Every state has a Statute of Limitations (SOL), the period of time in which someone can legally be sued for a debt. In most states the Statute of Limitations begins on the date of last activity on the debt (last payment).

The Statute of Limitations is always based on your state of residence. If you have moved to a different state during the period of time a debt is not paid or settled, the Statute of Limitations from any of these states of residence might be used as a basis for a lawsuit.

If you are sued for a debt after the Statute of Limitations has passed, you can assert the affirmative defense that the Statute of Limitations has passed, when you file the answer to the lawsuit.

This is a list of the Statute of Limitations for each of the 50 states. Included is the SOL for open accounts (credit cards), oral contracts, written contracts, promissory notes and judgments. Note that judgments can be renewed one or more times.

  • Medical debts are written contracts. (Arkansas has a special Statute of Limitations for medical debt.)
  • Private student loans are written contracts.
  • Federal students loans do not have a Statute of Limitations and for the most part cannot be forgiven in bankruptcy.

If you have a question, post it on Clark Howard's Message Boards. If you need legal advice, find a Consumer Advocate Attorney near you.

Check the Statute of Limitations for your state

ALABAMA

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 3 yrs. (Ala. Code 6-2-37)
  • Written Contracts 6 yrs. (Ala. Code 6-2-34)
  • Oral Contracts 6 yrs. (Ala. Code 6-2-39)
  • Promissory Notes 20 yrs. (Ala. Code 6-2-34(4)
  • Judgments 20 yrs. (Ala. Code 6-2-32)

ALASKA

  • Open Accounts  (Credit Cards) 3 yrs. (Alaska Stat. 9.10.53)
  • Written Contracts 3 yrs. (Alaska Stat. 9.10.53)
  • Oral Contracts 3 yrs. (Alaska Stat. 9.10.53)
  • Promissory Notes 10 yrs. (Alaska Stat. 9.10.100)
  • Judgments 10 yrs. (Alaska Stat. 9.10.040)

ARIZONA

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 6 yrs. (A.R.S. 12-548 (2))
  • Written Contracts 6 yrs. (A.R.S. 12-548)
  • Oral Contracts 3 yrs. (A.R.S. 12-543)
  • Promissory Notes 6 yrs. (A.R.S. 12-548)
  • Judgments 5 yrs. (A.R.S. 12-1551)

ARKANSAS

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 3 yrs. (A.C.A. 16-56-111)
  • Medical Debts 2 yrs. (A.C.A. 16-56-106)
  • Written Contracts 5 yrs. (A.C.A. 16-56-105)
  • Oral Contracts 3 yrs. (A.C.A. 16-56-111)
  • Promissory Notes 5 yrs. (A.C.A. 16-56-105)
  • Judgments 10 yrs. (A.C.A. 16-56-114)

CALIFORNIA

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 4 yrs. (CCP 335-349-4)
  • Written Contracts 4 yrs. (CCP 337)
  • Oral Contracts 2 yrs. (CCP 339)
  • Promissory Notes 4 yrs. (CCP 337)
  • Judgments 10 yrs. (CCP 683-020)

COLORADO

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 6 yrs. (C.R.S. 13-80-103.5)
  • Written Contracts 6 yrs. (C.R.S. 13-80-103.5)
  • Oral Contracts 3 yrs. (C.R.S. 13-80-101)
  • Promissory Notes 6 yrs. (C.R.S. 13-80-103.5)
  • Judgments 20 yrs. (C.R.C.P. 54)

CONNECTICUT

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 6 yrs. (C.G.S.A. 3-52-576)
  • Written Contracts 6 yrs. (C.G.S.A. 3-52-576)
  • Oral Contracts 6 yrs. (C.G.S.A. 3-52-581)
  • Promissory Notes 6 yrs. (C.G.S.A. 3-52-576)
  • Judgments 10 yrs. Small Claims Court (C.G.S.A. 3-52-598(b))
    • 20 yrs. Judgments issued in all other Courts (C.G.S.A. 3-52-C598(a))

DELAWARE

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 4 yrs. (D.C.A. 1852-274-4)
  • Written Contracts 3 yrs. (D.C. Title 10.8106)
  • Oral Contracts 3 yrs. (D.C. Title 10.8106)
  • Promissory Notes 6 yrs. (D.C. Title 10.8109)
  • Judgments 5 yrs. (D.C. 10-49-5073)

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 3 yrs. (D.C. 12-301 (8))
  • Written Contracts 3 yrs. (D.C. 12-301 (8))
  • Oral Contracts 3 yrs. (D.C. 12-301(8))
  • Promissory Notes 3 yrs. (D.C. 12-301(8))
  • Judgments 12 yrs. (D.C. 15-10)

