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Welcome to EZ Clear

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has announced it plans to discontinue paying fees to U.S. Savings Bond agents for redeeming savings bonds as of April 11, 2012. This change coincides with the move of redeemed bond processing from EZ Clear to image-enabled bond processing, which will occur on April 16, 2012. Visit Image-enabled Savings Bond Processing for more information, including new cash letter forms.

EZ Clear is a division of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. EZ Clear serves as the central processing site for U. S. Savings Bond and Note redemption.

Utilizing imaging technology, the EZ Clear Department processes bonds deposited by financial institutions across the United States. Financial institutions not currently enrolled in the EZ Clear Program may do so by reviewing the EZ Clear Enrollment Brochure [pdf]* and completing an EZ Clear Enrollment Form [pdf]*.

The EZ Clear Program is designed to efficiently process redeemed United States Savings Bonds and Savings Notes on behalf of the Bureau of the Fiscal Service. This program is available to all financial institutions who are authorized paying agents for the Department of the Treasury.

Enrollment in the EZ Clear Program is recommended to paying agents that submit separately sorted savings bond cash letters.

Once enrolled, the depositing financial institution is eligible to receive a $0.30 per bond commission. To determine if you should enroll in the EZ Clear Program, review the Depositing Savings Bonds page, and the Redemption Fee Payments page in the EZ Clear Enrollment Brochure [pdf]*.

Please read the entire brochure carefully to fully understand the guidelines needed to make the program efficient. An EZ Clear Enrollment Form [pdf]* should be completed and returned to the address indicated on the enrollment form at least two weeks prior to your anticipated start date.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What bonds are eligible?

Authorized paying agents may submit paid savings bonds/notes through the EZ Clear program. Eligible bond series include A, B, C, D, E, EE, I and savings notes. Series H/HH bonds are NOT eligible for EZ Clear

What are the deposit methods?

There are two deposit methods available:

  • A mixed cash letter has savings bonds and other work types (e.g., commercial and government checks, non-cash items, etc.). The mixed cash letter is then deposited at a participating Federal Reserve Office for processing and crediting of the items. Financial institutions depositing mixed cash letters are not eligible for the redemption fee commission.
  • A separately sorted 2D Barcoded Cash Letter (EZ Clear fine sort cash letter) contains only eligible EZ Clear savings bonds. EZ Clear cash letters should be mailed directly to EZ Clear.

What are the paid stamp, encoding, and imaging requirements for U.S. Savings Bonds?

All institutions are required to affix the paid stamp on the front of the bonds in the unused space to the left of the issue date, trying not to stamp over any of the inscription information. The paid stamp must include the date of redemption and the redemption amount paid to the bond owner.

  • All MICR encoding should be done directly on the bond and should include the redeemed amount (not the face amount) in the amount field.
  • Series A-E large style (8" x 7") paper bonds should be placed in a document carrier. No encoding should be done on the document carrier unless needed internally.
  • Encoding strips and document carriers should only be used as “reject/repair options.” Do not encode on a document carrier or encoding strip without first trying to encode on the bond itself.
  • When using pressure sensitive document carriers, the adhesive strip should NEVER be removed. Bonds should not be taped, stapled, or otherwise attached to the carrier.
  • The use of encoding tabs is acceptable as long as the serial number is not covered.
  • MICR encoding is strictly prohibited in the transaction code (TC), the account number (A/N), and auxiliary on-us fields. Also, encoding a routing/transit number other than 000090007 is prohibited.
  • Bonds deposited in a mixed cash letter (bonds comingled with checks or other types of work) need the redemption amount and 000090007 MICR encoded as the routing transit number directly on the bond. Mixed cash letters are not accepted by EZ Clear.
  • All paying agents are required to film or image their redeemed bonds prior to deposit. Bond filming or imaging will maximize the ability to use EZ Clear's reference information in the event of an error. This will also ensure that if the originals are lost in transit, agents will have images to submit in lieu of the originals

How do I prepare a 2D Barcoded Cash Letter for deposit?

