July 2006.


Chinese Imperial Post began issuing postal orders since 1897, the so-called 'remittance certificate'. After purchase, these certificates are payable at main post offices in China and usually bearing franked postage stamps represented as fee. Since 1925, a set of special stamps were used by post offices to issue secured postal orders.[7] Since 1929, Chinese Post were capable of selling international postal orders cashable under UPU protocol at a few other countries including Japan, Britain, France, and the US.


Not used as the recipient was at an RAF base in England and presumably had no ready access to an Australian canteen.

A Defence canteen order was a variant of a postal order used in Australia during World War II. Purchased at a post office, it was payable to an enlisted person in goods from a canteen rather than being a cash instrument.[8]


Postal orders are gaining in popularity as collectibles, especially among numismatists who collect banknotes.

There is an active numismatic organisation in the UK called the Postal Order Society that was established in 1985 with members both domestically and overseas. They hold twice-yearly postal auctions of postal orders and related material from across the British Commonwealth.


Despite competition from cheques and electronic funds transfer, postal orders continue to appeal to customers, especially as a form of payment for shopping on the Internet, as they are drawn on the Post Office's accounts so a vendor can be certain that they will not bounce. They also enable those without a bank account, including minors, to make small financial transactions without the need for cash. Postal workers in the United Kingdom use voided or cancelled orders in their training.[9]

See also[edit]

  • George Archer-Shee, whose court case inspired Terence Rattigan's play The Winslow Boy.


  1. ^'Postal orders'. Post Office Ltd. 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
  2. ^'Fee structure'. Post Office Ltd. 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
  3. ^Reid, Donald M. (1984). 'The Symbolism of Postage Stamps: A Source for the Historian'(PDF). Journal of Contemporary History. 19 (2): 223–249. doi:10.1177/002200948401900204. JSTOR260594. S2CID159682377.
  4. ^United States Official Postal Guide. Washington DC: United States Post Office Department. July 1925. p. 93.
  5. ^Annual Report of the Postmaster General. Washington DC: United States Post Office Department. 18 November 1882. p. 391.
  6. ^
  7. ^Fuerst, Robert. E (1976). Catalogue of the Money Order Stamps of China (Pagoda Design).
  8. ^[email protected]/featurearticlesbytitle/6434743F9AB1A2D4CA2569DE0020331B?OpenDocument
  9. ^'Another view' by Douglas Myall in British Philatelic Bulletin, Vol. 51, No. 5, January 2014, pp. 149-151.

Further reading[edit]

  • Lunn, Howard. (1984) A Guide to the History and Values of British Postal Orders 1881-1984. Howard Lunn.
  • Lunn, Howard. (1997) Promotional Postal Orders. East Stour, Gillingham: Howard Lunn.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Postal orders.
Retrieved from ''
You can now pay RTI Fees through eIPO i.e. online, without having to purchase a physical IPO from the post office. See below for more.

What is an Indian Postal Order?


An Indian Postal Order is a useful way of sending and receiving small amounts of money from / to any corner of India.

The Indian Postal Order is especially useful in making payments for an application under the Right to Information Act, to make a payment to the Authority you are seeking information from.

An Indian Postal Order can be used only for making RTI payment to a Central Government Department. For State Government Departments, see their RTI Rules. Eg: In Maharashtra, Court Fee Stamps are accepted.

This article will help you understand how to purchase, fill and submit the Postal Order, along with your RTI Application.

Where is the Indian Postal Order available for purchase?

The IPO can be purchased from any Head or Sub-Post Office in India or any post office specially authorized for this purpose. This includes Army Post Offices.

You can also search for a post office through this link:

What are the denominations available for purchase?

The IPO is available in 6 denominations. You need to pay a commission amount on the IPO’s purchased by you.

Postal Order Post Office

  • Rs. 0.50
  • Re. 1
  • Rs. 2
  • Rs. 5
  • Rs. 7
  • Rs. 10
  • Rs. 20
  • Rs. 50
  • Rs. 100

Commission Rates:

  • upto Rs. 10 = Re. 1
  • upto Rs. 20 = Rs. 2
  • upto Rs. 30 = Rs. 3
  • upto Rs. 40 = Rs. 4
  • upto Rs. 50 = Rs. 5
  • upto Rs. 100 = Rs. 10
RTI Applicants must check the fee amount they need to pay. It is usually Rs. 10/- per application, but you must verify the latest applicable fees.

What details are to be written on the IPO?

You need to fill in:

  • Name of the Payee (person to whom the payment is to be made)
  • Office of Payment (Post Office which is most convenient to the Payee. If not known then district, town or city maybe specified. It is not mandatory to put this in, but is useful if the IPO is lost)

Track Postal Order

Tear the counterfoil and keep it, before you submit the IPO with the application.
For RTI Applications, if you are unaware of what details to write, leave the IPO Blank, but mention the IPO Number within your application letter.
It would also be useful to take a photocopy of the IPO, before sending.

For how long is the IPO valid?

The IPO is valid for a period of 6 months.

The 6 month period is calculated from the last date of the month in which it was issued.

Eg: If the IPO was issued on 5-Jan-2011, then it will be valid for 6 months from 31-Jan-2011.

The IPO can be renewed beyond this period of 6 months, for an additional 6 months, by paying the commission amount due on it.

How can I encash the postal order?

The IPO must be within the duration specified above, it must contain the payees name and the Post Office name.

To encash the valid postal order, it must be presented at the counter of the Post Office mentioned, by the payee himself.

Can I cancel the IPO?

Yes. You can return the IPO to the same Post Office from where it was issued. You will get a refund of the entire amount of the IPO, not the commission amount.

Postal Order

What is an eIPO?

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