FLORIDA

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 4 yrs. (F.S.A. 95-3(k))
  • Written Contracts 5 yrs. (F.S.A. 95-11)
  • Oral Contracts 4 yrs. (F.S.A. 95-11(k))
  • Promissory Notes 5 yrs. (F.S.A. 95.11)
  • Judgments 20 yrs. (F.S.A. 95-11 (1)

GEORGIA

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 4 yrs. By Statute (O.C.G.A. 9-3-25)
    • *6 yrs. By Appeals Ct. 1/24/08 Hill vs Amex
    • *Assume the 6 yr. Statute is the one that applies.*
  • Written Contracts 6 yrs. (O.C.G.A. 9-3-25)
  • Oral Contracts 4 yrs. (O.C.G.A. 9-3-26)
  • Promissory Notes 4 yrs. (O.C.G.A. 9-3-25)
  • Judgments 20 yrs. (O.C.G.A. 9-3-23)

HAWAII

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 6 yrs. (H.R.S. 657-1) 
  • Written Contracts 6 yrs. (H.R.S. 657-1)
  • Oral Contracts 6 yrs. (H.R.S. 657-1)
  • Promissory Notes 6 yrs. (H.R.S. 657-1)
  • Judgments 10 yrs. (H.R.S. 657-2)

IDAHO

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 4 yrs. (I.C. 5-217)
  • Written Contracts 5 yrs. (I.C. 5-211)
  • Oral Contracts 4 yrs. (I.C. 5-217)
  • Promissory Notes 5 yrs. (I.C. 5-211)
  • Judgments 5 yrs. (I.C. 11-101)

ILLINOIS

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 5 yrs. (By Appel. Ct. 1st District 5/20/09 Portfolio Acquisitions LLC vs Feltman)
  • Written Contracts 10 yrs. (735 ILCS 5/13-206)
  • Oral Contracts 5 yrs. (735 ILCS 5/13-205)
  • Promissory Notes 10 yrs. (735 ILCS 5/13-206)
  • Judgments 20 yrs. (735 ILCS 5/13-108 (a)(2))

INDIANA

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 6 yrs. (Ind. Code 34-11-2-7)
  • Written Contracts 6 years (Ind. Code 34-11-2-9)
  • Oral Contracts 6 yrs. (Ind. Code 34-11-2-7)
  • Promissory Notes 6 yrs. (Ind. Code 34-11-2-9)
  • Judgments 20 yrs. (Ind. Code 34-11-2-12)

IOWA

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 5 yrs. (I.C.A. 614.1 (4))
  • Written Contracts 10 yrs. (I.C.A. 614.1 (5))
  • Oral Contracts 5 yrs. (I.C.A. 614.1 (4))
  • Promissory Notes 5 yrs. (I.C.A. 614.1 (4))
  • Judgments 20 yrs. (I.C.A. 614.1 (6))

KANSAS

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 3 yrs. (K.S.A. 60-512)
  • Written Contracts 6 yrs. (K.S.A. 60-512)
  • Oral Contracts 3 yrs. (K.S.A. 60-512)
  • Promissory Notes 5 yrs. (K.S.A. 60-511)
  • Judgments 5 yrs. (K.S.A. 60-7403)

KENTUCKY

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 5 yrs. (K.R.S.A. 413.120)
  • Written Contracts 15 yrs. (K.R.S.A. 413.160)
  • Oral Contracts 5 yrs. (K.R.S.A. 413.120)
  • Promissory Notes 15 yrs. (K.R.S.A. 413.160)
  • Judgments 15 yrs. (K.R.S.A. 413.00)

LOUISIANA

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 3 yrs. (L.C.C. 3492)
  • Written Contracts 10 yrs. (L.C.C. 3492)
  • Oral Contracts 10 yrs. (L.C.C. 3492)
  • Promissory Notes 10 yrs. (L.C.C. 3492)
  • Judgments 10 yrs. (L.C.C. 3492)

MAINE

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 6 yrs. (M.R.S.A. 14.2.205(1)752)
  • Written Contracts 6 yrs. (M.R.S.A. 14.2.205(1)752)
  • Oral Contracts 6 yrs. (M.R.S.A. 14.2.205(1)752)
  • Promissory Notes 20 yrs. (M.R.S.A. 14.2.205(1)751)
  • Judgments 20 yrs. (M.R.S.A. 14.2.205.752)

