How to find unclaimed money: A state-by-state guide

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How to find unclaimed money: A state-by-state guide

Believe it or not, a windfall could be just a few keyboard strokes away. States have laws on the books requiring financial institutions, businesses and other entities to turn over abandoned assets — aka “unclaimed property” — to a government office tasked with finding the rightful owner. As part of the process, these offices set up website where residents can search for missing funds. You just have to know where to look.

What is unclaimed property?

Unclaimed property is money or other another asset that’s gone dormant and ultimately deemed abandoned by its owner. For instance, a relative may die without having told you about a life insurance policy that lists you as the beneficiary. If the payout of that policy goes unclaimed for long enough, the insurer will turn that money over to the state where the insured resided.(Learn more about finding the life insurance policy of a deceased person.)

Common types of unclaimed property include:

How to find unclaimed money

Most states have a designated website, usually run by their treasurer, comptroller or revenue department, where you can search for missing property. A few of them direct people to hunt down lost funds on MissingMoney.com, an online database endorsed by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.

How to file a claim for missing property

If you find missing money in your name on one of these websites, you’ll need to initiate a formal claim. Some states let you do this electronically, but most still require you to mail a completed claim form, along with required documentation, to their unclaimed money division.

The required documentation varies by the type of property you’re reclaiming. In most instances, you’ll need to provide a copy of photo identification, like a driver’s license, and a copy of your Social Security number. You may need to provide proof of address or proof of ownership. For instance, let’s say the missing money is a utility company security deposit. You might have to produce an old bill.

It’s important to go through the proper channels when tracking down and reclaiming lost funds. Scammers have been known to pose as government agencies in order to pilfer personal information or charge fees for finding unclaimed property. Scroll down to learn how to find unclaimed money in your state.

Alabama

Website: Alabama.findyourunclaimedproperty.com

Claim method: You can initiate a claim online, but you need to mail the requested documentation to the Office of the State Treasurer, Unclaimed Property Division, P.O. Box 302520, Montgomery, AL 36130-2520. You can also deliver your claim in-person.

Claim documentation: A signed claim form, a copy of photo identification and a Social Security number, at a minimum. You’ll receive an email after filing your claim online that details what information Alabama will need to release the property.

Processing time: 6 to 8 weeks, on average.

Alaska

Website: Alaska Department of Revenue, Treasury Division

Claim method: The state encourages residents to search for and initiate claims through MissingMoney.com. You will receive an email afterward that outlines the next steps you have to take to reclaim your property.

Claim documentation: Varies by claim

Processing time: Several months with stock claims potentially taking longer

Arizona

Website: www.azunclaimed.gov

Claim method: You must print out and mail your claim form and required documentation to the Arizona Department of Revenue, Unclaimed Property Unit, P.O. Box 29026, Phoenix, AZ 85038-9026.

Claim documentation: A completed claim form, a copy of photo identification, proof of your Social Security number, proof of address, which can include auto registration, a college transcript, old driver’s license, state income tax return or divorce decree.

Processing time: 90 days; if you’re reclaiming stocks or mutual fund shares, it could take 120 days.

Arkansas

Website: Arkansas’ Auditor of State website

Claim method: You can search for and initiate a claim online. You’ll receive instructions on how to proceed upon doing so.

Claim documentation: Varies by claim

California

Website: California’s State Controller website

Claim method: You can file some claims electronically, but if your claim applies to property over $5,000, for more than one owner or is otherwise complex, you’ll need to mail a claim form and the appropriate documentation to the California State Controller’s Office Unclaimed Property Division at P.O. Box 942850 Sacramento, CA 94250-5873.

Claim documentation: Completed claim form (notarized if the property is worth $1,000 or more), copy of your driver’s license or state-issued photo identification, proof of your Social Security Number, proof of address and, in the absence of an address, proof that the property belongs to you. For instance, if the unclaimed funds are from a bank account, you could provide an old statement.

Processing time: State law gives California up to 180 days from when you submit a completed claim, but cash only claims are sometimes processed in 30 to 60 days.

Colorado

Website: colorado.findyourunclaimedproperty.com

Claim method: You can initiate and upload claim documentation online or you can mail the forms to The Great Colorado Payback Office, 1580 Logan St., Ste. 500, Denver, CO 80203.

Claim documentation: A signed and notarized claim form, your current driver’s license, proof of your Social Security number, proof of address and, if necessary, proof of ownership.

