How to Send Money
to a Federal Inmate

Review the options below by provider for info on how to send money to a federal inmate.


Always wait until the inmate has physically arrived at their BOP facility before transferring money.

Transaction fees usually vary based on the amount to be transferred.  If you make frequent, small transfers you will pay more fees over time.  To save money, consider fewer, larger transfers.
The maximum allowed by the BOP at one time is $300.
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You can send money to a federal inmate with MoneyGram.

Western Union

You can send money to a federal inmate with Western Union.


You can send money to a federal inmate with the United States Post Office.

MoneyGram Steps:

MoneyGram Step 1

Go to and select “Send Money” from the navigation menu on the top.

MoneyGram Step 2

Click “Start Sending Now” at the top of the page.

MoneyGram Step 3

Click “Sign Up” to create your account.

MoneyGram Step 4

Follow on screen instructions to complete the transaction.

Funds should be available to the inmate the same day.

You will need:

  • Inmate’s full legal name and Inmate Number
  • Facility Name: Federal Bureau of Prisons (Not inmate’s specific location)
  • MoneyGram Receive Code: 7932

Western Union Steps:

Western Union Step 1

Go to and click on the menu icon to the right of Help, then Pay Inmate.  It will look like this:

Western Union Step 2

Enter the information required.

  • The Correctional facility will be FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISON, not the inmate’s specific BOP facility.
  • Use the inmate’s full legal name.
  • Enter the 8-digit Inmate Number with no dashes or spaces.

Western Union Step 3

Click “Sign up” to create your account.

Funds should be available to the inmate the same day.

USPS Steps:

U.S. Postal Service

Send a money order with the inmate’s full name and 8-digit register number to the BOP’s central processing location, not to the inmate’s specific facility.

The BOP will not accept personal checks, cash, or any other item.

Funds should be available shortly after the money order arrives in Des Moines.

See the image below for more info:

If you need legal help, search our directory to find a federal criminal defense attorney near you.