Banknotes & Counterfeit Deterrence

Every country has legal restrictions on the reproduction of banknote images. The counterfeiting of currency is a crime, and while restrictions vary from country to country, in some countries, any reproduction of banknote images – even for artistic or advertising uses – is strictly forbidden. Even in countries that allow some limited use of banknote images, there are specific rules and requirements. This website will provide you with information about reproducing banknote images and links to country-specific websites for further guidance.

While the overall economic losses to society from counterfeiting of currency are generally limited, the victims who suffer the most harm are individuals and businesses, because no one reimburses those who accept counterfeit notes. Counterfeit currency can also undermine confidence in the payment system, making the public uncertain about accepting cash for transactions.

The Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group (CBCDG) is responsible for this website. A counterfeit deterrence system (CDS) has been developed by the CBCDG to deter the use of personal computers, digital imaging equipment, and software in the counterfeiting of banknotes. The CDS has been voluntarily adopted by hardware and software manufacturers, and prevents personal computers and digital imaging tools from capturing or reproducing the image of a protected banknote. The technology does not have the capacity to track the use of a personal computer or digital imaging tools.

For information specific to a particular country or the banknote image you want to use, click on the appropriate region on the map or select the relevant country or currency from the list.



Select a region from the list or click on the map below




CAD - Canadian Dollar Canada English, French

Official bank or department:

Contact information:


Bank of Canada

Mr. Michael Duncan
234 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0G9

Tel.: +1 888 513 8212

Reproduction notes - quick reference (PDF)

Reproduction notes (HTML)

General information about the reproduction of banknotes:

In Canada, the reproduction of bank note images is protected by the Criminal Code and the Copyright Act. Both the Criminal Code and the Copyright Act empower the Bank of Canada to authorize reproductions as appropriate.

The Bank recognizes that currency is an important symbol to Canadians and that people may wish to reproduce images of notes for special purposes – usually advertising, education, journalism, or numismatics. A policy has been developed by the Bank requiring that anyone wishing to reproduce bank note images first obtain the Bank’s written permission.

The Bank may consent to the reproduction of bank note images if there is no risk that the result could be mistaken for a genuine note or misused by counterfeiters, and if the proposed use would not tarnish the dignity and importance of bank notes to Canadians.

It is not necessary to request the Bank’s permission to use bank note images for film or video purposes as long as the images are intended to show a general indication of currency and there is no danger that the images could contribute to counterfeiting.

Reproduction in printed media:

Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. The Bank will ordinarily impose conditions before it will permit the reproduction of bank note images. Examples of possible conditions the Bank may impose:

  • Smaller or larger than the length or width of the bank note;
  • In black and white or only-one sided;
  • Marked with a visible reminder that the image is a copy that is reproduced with the permission of the Bank;
  • Shown on a slant and not flat to the camera or naked eye;
  • Overprinted with the word SPECIMEN;
  • Coloured in a manner that is distinctly different from the main colours used on any current bank note.

The Bank has also created an image library and may make images available for legitimate uses on demand. These images are based on conceptual models (i.e., an image lacking some of the fine detail in real bank notes) of bank notes and bear the SPECIMEN marking, security feature markers, and the Bank’s credit line. Users of these images are reminded that they must refrain from making any alterations, including removal of the SPECIMEN marking, the security feature markers, or the “© Bank of Canada – Banque du Canada” credit line. Users are also informed that the images may be used for a limited time and must then be deleted from all sources. The images are protected with a security feature used to identify and track misuse.

Reproduction in electronic media:

Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. The Bank will ordinarily impose conditions before it will permit the reproduction of bank note images on electronic media, such as Web sites. Conditions will vary, but may include image resolution of 72 dpi or less, SPECIMEN markings, and security feature markers.

The Bank monitors Web sites for abuses.