Connecticut

Website: Connecticut Office of the Treasurer

Claim method: You initiate the process by downloading a claim form online, at which point, the unclaimed property is removed from the state directory for one year. You must mail those forms, plus required documentation, to the state’s Office of the State Treasurer, Unclaimed Property Division, P.O. Box 5065, Hartford, CT 06102.

Claim documentation: The claim form, along with a notarized signature, a copy of photo identification, like your driver’s license, a copy of your Social Security number and proof of ownership.

Processing time: Around 90 days

Delaware

Website: Unclaimedproperty.delaware.gov

Claim method: You can initiate and file many claims online. You can alternately mail documentation to: State of Delaware, Unclaimed Property Office, P.O. Box 8140, Wilmington, DE 19803-8140

Claim documentation: At a minimum, you must send a completed, signed and notarized claim form, a copy of photo identification and proof that you lived at the address associated with the claim.

Florida

Website: FLTreasureHunt.gov

Claim method: You can initiate your claim online, but must mail your forms and required documentation to: Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Unclaimed Property, Post Office Box 8599, Tallahassee, FL 32314-8599

Claim documentation: At a minimum, you’ll need the completed claim, a copy of your current photo identification and proof of ownership.

Processing time: Up to 90 days from the date your completed claim is received

Georgia

Website: Georgia’s Department of Revenue

Claim method: You can search for and initiate a claim online. You’ll receive instructions on how to proceed after you do so.

Claim documentation: A completed and notarized claim form, a copy of your Social Security card, photo identification, and proof of address or proof of ownership.

Hawaii

Website: Hawaii Department of Budget and Finance

Claim method: You must print out claim forms and send them, along with the required documentation to: State of Hawaii, Unclaimed Property Program, P.O. Box 150 Honolulu, HI 96810.

Claim documentation: A signed claim form with notarization required of property valued at $50 or more, current state or federal photo identification and proof of ownership.

Idaho

Website: yourmoney.Idaho.gov

Claim method: You can initiate a claim online, after which you’ll receive a claim form with an ID number that can be used to upload documentation on the website.

Claim documentation: Varies by claim

Processing time: up to 90 days of receipt of the full claim

Illinois

Website: Illinois Treasurer’s Office

Claim method: You can initiate your claim online and mail documentation to: Office of the Illinois State Treasurer, Unclaimed Property Division, P.O. Box 19495, Springfield, IL 62794-9495

Claim documentation: At a minimum, a completed and signed claim form, a copy of your photo identification and Social Security number.

Processing time: up to 12 weeks from receipt of your claim package

Indiana

Website: indianaunclaimed.gov

Claim method: You can initiate and submit documentation for a claim online. You can also mail your documentation to: Office of the Indiana Attorney General, Unclaimed Property Division, P.O. Box 2504, Greenwood, IN 46142

Claim documentation: At a minimum, a signed and completed claim form and current photo identification. You’ll receive an email upon initiating your claim that specifies what your claim requires.

Processing time: up to 90 days of receipt of the claim

Iowa

Website: GreatIowaTreasureHunt.gov

Claim method: You can initiate and upload your documentation online. You can also mail documentation to: Great Iowa Treasure Hunt, Lucas State Office Building, 321 E 12 th St., 1st Floor, Des Moines, IA 50319

Claim documentation: At a minimum, you’ll need a completed and signed claim form, a copy of photo identification and your Social Security number. The email you receive with your claim forms will outline what specific documentation is required.

Processing time: Four to six weeks of receiving your full clam package

Kansas

Website: Kansas State Treasurer’s Office

Claim method: You can search for and initiate a claim online. You’ll receive instructions on how to proceed upon doing so. You can also call the state with questions at 785-296-4165.

Claim documentation: Varies by claim

Kentucky

Website: Kentucky State Treasurer’s office directs residents to use Missing Money.com to initiate and complete its claims process.

Claim method: You must print the claim form via MissMoney.com, complete and mail it, along with the required documentation to: Kentucky State Treasury, Unclaimed Property Division, 1050 U.S. Highway 127 South, Suite 100, Frankfort, KY 40601

Claim documentation: Varies by claim, but can include proof of residence or proof of ownership

Louisiana

Website: Louisiana Department of the Treasury

Claim method: You can initiate a claim online, but documentation must be mailed to the state at P.O. Box 91010, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-9010.