MARYLAND

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 3 yrs. (Md. Cts. & Jud. Procedure Code Ann. 5-101)
  • Written Contracts 3 yrs. (Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc. Code Ann. 5-101)
  • Oral Contracts 3 yrs. (Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc. Code Ann. 5-101)
  • Promissory Notes 3 yrs. (Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc. Code Ann. 5-102(a)(1))
  • Judgments 12 yrs. (Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc. Code Ann. 5-102(a)(3)

MASSACHUSETTS

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 6 yrs. (MA. Ann. Laws Title 5.260(2)
  • Written Contracts 6 yrs. (MA. Ann. Laws Title 5.260(2)
  • Oral Contracts 6 yrs. (MA. Ann. Laws Title 5.260(2)
  • Promissory Notes 6 yrs. (MA. Ann. Laws Title 5.260 (2)
    • Promissory Notes 20 yrs. If witnessed (MA. Ann. Laws Title 5.260(1.3)
  • Judgments 20 yrs. (MA. Ann. Laws Title 5.260(20)

MICHIGAN

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 6 yrs. (MI. Comp. Laws R. 600.5807(8))
  • Written Contracts 6 yrs. (MI. Comp. Laws R. 600.5807(8))
  • Oral Contracts 6 yrs. (MI. Comp. Laws R. 600.5807(8))
  • Promissory Notes 6 yrs. (MI. Comp. Laws R. 600.5807.(8))
  • Judgments 10 yrs. (MI. Comp. Laws R. 600.5809(3))

MINNESOTA

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 6 yrs. ((M.S.A. 541.05) 
  • Written Contracts 6 yrs. (M.S.A. 541.05)
  • Oral Contracts 6 yrs. (M.S.A. 541.05)
  • Promissory Notes 6 yrs. (M.S.A. 541.05)
  • Judgments 10 yrs. (M.S.A. 541.04)

MISSISSIPPI

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 3 yrs. (M.C.A. 15-1-29&31) 
  • Written Contracts 3 yrs. (M.C.A. 15-1-29&31)
  • Oral Contracts 3 yrs. (M.C.A. 15-1-29&31)
  • Promissory Notes 3 yrs. (M.C.A. 15-1-29&31)
  • Judgments 14 yrs. (M.C.A 1-43) Judgments create liens on all property of judgment debtor in the county.

MISSOURI

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 5 yrs. (M.R.S. 516-120 (1))
  • Written Contracts 10 yrs. (M.R.S. 516-110)
  • Oral Contracts 5 yrs. (M.R.S. 516-110)
  • Promissory Notes 10 yrs. (M.R.S. 516-110)
  • Judgments 10 yrs. (M.R.S. 516-350)

MONTANA

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 5 yrs. (M.C.A. 27-2-202(2)) 
  • Written Contracts 8 yrs. (M.C.A. 27-2-202(1))
  • Oral Contracts 5 yrs. (M.C.A. 27-2-202(2))
  • Promissory Notes 8 yrs. (M.C.A. 27-2-202(1))
  • Judgments 10 yrs. (M.C.A. 27-2-201(2))

NEBRASKA

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 4 yrs. (N.R.S. 25-206)
  • Written Contracts 5 yrs. (N.R.S. 25-205)
  • Oral Contracts 4 yrs. (N.R.S. 25-206)
  • Promissory Notes 5 yrs. (N.R.S. 25-205)
  • Judgments 5 yrs. (N.R.S. 25-1515)

NEVADA

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 4 yrs. (N.R.S.A. 11-190(2)(c)) 
  • Written Contracts 6 yrs. (N.R.S.A. 11-190(2)(a))
  • Oral Contracts 4 yrs. (N.R.S.A. 11-190(2)(c))
  • Promissory Notes 6 yrs. (N.R.S.A. 11-190(1)(b))
  • Judgments 6 yrs. (N.R.S.A. 11-190(1)(a))

NEW HAMPSHIRE

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 3 yrs. (NH R.S.A. Title 52-508.4(1))
  • Written Contracts 3 yrs. (NH R.S.A. Title 52-508.4(1))
  • Oral Contracts 3 yrs. (NH R.S.A. Title 52-508.4(1))
  • Promissory Notes 3 yrs. (NH R.S.A. Title 52-508.4(1))
  • Judgments 20 yrs. (NH R.S.A. Title 52-508.5)

NEW JERSEY

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 6 yrs. (NJ S.A. 2A:14-1)
  • Written Contracts 6 yrs. (NJ S.A. 2A:14-1)
  • Oral Contracts 6 yrs. (NJ S.A. 2A:14-1)
  • Promissory Notes 6 yrs. (NJ S.A. 2A:14-1)
  • Judgments 20 yrs. (NJ S.A. 2A:17-3)

