A money order is similar to a check, except that it's prepaid. Like checks, you can deposit money orders into a bank account. But if you don't have a bank account or don't want to use your bank account to cash a money order, you can still cash it at a post office or a check-cashing store.
At the Post Office
The U.S. Postal Service sells money orders for a small fee, and post offices can also cash money orders. In some cases, you can even cash a money order with a rural mail carrier if that's more convenient.
To cash a money order at a post office, bring along photo identification to verify that you are the valid recipient. You will be required to sign the money order in front of the postal clerk. If the money order is made out to multiple people, they may all have to sign it.
If the USPS issued the money order, you can also verify that it is legitimate and valid by calling the USPS or using a USPS online verification tool. If someone is paying you by money order, it's a good idea to verify that it's legitimate before accepting it. The USPS can also replace damaged, lost or stolen money orders for a small fee.
If you cash more than $10,000 in money orders at a post office, you'll be required to fill out additional paperwork.
At a Check Cashing Store
Many check cashing stores will also cash money orders. Generally, there's a fee for the service, but it can be convenient if you don't have a bank account or don't want to use your bank account for any reason. You'll also likely be required to show identification to prove you're actually the recipient of the money order. Check-cashing stores often also sell money orders.
At a Retail Store
Some grocery and other retail stores will cash money orders for you, as well as sell money orders through services like Western Union. As at other institutions, you'll usually be required to show an ID to cash a money order. Of course, not all grocery stores sell or cash money orders, and some can only handle certain money orders from certain companies, so it's worth checking with your local stores to see which ones can handle your money order transactions.