Postal Orders FAQs

Answers to some of your most common questions

What is the difference between a crossed and uncrossed Postal Order?

When someone receives a crossed Postal Order, they can only pay it into their bank account, savings account or use it to pay bills at a Post Office branch.

Uncrossed Postal Orders are as good as cash. So if you’re using a Postal Order to buy something online or by mail order, the recipient can pick up the cash while posting out your items. In most cases, your order will arrive earlier.

If you wish for the Postal Order to be crossed, please request this at the time of purchase and the branch will be able to arrange this. It is electronically put onto the Postal Order itself, so that if cashing in is attempted at a Post Office branch then it will be rejected and the customer referred to their bank. A crossed Postal Order will have two straight, vertical lines passing through it, just off centre.

The recipient’s name is required on a Postal Order regardless of whether or not it is crossed. It isn’t the name that determines that the Postal Order is crossed. This makes it more difficult for anyone to cash the postal order. The Post Office branch may request ID – (however this isn’t a requirement).

If you need a hand, just pop in to one of our branches.


What should I do if my Postal Order is lost or stolen?

You’ll need to get a P58 (lost post form) from a branch and send it off to Royal Mail (their address is on the form) along with a photocopy of your proof of purchase. You’ll need to wait 15 days after posting before you can do that.

Remember to hold on to your original Postal Order receipt, as we’ll need the unique ID number should you wish to claim for the loss.  See instructions below

If your Postal Order is stolen, please report it to the police and get a Crime Reference Number.

The police need to contact us with this Crime Reference Number. Then contact us using our contact form and we can issue a refund – as long as the order hasn’t been cashed.

If you wish to make a claim for your postal order, please send your original postal order purchase receipt, along with your personal contact details, to the following address:

Postal Order Correspondence Team
Method of Payment Team
Post Office Ltd
Future Walk
S49 1PF

Please keep a copy of your postal order receipt for your records. The Post Office team will aim to respond within 35 days.

Is the Postal Order fee for insurance purposes?

It’s an admin charge for the service, not a fee for insurance.

Terms and Conditions of Postal Orders

A Postal Order is issued in accordance with the relevant Scheme or Schemes made under Section 112 of the Postal Services Act 2000 or any re-enactment thereof.

Please note the following below:

  1. It is recommended that an Order is crossed whenever possible. A crossed Order will only be paid through a bank.
  2. The Order may be cashed at a Post Office if it has not been crossed.
  3. Payment maybe refused and the Order impounded if it has any erasures, alterations, or it is cut, defaced or fails Post Office Ltd system validation check.
  4. Postal Orders expire 6 months from the date of issue. Thereafter payment shall be at Post Office Ltd's absolute discretion.

Evidence of identity must be provided if requested by the paying officer. Post Office and the Post Office logo are registered trademarks of Post Office Limited. Issued in the UK by Post Office Ltd.