Claim documentation: At a minimum, you’ll need a signed and notarized claim form, a copy of your driver’s license or other picture identification, Social Security number and proof of address (current or previous).

Processing time: Up to 90 days

Maine

Website: Maineunclaimedproperty.gov

Claim method: In some cases, you can initiate and submit a claim online. However, you may need to mail a signed claims form and documentation to the state at the Office of the State Treasurer, Attn: Unclaimed Property 39 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0039.

Claim documentation: At a minimum, you’ll need a completed claim form, a copy of photo identification and proof of address. Specifics are provided in the email you receive upon initiating your claim.

Processing time: Most claims are processed within a few weeks of receipt, but estate or stock claims can take longer.

Maryland

Website: The Comptroller of Maryland

Claim method: You can search for unclaimed property on the Comptroller’s website or through MissingMoney.com. If your search is successful, you can download a claim form from the state. Complete and mail it, along with supporting documentation, to Comptroller of Maryland, Unclaimed Property Unit, 301 West Preston Street, Room 310, Baltimore, MD 21201-2385

Claim documentation: At a minimum, a completed claim form, two forms of identification (one must include your Social Security number) and proof of ownership.

Processing time: Six to eight weeks, once your claim has been received

Massachusetts

Website: FindMassMoney.com

Claim method: You can initiate a claim and submit documentation online. You can also mail your documentation to: Office of the State Treasurer, Unclaimed Property Division, One Ashburton Place, 12th Floor, Boston, MA 02108.

Claim documentation: At a minimum, your completed claim form, plus proof of address and proof of Social Security number. The claim form you receive via email will outline what documentation you must submit.

Michigan

Website: Unclaimedproperty.Michigan.gov

Claim method: You can initiate a claim and upload documentation online. You can also mail documentation to: Unclaimed Property, Michigan Department of Treasury, P.O. Box 30756, Lansing, MI 48909.

Claim documentation: At a minimum, a completed and signed claim form, a copy of photo identification and proof of your Social Security number. The email you receive upon initiating a claim will outline specific documentation.

Minnesota

Website: Minnesota Commerce Department

Claim method: You can search for missing money and initiate a claim online, but, ultimately, you’ll need to mail the claim form and necessary documentation to the Minnesota Commerce Department at 85 7th Place East, Suite 500 St. Paul, Minnesota 55101-2198.

Claim documentation: Completed, signed and notarized claim form, plus proof of ownership, where applicable

Processing time: Minnesota’s Commerce Department directs residents to call 651-539-1545 if 90 days have elapsed and they haven’t heard about their claim.

Mississippi

Website: Mississippi State Treasurer’s Office

Claim method: You can print claim forms from the website and send them, along with any required documentation, to: Office of the State Treasurer, Unclaimed Property Division, P.O. Box 138, Jackson, Mississippi 39205

Claim documentation: A completed, signed and notarized claim form, a copy of photo identification, a copy of your Social Security number and, when applicable, proof of ownership

Processing time: Four to six weeks after documentation is received

Missouri

Website: Missouri State Treasurer’s office

Claim method: Many residents can file a paperless claim on the website, but you can alternately write the Treasurer’s office and request claim forms. The address is Office of the Missouri State Treasurer, Unclaimed Property, P.O. Box 1004, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

Claim documentation: Varies by claim. The state will let you know what specific documentation is required when you initiate your claim.

Processing time: As soon as possible

Montana

Website: Montana Department of Revenue

Claim method: You can initiate and file claims online, though some residents might have to mail in required documentation.

Claim documentation: Varies by claim; the online portal will let you know what documentation is required when you initiate a claim.

Nebraska

Website: Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office

Claim method: You must print out and mail a completed claim form to: Unclaimed Property Division, 809 P Street, Lincoln, NE 68508.

Claim documentation: A completed, signed and notarized claim form, a copy of your driver’s license, proof of your Social Security number, list of your former addresses over the last 10 years

Nevada

Website: Nevada State Treasurer

Claim method: You can search for and initiate a claim online. You’ll receive instructions on how to proceed if you do so.

Claim documentation: Varies by claim

New Hampshire

Website: New Hampshire State Treasury

Claim method: New Hampshire encourages its residents to search for and initiate claims through MissingMoney.com.

Claim documentation: Varies by claim. You will receive information on what’s required when you initiate your claim online.

