How to Claim Unclaimed Money in California

Unclaimed money, often referred to as unclaimed property in California, refers to financial assets that have been left inactive or forgotten by their rightful owners for a period of time, typically three years. The state has established specific legal frameworks to try and ensure these funds are protected and can eventually be returned to the rightful owner.

Unclaimed money

Looking for Unclaimed


Check to see how you can claim lost cash and property.

California's unclaimed property law

Under California’s Unclaimed Property Law, which is detailed in the California Code of Civil Procedure, specifically Subchapter 8 (Unclaimed Property Law), and more precisely in Article 2, which discusses the Escheat of Unclaimed Personal Property, financial institutions, insurance companies, corporations, businesses, and various other entities are legally mandated to report unclaimed property to the State Controller’s Office (SCO). This process is commonly known as escheatment, where the property passes into the management of the state when no claimant has come forward for an extended period.

The law requires that these holders of unclaimed property make a diligent effort to notify the rightful owners before transferring the assets to the state. Despite these efforts, many assets remain unclaimed and are hence surrendered to the SCO.

Searching for unclaimed money

One of the easiest ways to find unclaimed assets is to use MoneyBot5000. This is a tool designed to try and identify any unclaimed funds or properties you may have forgotten or not even realized were owed to you.

Just navigate to the website, enter your name and address, and the tool will try to find any properties that might be associated with you. For a more precise search, providing an address is recommended, especially if you have a common name or you’ve used multiple addresses over the years.

In addition to MoneyBot5000, in California, discovering whether you have unclaimed money waiting for you is a straightforward process, thanks to the State Controller’s Office’s comprehensive database of unclaimed assets.

Step-by-step guide to claiming unclaimed property in California

Access the unclaimed property database -Use MoneyBot’s search function to try and see if you have unclaimed property. You’ll need to enter your name or business name. This is a secure source for your search, and it provides a user-friendly interface for claimants.

Enter your information - If you find property, you can file a claim directly on the state’s website. You will need to provide your personal information and details about the property. Enter the information for the claim you found in the MoneyBot5000 results.

Submit required documents - Depending on your claim, you may need to provide identification (like a driver’s license or passport), proof of address, documents proving ownership, or legal documents establishing your right to the property.

The Controller’s office will review your claim. They might contact you for additional information or clarification.

Finding out you have unclaimed money waiting in California’s Unclaimed Property Program can be a pleasant surprise. However, to turn that discovery into funds in your pocket, you must know how to establish eligibility and navigate the claiming process.

Determine eligibility

In general, you’re eligible if you are the original owner of the property or a lawful heir of the owner. Proof of ownership and identity will be required, so gathering documentation is key. This might include identification (such as a driver’s license or passport) and documentation related to the unclaimed property (like bank statements, certificates of deposit, and so forth).

The process to claim unclaimed property in California varies depending on the claimant’s status:

Property owners: Must verify their identity and provide documentation proving ownership.

Businesses: Need to demonstrate authority to claim on behalf of the company, typically with business documents and personal identification of the claimant.

Government agencies: Should provide agency documentation and authority to claim.

Heirs: Are required to establish their legal right or relation to deceased owners, often needing death certificates and legal documents proving inheritance.

Representatives: Must show legal authority to act on behalf of another, like power of attorney or executor status.

Each group may need specific forms and additional documentation, reflecting their relationship to the unclaimed property. For more detailed guidelines, visit the California State Controller’s website.

After filing your claim

Once you have successfully filed your claim for unclaimed property in California, the process moves into the review and verification phase.

The review timeline

The review process varies depending on the complexity of your claim. Typically, after submitting your claim, the State Controller’s Office may take up to 3-4 weeks to process it. Simpler claims can sometimes be processed more quickly, while more complex cases, such as those involving estates or multiple parties, may take longer. Generally speaking most claims are resolved within 180 days.

During this review period, the State Controller’s Office will verify the details of your claim and ensure that all the necessary documentation has been provided. They will also check that no other claims are competing for the same property.

If additional information or documentation is needed, the State Controller’s Office will reach out to you. Promptly responding to any requests for further information can help expedite the review process.

Follow-up procedures

If the State Controller’s Office requests additional information, they will provide specific instructions on how to submit the required documents. You can submit the requested information online or by mail, depending on the communication you receive.

Remember that it’s essential to keep your contact information up-to-date with the Unclaimed Property Division so that you can be reached if needed. If you move or change your contact details after filing a claim, make sure to notify the State Controller’s Office.

California Department of Revenue - Unclaimed Property Division

Unclaimed money


Office of State Controller, 10600 White Rock Road, Suite 141, Rancho Cordova CA 95670

Unclaimed money

Phone Number


Unclaimed money

Office Hours

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday, excluding state holidays

Contact information

For residents within California, you can reach out to the State Controller’s Customer Service Unit via their toll-free number. This will allow you to inquire about the unclaimed property database, follow up on a claim, or receive help with searching and claiming your property.

For a quick and responsive online experience, you can search for and file claims for unclaimed property by visiting the official state unclaimed property website operated by the State Controller’s Office. This website provides a secure and user-friendly interface for discovering if you have unclaimed cash or valuables waiting to be reclaimed.

Official Website for California Unclaimed Property:

Unclaimed money

Start Your Unclaimed Money Search

You may qualify to claim missing money. Search now.

Looking for Unclaimed Money?

Check to see how you can claim lost cash and property.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How to Claim Unclaimed Money in California Unclaimed Money:

Is there a deadline for claiming unclaimed money in California?

No, there is no deadline for claiming unclaimed property in California. Once the property is transferred to the State Controller's Office, it remains available for the rightful owner or their heirs to claim at any time.

Are there any fees associated with claiming unclaimed money?

Claiming unclaimed money in California is entirely free. The State Controller's Office does not charge a fee to return property to its rightful owner.

How can I troubleshoot issues with online searches for unclaimed money?

If you're experiencing difficulties with the online unclaimed property search tool, ensure that you are using the correct website and that your search criteria are accurate. If you still can't locate your property, or for any general questions, you can call the State Controller's Customer Service Unit at 800-992-4647 for assistance.

What should I do if I can't find my unclaimed property using the online search?

If you've attempted to search the database and could not find your property, or if you need help with the search, contact the State Controller's Customer Service Unit. They can provide further assistance and may help ensure that you have not overlooked any potential claims.

Disclaimer: The above is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.