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Currency Readers Available to Eligible NLS Patrons

currency readerThe National Library Service (NLS) has partnered with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) in support of its U.S. Currency Reader Program to provide currency reader devices, free of charge, to eligible individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

The currency reader, called the iBill Talking Banknote Identifier, is a compact device that announces a note's value in one of three ways:

  • voice,
  • pattern of tones, or
  • pattern of vibrations.
currency reader with 20-dollar bill inserted

Just insert a note into the device and press the button on the side to have the denomination identified. Note: The currency reader does not identify foreign or counterfeit banknotes.

The size of a key fob, the iBill Talking Banknote Identifier can be carried in a pocket or purse, clipped to a belt, or attached to a keychain or lanyard. It operates on a single AAA battery, which typically lasts for more than a year. The initial battery is included.

The talking currency reader comes with a "Quick Start Guide." French, Spanish and Russian translations of the "Quick Start Guide"external link are available on the New York Public Library web site.

Request a Currency Reader

Any individuals interested in ordering a currency reader will need to complete and submit a BEP application for a currency reader and mail it directly to BEP. Those who are already NLS patrons do not need to have the BEP application certified but instead may merely check the box on the BEP application indicating that they are already a certified NLS patron.

Patrons may obtain a copy of the BEP application by going to either of these sites:

They may also call BEP directly (1-844-815-9388) to request a currency reader application.

About the U.S. Currency Reader Program

U.S. Currency Reader Programexternal link is offered through the U.S. Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printingexternal link. It is part of the U.S. government's Meaningful Access Initiative to assist individuals who experience difficulties identifying U.S. currency.

For additional questions or comments about the U.S. Currency Reader Program you may call the Bureau of Engraving and Printing toll-free at (844) 815-9388 or email


Last Updated: December 15, 2020