Privacy & Legal Notices
Your privacy is of the highest concern to us at the Bureau of the Public Debt. To help guard your privacy, our site uses data encryption - the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol - to protect sensitive Web pages. If a Web page has an address that begins with "https://" rather than "http://" then it uses encryption.
Privacy Impact Assessments
Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) are performed on computer systems and applications in order to evaluate any risks these systems may pose to personally identifiable information. To view a PIA and/or to print one using your browser, go to our Privacy Impact Assessments page.
1. What personal information might we ask for and why?
Generally, you need not provide any personal information in order to access this website. To assist you, we will ask for personal information to enable us to issue securities, process transactions, make payments, identify owners and their accounts, and provide required reports to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This information may include:
- your name, address, phone number, e-mail address (so that we may contact you about your requests or concerns)
- Social Security Number (taxpayer identification number)
- driver's license or state ID and expiration date
- bank routing number and account number
We may also ask that you provide us information on your securities, such as bond serial numbers. This information will enable us to give you access to your confidential information and to send you e-mail communications when appropriate.
2. What personal information do we collect from children?
We respect the privacy of children and do not collect more personal information than reasonably necessary to enable them to participate in the activities we offer on the kids' portion of our website. In compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, we take the following steps to protect children's privacy:
We collect only enough personally identifiable information to allow an e-mail to be sent if they have questions or comments. We use the information only to respond to a specific request for information. We advise children under the age of 13 to check with their parents before sending e-mails. Please note that parents may consent to the above collection and use without necessarily consenting to the disclosure of personal information to third parties.
We do not have any agreements with outside organizations to collect personal information on our site. We do not share any child's personal information with anyone other than those who provide support for the internal operations of the website or our agents (e.g., contractors who provide fulfillment services or technical support to our websites). All third parties with whom we do share information have agreed to maintain the security and integrity of personal information.
Parents can inquire about what information we have collected from their children online, prevent the further use or maintenance of such information or direct the Bureau to delete their children's personal information. This can be done by:
- calling us at (202) 504-3500;
- sending us an e-mail; or
- writing to us at:
Bureau of the Public Debt
799 9th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20239
3. Do we gather information automatically or use "cookies" when you visit our site?
All visitors and account holders that access our site should be aware that, for site security purposes and to help us improve our site, we use software that can monitor network traffic and identify unauthorized attempts to cause damage or upload or change information. As on most websites, when a page is requested, we can obtain some information about the request, such as the type of browser used and the last site visited by the browser. We use this information for statistical purposes and to make our site more useful to visitors. We make no attempt to identify individual users or their usage habits except in cases of authorized investigations by law enforcement agencies.
Some parts of our site use "session cookies", which are very small files placed on your hard drive by a website. These cookies are necessary to streamline navigation and, in some cases, to help you complete a form without entering the same information more than once. Session cookies are automatically erased when you close your browser.
If you have an account with us, we may use customization technologies, such as persistent cookies, to remember your online interactions with our website in order to customize your experience. You’ll have the opportunity to register your computer when you access your account. Registering your computer will authorize the use of persistent cookies and help us recognize you as a valid user. If you choose not to register your computer, or if you use a public or shared computer, then subsequent log-ins will require a one-time passcode. Do not register a public or shared computer, such as a library computer.
4. What is our legal authority to ask for personal information?
We have statutory authority to ask for personal information as follows:
- 31 U.S.C. chapter 31 authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury (delegated to the Bureau of the Public Debt) to perform necessary functions to sell Treasury securities.
- 44 U.S.C. § 3101 lets us maintain records containing personal information to provide a record of our securities programs in order to protect the legal and financial rights of the government and the investor.
- 26 U.S.C. § 6109 requires us to ask for your Social Security Number and to include it on reports we must send to the IRS.
- 31 U.S.C. § 7701 lets us ask for your personal information in order to report and collect amounts owed to the United States.
Furnishing personal information is voluntary; however, without the information we may be unable to act upon your requests to purchase or redeem Treasury securities.
