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    $5 Bill to Get a Facelift

    WASHINGTON -- The U.S. government plans to redesign the $5 note as part of ongoing security enhancements to U.S. currency.

    WASHINGTON -- The U.S. government plans to redesign the $5 note as part of ongoing security enhancements to U.S. currency.

    "The $5 note is widely used in a variety of vending, transit farecard, and self-service machines," said Bureau of Engraving and Printing director Larry Felix. "We have already begun working with the manufacturers of those cash-handling machines and their customers, so they have ample time to adjust their equipment to accept the redesigned $5 note when it enters circulation."

    The latest series of U.S. currency began with the introduction of the $20 note in 2003, and continued with the $50 note in 2004, and the $10 note in 2006. The redesigned $5 note is expected to be issued in early 2008, with the $100 note to follow.

    Overall, counterfeiting of U.S. currency remains at low levels -- due primarily to a combination of improvements in the notes' security features, aggressive law enforcement, and education efforts to inform the public about how to verify their currency. Statistics continue to indicate that the amount of counterfeit U.S. currency worldwide is less than 1 percent of genuine U.S. currency in circulation.

    "The U.S. government keeps a close eye on evolving counterfeiting trends and redesigns the currency to protect the public's hard earned money and to stay ahead of counterfeiters," said Michael Lambert, assistant director of Federal Reserve Bank Operations and Payment Systems. "The newly designed $5 note will be safer and provides the public with easy-to-use security features to help them identify counterfeit notes."

    Lambert noted the government's policy is to introduce new currency designs about every seven to 10 years to leverage advances in security technology and stay ahead of evolving counterfeiting methods.

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