NEW MEXICO

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 4 yrs.
    • *6 yrs. if creditor can show written agreement (NM S.A. 37-1-1)  
  • Written Contracts 6 yrs. (NM S.A. 37-1-3)
  • Oral Contracts 4 yrs. (NM S.A. 37-1-4)
  • Promissory Notes 6 yrs. (NM S.A. 37-1-3)
  • Judgments 14 yrs. (NM S.A. 37----1-2)

NEW YORK

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 6 yrs. (NY Civil Prac. Law&Rules 213) 
  • Written Contracts 6 yrs. (NY Civil Prac. Law&Rules 213)
  • Oral Contracts 6 yrs. (NY Civil Prac. Law&Rules 213)
  • Promissory Notes 6 yrs. (NY Civil Prac. Law&Rules 213)
  • Judgments 10 yrs. (NY Civil Prac. Law&Rules 212)

NORTH CAROLINA

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 3 yrs. (NC Rules of Civil Proc. Sec. 152-1)
  • Written Contracts 3 yrs. (NC Rules of Civil Proc. Sec. 152-1)
  • Oral Contracts 3 yrs. (NC Rules of Civil Proc. Sec. 152-1)
  • Promissory Notes 3 yrs. (NC Rules of Civil Proc. Sec. 152-1)
  • Judgments 10 yrs. (NC Rules of Civil Proc. Sec. 1-47)

NORTH DAKOTA

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 6 yrs. (ND Codified Laws Ann. 28-01-16) 
  • Written Contracts 6 yrs. (ND Codified Laws Ann. 28-01-16)
  • Oral Contracts 6 yrs. (ND Codified Laws Ann. 28-01-16)
  • Promissory Notes 6 yrs. (ND Codified Laws Ann. 28-01-16)
  • Judgments 10 yrs. (ND Codified Laws Ann. 28-01-15)

OHIO

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 6 yrs. (O.R.C.A. 1303.16)
  • Written Contracts 8 yrs. (O.R.C.A. 2305.06)
  • Oral Contracts 6 yrs. (O.R.C.A. 2305.07)
  • Promissory Notes 6 yrs. (O.R.C.A. 1303.16)
  • Judgments 5 yrs. (O.R.C.A. 2309.02 & 2329.07 (A)(1) Judgments create a lien on all property in county.

OKLAHOMA

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 3 yrs.
    • *If creditor can prove clear written terms, then (Credit Cards) SOL is 5 yrs. (O.S.A. 12-95(2))
  • Written Contracts 5 yrs. (O.S.A. 12-95 (1))
  • Oral Contracts 3 yrs. (O.S.A. 12-95(2))
  • Promissory Notes 5 yrs. (O.S.A. 12-95(1))
  • Judgments 3 yrs. (O.S.A. 12-95(A)(2)

OREGON

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 6 yrs. (Ore. Ct. of Appeals-Rev. Stat. 12-080)
  • Written Contracts 6 yrs. (Ore. Ct. of Appeals-Rev. Stat. 12-080)
  • Oral Contracts 6 yrs. (Ore. Ct. of Appeals -Rev. Stat. 12-080)
  • Promissory Notes 6 yrs. (Ore. Ct. of Appeals-Rev. Stat. 12-080)
  • Judgments 10 yrs. (Ore. Ct. of Appeals-Rev. Stat. 12-070)

PENNSYLVANIA

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 4 yrs. (42 PA. C.S.A. 5525(a)(1))
  • Written Contracts 4 yrs. (42 PA. C.S.A. 5525(a)(8))
  • Oral Contracts 4 yrs. (42 PA. C.S.A. 5525(a)(3))
  • Promissory Notes 4 yrs. (42 PA. C.S.A. 5525(a)(7))
  • Judgments 5 yrs. (PA. Rule 3101.1; can be revived)

RHODE ISLAND

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 10 yrs. (RI Gen. Laws 9-1-13(a))
  • Written Contracts 10 yrs. (RI Gen. Laws 9-1-13(a))
  • Oral Contracts 10 yrs. (RI Gen. Laws 9-1-13(a))
  • Promissory Notes 10 yrs. (RI Gen. Laws 9-1-13(a))
  • Judgments 20 yrs. (RI Gen. Laws 9-1-17(a))

SOUTH CAROLINA

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 3 yrs. (SC Code Ann. 15-3-530)
  • Written Contracts 3 yrs. (SC Code Ann. 15-3-530)
  • Oral Contracts 3 yrs. (SC Code Ann. 15-3-530)
  • Promissory Notes 3 yrs. (SC Code Ann. 15-3-530)
  • Judgments 10 yrs. (SC Code Ann. 15-3-600)

