If you have an upcoming flight, you may be curious to know how much money you can take on a plane. The answer is that it depends on whether you are flying domestically or internationally.
If you are flying domestically within the USA, there is no limit to how much money you can bring on a plane. If flying internationally to the USA, you are required to declare any amount over $10,000 to customs.
There are some other important things you should know, though, including how the rules on how much money you can carry on a plane vary by country, the cash limit per family, what happens if you fail to declare any amount above $10,000, and if your money can be seized.
How Much Money Can You Take On a Plane?
As mentioned, if flying domestically within the USA, there is no limit to how much money you can bring on a plane.
If you have the funds and really wanted to, you could travel with 1 million dollars or more. This doesn’t mean that you will smoothly pass by airport security with no questions asked, though. Traveling with large amounts of money will inevitably lead to questions on how this money can be accounted for.
If the TSA is unsatisfied with the answer and suspects that the money is related to some kind of criminal activity, law enforcement may get involved.
If flying internationally to the USA, you are legally required to declare to US customs if you are traveling with more than $10,000.
You must fill out form FinCEN 105 (“Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments”) and be prepared to answer questions to account for the money you are traveling with.
If flying to Canada, there are no restrictions on the amount of money you can bring with you. However, you must declare if you are traveling with more than CAN $10,000.
If this is the case, you must report it on Form E311, the CBSA Declaration Card, on an Automated Border Clearance kiosk or a Primary Inspection Kiosk, or in the verbal declaration made to a border services officer.
If flying from Canada with more than CAN $10,000, you must report to the CBSA office within the airport, before clearing security.
If carrying over USD $10,000 in cash when departing from or arriving to Mexico, you must declare it to the Mexican customs office. This can be done by filling out the following forms:
- Customs Declaration for Incoming Passengers upon arrival or Cash Declaration for Outgoing Passengers upon departure.
- Declaration for incoming or outgoing cash and bearer negotiable instruments.
Europe & The EU
If you intend to enter or leave the EU with EUR 10,000 or more in cash, you must declare it to customs.
If you’re travelling to a European country that isn’t a member of the EU, it’s advisable to check with the local customs authorities.
If you are entering the UK with more than £10,000 in cash, you can either declare before you travel (online or by phone) or as soon as you arrive in the UK (report to a Border Force Officer).
If you are flying from the UK with more than £10,000 in cash, you must declare before you leave the country.
How Much Money Can You Take On a Plane Per Family?
While there is no limit to how much money can be brought on a plane per individual or family, the required declaration limit of $10,000 still applies – i.e. families are seen as individuals as far as declarations are concerned.
This means that if a family of four is traveling together and want to bring $30,000 on a plane, they are unable to split the money and fly with $7,500 each in an attempt to avoid declaring that they are traveling with more than $10,000 in cash.
What Happens If You Fail to Declare You Are Carrying Over $10,000?
Whether you purposefully or unintentionally fail to declare that you are bringing more than $10,000 on a plane and are caught, the cash may be subject to seizure and forfeiture.
Can Your Money Be Seized?
If traveling with a large amount of money, there’s no doubt that it will trigger the TSA’s curiosity.
If the TSA has probable cause that you have committed or are about to commit a crime and the cash that you are traveling with is possible evidence of that crime, law enforcement can get involved, who will then question you and have the authority to seize your money for civil asset forfeiture. If you fail to declare that you are bringing more than $10,000 on a plane, your cash may also be seized.
Note that the TSA have no authority to seize your money; it is only the law enforcement that is able to.