New Jersey

Website: unclaimedproperty.nj.gov

Claim method: New Jersey encourages residents to search for and initiate claims through MissingMoney.com.

Claim documentation: Varies by claim; You’ll receive packet after initiating a claim through MissingMoney.com outlining what documents you need to send to the state.

New Mexico

Website: New Mexico Taxation and Revenue

Claim method: New Mexico encourages residents to search for and initiate claims through MissingMoney.com. Once you initiate a claim, you will receive specifics on to file one.

Claim documentation: A signed and notarized claim form, a copy of your photo identification, a copy of your Social Security number, proof of address or proof of ownership.

Processing time: Up to 120 days

New York

Website: Office of the New York State Comptroller

Claim method: You can initiate and submit claims online. You can also generate a claim form online and mail it, along with required documentation to: Office of the State Comptroller, Office of Unclaimed Funds, 110 State Street, Albany, NY 12236.

Claim documentation: A completed claim form, proof of address and proof of ownership

Processing time: Online claims are processed within two weeks; If you mail in claim forms, you’ll receive a letter confirming your claim within 30 days. After that, it can take an additional four to six weeks to process. Complex claims may take longer.

North Carolina

Website: North Carolina Department of the State Treasurer

Claim method: You can initiate a claim online, but you must ultimately mail the forms and required documentation to Unclaimed Property Division, P.O. Box 20431, Raleigh, NC 27619-0431.

Claim documentation: A completed claim form, proof of Social Security number or proof of address to establish proof of ownership.

North Dakota

Website: www.land.nd.gov/Unclaimedproperty/

Claim method: The state is in the process of updating its unclaimed property website. Once it’s live, you should be able to search and submit claims online.

Claim documentation: Varies by claim

Ohio

Website: Ohio Department of Commerce

Claim method: You can initiate a claim online, but you’ll ultimately have to mail the form and required documentation to Ohio Division of Unclaimed Funds, 77 S. High Street, 20th Floor Columbus, OH, 43215-6108.

Claim documentation: A completed claim form (notarized, if the unclaimed property is valued at $1,000 or more), a copy of your photo identification, a copy verifying your Social Security number, a completed and signed W-9 form and proof of address. If more documentation is necessary, the state will request it after you submit the claim.

Processing time: Up to 120 days

Oklahoma

Website: OKTreasure.com

Claim method: You can initiate a claim online, but ultimately must send your claim form and required documentation to Oklahoma State Treasurer, Unclaimed Property Division, 2300 N Lincoln Blvd, Room 217, Oklahoma City, OK 73105.

Claim documentation: At a minimum, a completed claim form, a copy of your photo identification and a copy of your Social Security number. The state might request additional proof of ownership.

Oregon

Website: The Oregon Department of State Lands

Claim method: Once you initiate claim online, the state will generate a custom form to you. You’ll ultimately have to mail this claim form, along with required documentation, to Unclaimed Property Section, Department of State Lands, 775 Summer St. NE #100, Salem, OR, 97301-1279.

Claim documentation: A completed claim form, a copy of your photo identification, proof of your Social Security number and proof of address.

Processing time: Up to 120 days

Pennsylvania

Website: Pennsylvania Treasury Department

Claim method: You can initiate your claim online, but you must mail your claim forms to Bureau of Unclaimed Property: P.O. Box 1837 Harrisburg, PA 17105-1837.

Claim documentation: Varies by claim; the state will outline what documentation is required once you initiate claim.

Rhode Island

Website: FindRIMoney.com

Claim method: You can initiate and submit your claim online. You can alternately mail your forms and required documentation to Rhode Island Unclaimed Property Division, P.O. Box 1435
Providence, RI 02901-1435.

Claim documentation: At a minimum, a completed claim form, a copy of your photo identification and proof of your Social Security number.

South Carolina

Website: SouthCarolina.findyourunclaimedproperty.com

Claim method: You can initiate and submit documentation to support your claim online. Alternately, you can mail your claim to South Carolina State Treasurer, Unclaimed Property Program, 1200 Senate Street, Suite 214, Wade Hampton Building, Columbia, SC 29201.

Claim documentation: At a minimum, a completed and signed claim form, a copy of photo identification and a Social Security number.

Processing time: Four to twelve weeks, depending on the complexity of your claim

South Dakota

Website: southdakota.findyourunclaimedproperty.com

Claim method: You can initiate claim online, but you must ultimately email your claim form and necessary documentation to unclaimed@sdtreasurer.gov or mail them to SD State Treasurer - UCP, 500 E. Capital Ave, Suite 212, Pierre, SD 57501.

