This step-by-step guide will explain everything you need to know to fill or void a check.
A step-by-step guide to filling out a check
Filling a check correctly is important since not doing it right can leave you with a payment due.
In the era of mobile payments, it’s often easy to transfer money digitally. But there are still certain places and times that only accept cash or checks as payment methods. Wondering how to fill out a check? Have you not used your checkbook for a while? Consider these steps when filling out a check to make sure the recipient can cash it.
1. Write the date.
You will need to put today’s date in the upper right corner of the check. It is important to put the correct date, since banks are not required to accept checks that are more than six months old. This is because there is a body of law called the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) that regulates this in the US.
You may have to postdate or postdate a check in certain situations. Just remember that doing so means that the recipient will not be able to cash the check before the date indicated on it.
Make sure you write the month, day and year correctly. The payee may not be able to cash the check if the date is misspelled or not legible. In that case, your financial institution will return the check to you.
2. Write the name of the beneficiary.
On the first line of the check, you will see the words “Pay to the order of.” On this line, you must clearly write the name of the person or company that will cash the check.
The recipient’s name must be written on the check so that you can deposit the funds from the check into your bank account. Make sure to write their full name. Please write it clearly so that the recipient can deposit the funds correctly.
3. Fill in the amount in numbers.
You will see a small box on the right side of the check. In this box, write the total amount of the payment. Some checks include the dollar sign, while others do not. You don’t have to place it.
Just fill in the amount of the check in numbers. Make sure to include the decimal point in the correct place, so your recipient has no problem cashing the check.
4. Fill in the amount written in words.
Just below the payee line, there is a blank line with the word “dollars” on the right. On this line, fill in the amount of the check in words.
For example, if the amount of the check is $ 142.57, you would write “one hundred forty-two and 57/100” on this line. If the dollar amount is exact, you should still enter “0/100” to clarify that no cents were omitted.
To the right of this line, you might see the number 100 with a line above it. If your check has this option, you can put the pennies there instead of including them in the dollar amount. You can also enter “00” for exact dollar amounts.
4. Sign the check clearly.
In the lower right corner, you will see a blank line. You must sign the check clearly and legibly.
The check cannot be cashed unless there is a valid signature from the primary account holder on that line. A checking account can have more than one authorized signer.
5. Write a note.
Filling out the note line at the bottom left of the check is optional, unless requested by the payee. This field can help the recipient to keep track of received payments. It is also useful for record keeping.
On the note line, you can specify what the check is for.
6. Keep a record of your checks.
When writing a check, it’s a good idea to write it down in your check register, if you have no other method of keeping track of your expenses. On the back of your checkbook, you will see a register where you can list what each check is issued for. You can write the check number, the amount, the payee and the date. This is useful when budgeting your personal finances and keeping track of payments made.
Online banking can also help you keep track of your checks. Many banking applications will allow you to view scanned images of your checks, once cashed. You will see them in your account activity.