Counterfeit Detection Guide

First polymer series features

HOLD up to the light to see a seven-pointed star and the Australian Coat of Arms

CHECK clear window is part of the banknote

USE a UV light to see features fluoresce

New polymer series features

TILT to see the bird’s wings move and change colour, and the number change direction

TILT to see a rolling colour effect

USE a UV light to see features fluoresce

Similar security features are used on all denominations

With these key security features you can quickly and easily check your banknote is real. Refer to our List of Security Features for full details.

Common myths about banknotes


Banknotes without the printed name below the portrait are counterfeit.


A banknote without the name of the person below the portrait is not necessarily counterfeit. Printed names were added to Australian banknotes from 2002. This was done to help the public identify the people that our banknotes feature.

To determine the year a banknote was produced, look at the first two numerals of the serial number e.g. 99 means the banknote was printed in 1999, while 03 means the banknote was printed in 2003.


The Governor's signature is always above the Secretary to the Treasury's.


The order of the signatures on Australian banknotes was changed in 2002. Since then, the Governor's signature has been printed above that of the Secretary to the Treasury.

Dealing with suspect banknotes

It is an offence to knowingly possess counterfeit banknotes. Suspect banknotes should be given to State or Federal police. It is important to note that counterfeits have no value – you will not be reimbursed. If they prove to be genuine banknotes, you will receive full value for them.

If you come across a banknote that you suspect is counterfeit:

  • Handle the suspect banknote as little as possible and store it in an envelope.
  • Note any relevant information, such as how it came into your possession.
  • Report the matter immediately to State or Federal police.

You are well within your rights to refuse to accept a banknote if you have concerns about it.

Under no circumstances should you take actions that may jeopardise your safety or that of others.

For more information

Call: 02 9551 9830
8.30 am – 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday

Quick Reference Counterfeit Detection Guide – both polymer series 1MB