5. To whom do we release your personal information?
We can disclose information only as authorized under the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. § 552a. Public Debt's Privacy Act systems of records notices are published in the Federal Register. Systems of records notices can be found at 76 Fed. Reg. 51128 (PDF) and 70 Fed. Reg. 31559 (PDF).
6. Will we send you non-business information?
We will not use your personal information to send you non-business messages.
7. Who can access my personal information collected from e-mails and online forms?
When you contact us electronically, either by e-mail or by filling out an online form, we only share personal information with authorized individuals as follows: We do not have agreements with any non-governmental organization to collect personal information from our website.
Personal information provided to us at this website and through our E-Commerce applications will only be shared with authorized individuals within our organization and contractors who support our websites. For example, we may refer your questions to the program office qualified to provide the most complete answers. Various people or departments may review the information you provide so that we may serve you better.
8. How long will it take to complete our online forms?
We estimate that it should take you no more than 30 minutes to fill out any form on this site. This includes the time it will take to read any instructions, gather the necessary facts and fill out the form. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it contains a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. If you have comments or suggestions regarding the above estimate or ways to simplify any of the forms used on this site, please send your comments or suggestions to the Bureau of the Public Debt, Forms Management Officer, Parkersburg, WV 26106-1328, and the Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project 1535, Washington, DC 20503.
9. Can I safely send personal information across the Internet?
When submitting information electronically, especially personal information, use the Bureau of the Public Debt's secure online forms, at our Contact Us page or within our applications. The Bureau of the Public Debt uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption to protect the transmission of information that you submit to us through our secure online forms. BPD also uses 128-bit encryption technology to protect the information that you transmit via the Internet, through our secure online forms. All information that you provide to us is stored securely on our servers. Personal information that we send you in return email will be masked. For example, a social security number will be written as xxx-xx-6789.
10. What happens if I include personal identifying information in e-mail I send to you?
E-mail is not normally secured by encryption nor protected by confidentiality. You should not send personal information by e-mail. If you send us personal identifying information using e-mail, we will only use this information to respond to your request or question. If necessary, we may also forward your e-mail to those who manage our websites or other federal agencies that help us to provide you with a complete response. You must decide if you want to assume the risk that an unauthorized person may learn your e-mail address or other information you may provide as it's transmitted. Once we receive your e-mail, your information is secured.
See also Terms & Conditions
1. Security Notification.
You are entering an official United States government system, which may be used only for authorized purposes. The government may monitor and audit usage of this system. You are hereby notified that use of this system establishes your consent to such monitoring and auditing. For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, we employ software programs to monitor network traffic, to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. Unauthorized attempts to upload or change information on this website are strictly prohibited and are subject to prosecution under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, 18 U.S.C. §1001 and §1030, the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act, and relevant executive orders.
2. Jurisdictional Issues and Applicable Law.
For jurisdiction and venue purposes:
- If you take legal action relating to Treasury securities, or any other information or transaction conducted on these websites, you agree to accept jurisdiction of the U.S. federal courts.
- Unless otherwise specified, federal law and regulations, which have the force and effect of law, govern the operation of these websites and the terms and conditions.
3. Regulations Governing Electronic Transactions.
We have regulations governing electronic transactions, which are set out in 31 CFR part 370 "Electronic Transactions and Transfers relating to Treasury Securities." These regulations generally apply as a matter of contract law. The regulations require you to:
- exercise ordinary care in protecting the means (account number, password, or digital certificate) that you use to access our site and conduct transactions electronically. If you don't exercise ordinary care and an unauthorized transaction is the result, then under some circumstances you could be held accountable for those transactions.
- inform us promptly if you believe that another person has improperly obtained your means of accessing our site and conducting transactions electronically.
The Bureau of the Public Debt is committed to making its website accessible to all citizens. To meet this commitment, we are compliant with the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended in 1998.
Our website is designed to be equally accessible to those using current, standards-compliant web browsers or assistive technologies.
If you have difficulty accessing any of our websites, please send us an e-mail.