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Where can I exchange a banknote? What do I do if I suspect a banknote is counterfeit?

You can exchange a banknote for another one at your own bank branch. The Banque de France also exchanges banknotes under certain circumstances: high denomination notes for low denomination ones, first-series euro notes for second-series ones, damaged or mutilated banknotes for new ones (in partnership with La Poste). Find out what to do if you are not sure your banknote is genuine.

Mutilated or damaged banknotes : the Banque de France offers a service of exchange for the euro banknotes whose physical state (mutilated or damaged) hinders their use as means of payment.

  • Euro series 1 : As from 2013, the first banknote series (issued in 2002) is gradually replaced by a new one. However the first series of banknotes will keep their value without time limit and will be exchangeable at any time at the Banque de France as in the other central banks of the euro zone.
  • Currencies : the Banque de France does not provide any service of currencies exchange.
  • Pacific francs and Comorian francs: these specific currencies can be bought or sold at the Banque de France branch in Paris and only this one :

Banque de France / Caisse de Paris

39 rue Croix des Petits Champs

GSO 32-1413

75049 Paris Cedex 01


  • Francs : The franc banknotes were withdrawn from circulation as of 17 February 2012 and are no longer redeemable.

To get more information about the franc banknotes. (link to the French page)

When the note is handed over to you

After checking the security features with the feel-look- TILT test, if you are sure that the note presented is not genuine, it is recommended to:

  •   Ask for another note or other means of payment;
  •  Try to keep in mind the face of your interlocutor;
  •   Once the client has left, contact the police authorities, providing them with all the necessary information (description, vehicle used, presence of accomplices, etc.) that can be used to identify him;
  •  Ensure your safety at all times.

If you have a mere doubt about the authenticity of the note (e.g. a badly damaged note), you can refuse it, or accept it provided that you have taken note of the customer’s identity.

Once you have accepted it

After accepting a banknote, if you think that it is a counterfeit, it is forbidden to put it into circulation as it is considered as a criminal offence. Counterfeit banknotes must be delivered to the police, to a bank or to the National Central Bank against a receipt. For shopkeepers, the loss incurred can be deducted from the accounting results, as the receipt issued by the National Central Bank serves as a tax receipt.

If the bank or the National Central Bank confirms that the banknote is authentic, it will be exchanged without any fee.

Updated on: 05/24/2017 17:31