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Is Prop Money Illegal?

Is Prop Money Illegal?


Lights, camera, action! There’s nothing like the opening of a movie you’ve been waiting to see. But, have you ever found yourself wondering, is that real money they're flashing?

Have you ever glanced at that wad of cash your favorite actor tossed around on the screen and thought, did he just throw real cash? Think about it — wouldn't it be a disaster if millions of dollars went missing during filming? Or if it burned up during that explosion or the scene where someone deliberately set the cash on fire?

Fear not, movie magic lovers! There's a secret weapon used in countless scenes: realistic prop money.

Is this fake cash legal? When it comes to prop money, the line between what's legal and illegal can get blurry. This blog from Prop Money Inc. will clarify the confusion and ensure your next production follows the law.

What is Prop Money?

Prop money, also known as movie prop money or fake money, is designed for use in film, television, theater productions, music videos, and photography. It resembles actual cash but is printed with disclaimers like "For Motion Picture Purposes" or "Copy" to prevent accidental or intentional misuse.

Imagine watching a scene where a gangster pours gas on a stack of cash and lights it on fire. Your initial thought is, “That stack better not be real money!” That's where full print prop money comes in. It's like a stunt double for cash — fake bills that look real on camera but can't be used to buy anything.

Think of it like a costume. Actors wear special clothes to play a part, and movies use fake money instead of real money for scenes. It has prominent warnings you can see when holding it, so no one should get confused.

Prop money comes in different denominations, like real money. You can get ones, fives, twenties, hundreds — the whole lot, plus prop money in bulk. They even have different series and wear and tear, like real cash that gets beat up over time. This way, the scene looks realistic, even if the money isn't.

Understanding Legal Considerations

Understanding the key differences between movie prop money and counterfeit money is crucial. These distinctions keep the movie magic alive and avoid legal headaches.

Movie Prop Money vs. Counterfeit Money: Key Differences

Think of prop money as a legal stand-in for real currency on set. When produced and used according to regulations, it's perfectly permissible. Prop money is marked with disclaimers like "Not Legal Tender" or "For Motion Picture Purposes" to avoid confusion.

The quality can vary, but it's often designed to appear realistic. The goal is to seem real enough for the camera while still being easy to tell apart from real money upon closer inspection.

Conversely, counterfeit money is illegal to own or use with the intent to deceive. Unlike movie prop money, counterfeits have no disclaimers and are designed to be identical to real money. They're often high-quality replicas created with the intention of passing them off as legitimate currency.

Laws About Ownership and Possession

The good news is that owning and possessing fake money is generally legal if it adheres to federal and state regulations. Most reputable prop money companies ensure their products follow these regulations, giving you peace of mind when using them in your productions. Let's walk you through the details of each now.

Regulations Surrounding Prop Money Production and Use

Federal and state laws exist to ensure prop money is used responsibly and don't blur the lines with illegal activity.

The U.S. Treasury Department plays a crucial role in regulating prop money under Title 18 of the U.S. Code, Section 504. This law prohibits the reproduction of currency in a way that could be mistaken for real money by someone who wouldn't scrutinize cash. In simpler terms, fake money can't be so realistic that it could trick someone unfamiliar with handling money.

Some states have more regulations about prop money. These regulations can vary, so it's always a good idea to check with your local authorities before buying or using fake money in a specific state. You want to be sure that you're compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.

Can You Legally Buy Prop Money?

Absolutely! Unlike real money, which you can only get from banks or ATMs, buying prop money is a safe and legal process. Reputable companies like Prop Money Inc. specialize in providing high-quality, legally compliant prop currency for all your production needs.

Prop money looks pretty accurate on camera, but it's a different story up close. The colors might be a little off, or the texture feels different. There's no way someone would accidentally try to use it at the mall.

Is It Legal to Own Movie Prop Money?

Owning movie prop money is generally legal as long as it adheres to the same regulations we mentioned earlier. Reputable prop money companies take all the guesswork out of it. Our products are designed and manufactured to follow federal and state laws on fake money.

You can keep your movie prop money without any worries, whether you're using it for a film, a play, a music video, or even a magic trick! Buying from a good prop money company is the way to go.

These companies take the law seriously. Their movie prop money is checked thoroughly to ensure it follows all the rules. There are no legal headaches; you can focus on making your movie awesome.

Knowing your prop money is legal lets you relax and have fun filming. No need to stress about breaking the law or getting in trouble.

The next time you need fake cash for your project, choose a trusted company. They'll give you legal, high-quality prop money so you can focus on making your movie a hit, not dealing with the law.

Is it Illegal to Make Prop Money at Home?

Were you thinking of whipping up prop money with markers and construction paper for your movie? Hold on there, partner! While making fake money might seem like a fun DIY project, it can land you in hot water.

Your hand-drawn twenties might look pretty good from across the room, but they could be a dead giveaway up close. The colors might be off, the paper might feel weird, and there won't be any fancy security features real money has. But here's the problem: sometimes, even fake-looking money can fool someone who isn't paying close attention. That's another risk you want to avoid taking.

Let's face it: making your own prop money is a gamble. It might work, but it also might get you in trouble if someone thinks you’re trying to pass it off as real money. So why take the chance?

Why Buying Prop Money is the Smart Choice

Instead of rolling the dice with homemade cash, buying prop money from a reputable company like Prop Money Inc. is a much better option.

We take the law seriously. Our prop money is designed and checked thoroughly to ensure it follows all the rules. We put prominent warnings on every single bill. Our printing and paper are different enough from real money that there's no way someone would get confused. You can buy and use our prop money with complete peace of mind.

Prop Money Inc. knows how to make fake cash that looks amazing on camera. The colors are on point, the printing is sharp, and from a distance, it's hard to tell the difference from real money. But up close, there are subtle differences that make it clear it's not real. This way, you get the best of both worlds: movie magic without legal worries.

We have a whole selection of different denominations, from ones to hundreds. There's even fake money called RealAged™ that looks old and worn, just like real cash gets over time, to add a whole extra layer of realism to your movie.

Ditch the markers and construction paper. When it comes to prop money, buying from a trusted company is the safe, legal, and way more awesome option!


Prop money is vital for the film, television, and entertainment industries. By understanding the legalities and purchasing from reputable companies, you can ensure your productions run smoothly and stay within the law.

Here are some additional points to consider. Never attempt to pass prop money as legal tender. It's a serious crime with harsh penalties. When receiving fake money, always examine it for disclaimers and any signs of alteration. Store prop bills securely to prevent theft or accidental misuse.

With a bit of knowledge and the right resources, you can make sure your productions use prop money legally and effectively. Explore our website now and check out our prop money options to film that next big scene.

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