SOUTH DAKOTA

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 6 yrs. (SD Codified Laws Ann. 15-2-13)
  • Written Contracts 6 yrs. (SD Codified Laws Ann. 15-2-13)
  • Oral Contracts 6 yrs. (SD Codified Laws Ann. 15-2-13)
  • Promissory Notes 6 yrs. (SD Codified Laws Ann. 15-2-13)
  • Judgments 20 yrs. (SD Codified Laws Ann. 15-2-6)

TENNESSEE

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 6 yrs. (TN. Code Ann. 28-3-109)
  • Written Contracts 6 yrs. (TN. Code Ann. 28-3-109)
  • Oral Contracts 6 yrs. (TN. Code Ann. 28-3-109)
  • Promissory Notes 10 yrs. (TN. Code Ann. 28-3-109(c))
  • Judgments 10 yrs. (TN. Code Ann. 28-3-110)

TEXAS

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 4 yrs. (TX. Civil Prac. & Rev. Code Sec. 16-004(a)(3))
  • Written Contracts 4 yrs. (TX. Civil Prac. & Rev. Code Sec. 16-004(a)(3))
  • Oral Contracts 4 yrs. (TX. Civil Prac. & Rev. Code Sec. 16-004(a)(3))
  • Promissory Notes 4 yrs. (TX. Civil Prac. & Rev. Code Sec.16-004(a)(3))
  • Judgments 10 yrs. (TX. Civil Prac. & Rev. Code Sec. 34-001)

UTAH

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 4 yrs. (U.C.A. 78-12-15)
  • Written Contracts 6 yrs. (U.C.A. 78-12-23)
  • Oral Contracts 4 yrs. (U.C.A. 78-12-25)
  • Promissory Notes 6 yrs. (U.C.A. 78-12-23)
  • Judgments 8 yrs. (U.C.A. 78-12-22)

VERMONT

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 3 yrs. (9 V.S.A. 3-118(q))
  • Written Contracts 8 yrs. (12 V.S.A. 511)
  • Oral Contracts 8 yrs. (12 V.S,A, 511)
  • Promissory Notes 6 yrs.
    • *14 yrs. if witnessed (12 V.S.A. 511&508)
  • Judgments 8 yrs. (12 V.S.A. 506)

VIRGINIA

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 3 yrs. (V.C.A. 8-01-246(3))
  • Written Contracts 5 yrs. (V.C.A. 8-01-246(2))
  • Oral Contracts 3 yrs. (V.C.A. 8-01-246(3))
  • Promissory Notes 6 yrs. (V.C.A. 8.3A-118)
  • Judgments 20 yrs. (V.C.A. 8-01-251)

WASHINGTON

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 6 yrs. (Rev. Code of Wash. 4-16.040(1))
  • Written Contracts 6 yrs. (Rev. Code of Wash. 4-16.040(1))
  • Oral Contracts 3 yrs. (Rev. Code of Wash. 4-16.080)
  • Promissory Notes 6 yrs. (Rev. Code of Wash. 6-16.040(1))
  • Judgments 10 yrs. (Rev. Code of Wash. 4-16.020(2))

WEST VIRGINIA

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 5 yrs. (W.V.C. 55-2-6) 
  • Written Contracts 10 yrs. (W.V.C. 55-2-6)
  • Oral Contracts 5 yrs. (W.V.C. 55-2-6)
  • Promissory Notes 10 yrs. (W.V.C. 55-2-6)
  • Judgments 10 yrs. (W.V.C. 38-3-18 & 38--3-6) All Judgments create liens on all real estate of judgment debtor in the county.

WISCONSIN

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 6 yrs. (W.S.A. 893.43)
  • Written Contracts 6 yrs. (W.S.A. 893.43)
  • Oral Contracts 6 yrs. (W.S.A. 893.43)
  • Promissory Notes 6 yrs. (W.S.A. 893.43)
  • Judgments 20 yrs. (W.S.A. 893.40)

WYOMING

  • Open Accounts (Credit Cards) 8 yrs. (WY. S. 1-3-105(a)(ii)
  • Written Contracts 10 yrs. (WY. S. 1-3-`05(a)(i)
  • Oral Contracts 8 yrs. (WY. S. 1-3-105(a)(ii)
  • Promissory Notes 10 yrs. (WY. S. 1-3-105(a)(i)
  • Judgments 10 yrs. (WY. S. 1-16-503)