Paper Money

Federal Reserve notes of 2021 Series heading to circulation

Series 2021 $1 and $5 notes are entering circulation. Shown is a specimen $1 note with the signatures of Janet L. Yellen, Treasury secretary, and U.S. treasurer Lynn Roberge Malerba.

Image courtesy of the Treasury Department.

Series 2021 Federal Reserve notes may be coming soon to a bank near you, particularly if you are in the Boston, New York, Cleveland, Chicago, or San Francisco Federal Reserve district.

The pictures of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Treasurer Lynn Malerba at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing facility in Fort Worth, Texas, last December were not just a photo op. By the end of that month 108,800,000 Series 2021 notes had been printed and made ready for delivery to Federal Reserve Banks, after which they were to be distributed to commercial banks based on supply and demand.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s monthly production reports from December 2022 through March 2023 show that most bills being printed are still Series 2017A notes, but the new 2021 series, the first to have the signatures of two women, are slowly making their way into the monetary system.

Until March, most printing of the new series was at the Western BEP facility in Fort Worth. The only $5 notes so far, 25,600,000 notes for the Boston bank and 57,600,000 for San Francisco, were made there in December. The serial number for both these notes starts with the series letter “Q” followed by “A” for Boston and “L” for San Francisco. Since the 1996 series, all notes except the $1 and $2 notes have two letters, not one, at the beginning of the serial number. The first, in this case Q for 2021, corresponds to the series of the note. The second letter continues to signify the issuing Federal Reserve Bank and ranges from A through L.

All other Series 2021 notes listed in the BEP reports are $1 bills, as follows, identified by district and amount printed:

Month                    BEP Facility   District       Amount printed

December 2022   Fort Worth     New York           25,600,000

January 2023        Fort Worth     Boston               38,400,000

                                Fort Worth     New York           38,400,000

February 2023      Fort Worth     Boston               32,000,000

                                Fort Worth     New York           32,000,000

March 2023          Washington    Chicago              38,400,000

                                Washington    Chicago Star        3,200,000

                                Fort Worth     Boston               57,600,000

                                Fort Worth     Boston Star             640,000

                                Fort Worth     New York           57,600,000

                                Fort Worth     Cleveland             6,400,000

                                Fort Worth     San Francisco    25,600,000

It may take weeks or months for the Series 2021 notes to be found in circulation nationwide.

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