Directions for depositing savings bonds are provided at http://www.treasurydirect.gov/instit/savbond/otc/ezclear/ezclear_deposit.htm.

How do I package a cash letter for shipment?

Guidelines include:

  • An adding machine tape or computer printout (called a detail) listing all of the amounts in each bundle of work must be attached.
  • Cash letter information should include: the financial institution's Routing/Transit (RT) number, date, total items deposited, total dollar amount deposited, and any bundle amounts that comprise the total dollar amount.
  • Savings bonds must be encoded by adhering to the depositor MICR encoding guidelines.

EZ Clear Enrollment

Enrollment in the EZ Clear Program is recommended to paying agents that submit separately sorted savings bond cash letters. Once enrolled, the depositing financial institution is eligible to receive a $0.30 per bond commission. To determine if you should enroll in the EZ Clear Program, review the Depositing Savings Bonds page and the Redemption Fee Payments page in the EZ Clear Brochure [pdf]*

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do to enroll?

An EZ Clear Enrollment Form [pdf]* should be completed for each different Routing/Transit (RT) number that will be used to deposit separate savings bond cash letters from your institution. Redemption fees for each RT number can be directed to the same account or different accounts, including a general ledger account.

All correspondence will be sent to the address noted on the EZ Clear Enrollment Form [pdf]*. Please provide a contact name and phone number for follow-up questions regarding deposits, adjustments, or ACH payments.

You’ll need to provide your institution's RT number. This RT number needs to appear as the depositing RT number on your EZ Clear savings bond cash letter deposits to receive credit for the deposit.

You’ll need to provide ACH information for the monthly redemption fee (commission) payments your institution will receive for processing the savings bonds through EZ Clear. ACH information can be an internal general ledger or demand deposit/share draft account at your institution or a demand deposit/share draft account at a correspondent institution.

If you choose a demand deposit/share draft account at a correspondent institution, you’ll  need to provide the RT number of the correspondent institution.

Complete the enrollment data and print the EZ Clear Enrollment Form [pdf]*.

Sign the EZ Clear Enrollment Form [pdf]*, make a copy for your records and mail the original to:

EZ Clear Adjustments
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
P.O. Box 9109
Minneapolis, MN 55480-9109

What do I do if I want to change where redemption fee payments are currently routed?

If your institution is currently receiving a monthly redemption commission from EZ Clear, either through a Demand Deposit Account (DDA) or General Ledger (GL) account, and would like to change the way the commission is posted, the following choices are available:

  • Pre-Notification Letter - Changes can be written directly on a pre-notification letter and mailed to:

    EZ Clear Adjustments
    Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
    P.O. Box 9109
    Minneapolis, MN 55480-9109

  • Letter of Correspondence with RT Number - The letter should outline the current ACH information and the new ACH information and should be mailed to the address shown above or faxed to 412-261-8562.
  • ACH Notification of Change (NOC) - The NOC is an electronic correction for ACH changes and can be sent by your ACH area or ACH provider. The NOC can be sent using EZ Clear’s pre-notification or redemption commission payment entry. The following correction codes can be used:
    • C01 - Incorrect Account Number (DDA or GL account number)
    • C02 - Incorrect Routing Number (ACH routing number)
    • C03 - Incorrect Routing Number & Account Number
    • C05 - Incorrect Transaction Code (DDA or GL tran code)
    • C06 - Incorrect Account Number & Tran Code
    • C07 - Incorrect Routing Number, Account Number, & Tran Code

NOTE: If your institution name or any other information on file with EZ Clear (e.g., address, contact, phone number, etc.) needs to be changed, you should use a pre-notification letter or letter of correspondence. If you have any questions regarding this ACH service, please call 1-800-245-2804 and select Option 4, then Option 4 from the recorded menu.

* Adobe Acrobat Reader can be downloaded from the Adobe website.