Claim documentation: At a minimum, a completed and signed claim form, a copy of photo identification and your Social Security number. The email you receive upon initiating a claim will detail the documentation required.

Processing time: Two to three weeks

Tennessee

Website: ClaimitTN.gov

Claim method: You can search for and initiate claims online. Once you do so, you’ll receive further instructions on how to proceed. You can also call the state at 1-866-370-9429.

Claim documentation: Varies by claim

Texas

Website: ClaimitTexas.org

Claim method: You can initiate and submit a claim online. You can alternately mail your claim form and documentation to Comptroller of Public Accounts, Unclaimed Property Claims Section, P.O. Box 12046, Austin, TX 78711-2046.

Claim documentation: At a minimum, the signed claim form and photo identification. The state will outline any other documentation you need to provide in the email you receive upon initiating the claim.

Utah

Website: MyCash.Utah.gov

Claim method: You can initiate and submit a claim online. You can alternately mail your claim form and required documentation to Unclaimed Property Division, P.O. Box 140530, 168 N 1950 W Suite 102, Salt Lake City, UT 84116.

Claim documentation: At a minimum, a completed and signed claim form, a copy of photo identification and a Social Security number. The email you receive upon initiating a claim will request additional documentation, if necessary.

Processing time: up to 90 days, though most claim process within two to three weeks.

Vermont

Website: Vermont Office of the State Treasurer

Claim method: You must print a claim form from the state treasurer’s website and mail it, along with any required documentation, to Vermont Unclaimed Property Division, State Treasurer's Office, 109 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05609-6200.

Claim documentation: At a minimum, a signed claim form, a copy of your photo identification, a copy of your Social Security number and proof of address associated with the unclaimed property.

Virginia

Website: VAmoneysearch.org

Claim method: Once you initiate a claim online, you’ll receive information on how to proceed. You can fax forms and documentation for some claims under $200, but you may need to mail the paperwork to the state at Virginia Department of the Treasury, 101 North 14th Street, Richmond, VA 23219.

Claim documentation: Varies by claim; the exact information you need to provide will be outlined on your claim form.

Processing time: Approximately six to eight weeks with claims on transfers and estates potentially taking longer

Washington

Website: ClaimYourCash.org

Claim method: You can initiate and submit claims online. You can also mail in your claim by following the instructions on the voucher that gets generated after you initiate a claim.

Claim documentation: You might need to provide photo identification, proof of address and proof of ownership, depending on the claim.

Processing time: Up to 60 days with claims involving stock or mutual funds potentially taking longer

Washington D.C.

Website: dc.findyourunclaimedproperty.com

Claim method: You can initiate and submit your claim online. Alternately, you can mail your claim form and required documentation to D.C. Office of Finance and Treasury, Unclaimed Property Unit, 1101 4th St. SW, Ste. 800W, Washington, DC 20024.

Claim documentation: At a minimum, a completed and signed claim form, a copy of photo identification and your Social Security number. The email you receive upon initiating a claim will provide details on what needs to get submitted.

West Virginia

Website: West Virginia State Treasurer

Claim method: You can search for unclaimed property online, but you must ultimately print, complete and mail a claim form, along with the required documentation, to: Office of State Treasurer, Unclaimed Property Division, P.O. Box 4228 Charleston, WV 25364.

Claim documentation: At a minimum, a completed, signed and notarized claim form, a copy of your driver’s license or other valid photo identification and proof of your Social Security number.

Wisconsin

Website: State of Wisconsin Department of Revenue

Claim method: You must complete your claim online through the state’s My Tax Account website. If you can’t file a claim online, you can call the state at 608-264-4594 to initiate a claim. It’ll mail you a letter requesting documentation and providing further instruction.

Claim documentation: Varies by claim. Instructions are provided once you initiate a claim online.

Processing time: Up to eight weeks

Wyoming

Website: WyWindfall.gov

Claim method: You can initiate and submit a claim online. You can also email wyomingup@wyo.gov or call the state at 1-307-777-5590 with questions.

Claim documentation: Varies by claim.

Processing time: Simple, single claims are paid out in a few weeks, but multiple or complex claims for assets like stocks, bonds or endowments can take longer to process.

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