Warning about inaccurate information

The Reserve Bank of Australia is aware that from time to time claims are made that the authenticity of a banknote can be determined by whether it has a name printed under its portrait or by the order of the signatures. This information is false.

Printed names below portraits

A banknote without the name of the person printed underneath the portrait is not necessarily counterfeit. Printed names were added to Australian banknotes from 2002 to help the public identify the people featured on the banknotes. Genuine banknotes produced prior to 2002 do not have printed names. A banknote’s production date can be determined by referring to the first two numerals in the serial number.

Two banknotes, one shows AB 'Banjo' Paterson's name, the other doesn't.

Order of signatures

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

Different order of signatures on banknotes.

These were design changes only and should not be used to determine the authenticity of a banknote. Members of the public are encouraged to consult the Counterfeit Detection section of this website for an explanation of the characteristics of genuine Australian banknotes.