As of January 1, 2012, the U.S. Treasury Department is no longer issuing paper savings bonds at banks. Savings bonds must now be purchased online at TreasuryDirect.gov. At that site, you can set up an account, purchase savings bonds or make a gift of savings bonds. Instead of putting a paper savings bond in a birthday or graduation card, you can announce a savings bond gift with a gift certificate from TreasuryDirect.gov.
Issuing paper savings bonds was a very expensive program for the federal goverment. Eliminating paper is expected to save $70 million in the first five years alone.
One nice benefit of the switch to electronic bonds is that you no longer have to worry about misplacing, losing or safely storing the original savings bond certificates. If you have lost a savings bond, but have a record of its serial number, you can get a status report for the savings bond in question by going to www.publicdebt.treas.gov. Bonds which have not yet matured, but were lost, stolen or destroyed, can be reissued in either paper or electronic form. In addition, Series I paper savings bonds will remain available for purchase using a tax refund. For more information on that program, visit www.irs.gov.