How to Sell Treasury Direct Notes

The federal government stands behind all U.S. Treasury notes.

The federal government stands behind all U.S. Treasury notes.

TreasuryDirect provides a way for you to buy U.S. government securities, known as Treasurys, directly from the government. These federally backed investments are viewed as some as the safest in the world. In a worst-case scenario, the government could always print more money to pay off your Treasurys, so the investment is as iron-clad as it gets. And, you're allowed to sell your investment before maturity, even though many investors wait until their Treasurys pay off at maturity to get their money out. TreasuryDirect doesn't handle sales, but there are simple ways to sell Treasurys.

Open an account at a financial services firm. The U.S. Treasury no longer offers the SellDirect program that allowed you to sell TreasuryDirect securities back to the government. Instead, you'll have to sell your Treasury notes through an account at a bank or brokerage firm.

Navigate to your TreasuryDirect online account. Locate your Treasury notes under the "Manage Direct" tab.

Select the "Transfer Securities" option. Pick the specific Treasury notes you want to sell.

Choose "External Transfer." This prepares your Treasury notes for delivery to an outside account for sale.

Click the link to Form PD F 5511. The form, titled "TreasuryDirect Transfer Request," must be completed to process your transfer. You'll have to provide information such as your account number and the number of securities you want transferred. You'll also have to provide information about the receiving account, including the routing number, names of the receiving firm and broker, and any special handling instructions you require.

Mail in your completed transfer form; TreasuryDirect only accepts transfer information via mail. Send it to the Department of the Treasury, Bureau of the Public Debt, P.O. Box 7015, Parkersburg, WV 26106-7015.

Contact your broker or check your account online to verify your notes have successfully transferred.

Sell your Treasury notes. Instruct your broker to liquidate them, or enter the order yourself through your brokerage's online trading platform. Indicate the number of notes you want to sell along with specific order parameters including the minimum price you'll accept for your Treasurys.


  • If your notes are in the "Legacy Treasury Direct" program, which is being phased out, you'll send in form PD F 5179 rather than PD F 5511.

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About the Author

After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English from UCLA, John Csiszar earned a Certified Financial Planner designation and served 18 years as an investment adviser. Csiszar has served as a technical writer for various financial firms and has extensive experience writing for online publications.

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