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How to Cash a Check

How to Cash a Check

There are many people who do not know how to cash a check. The procedure is very simple, provided you fulfill the necessary requirements.
Sujata Iyer
People have become so used to carrying plastic money around and having everything charged to their credit cards, that there are quite a number of people who do not know how to cash a check. True that ATMs and wireless transfers have made life much easier with their quick cash availability, but there are still checks being issued which need to be cashed. And in order to get that cash, you need to know how to cash it. In this article, we will tell you the different methods by which you can cash a check, almost instantly.

...with a Bank Account

It is quite easy to cash a check if you have an already existing bank account. Given below are the easy steps to do it.
  • When you receive the check, here's what you do to cash it when you have a bank account. You can go to your bank and present them with the check.
  • But before doing this, you need to endorse it. Flip the check and sign on the back. This is called 'endorsing' a check. By doing this, you are giving proof to the bank that you yourself are cashing it.
  • With this method, you will also need to carry along with you, a photo I.D. This could be your driver's license, a state issued I.D. card, school I.D., etc. Remember, your own bank will cash another bank's check that has been drawn in your favor only if you have enough funds to cover the amount that you are withdrawing.
  • Also, if the check is for an unusually large amount, the bank will definitely take some more precautions to verify your identity and probably take a little longer to cash the check.
...without a Bank Account

If you do not have an account with the bank that is mentioned on the check, or do not have a bank account at all, you still do not need to worry. Here's how you cash the check.
  • All you need to do is look at the check and find out which bank has drawn it.
  • Then, make sure that it is a valid check. Do checks expire? Yes, they do. So check that you cash it before its validity is up. Your name must be on it, along with the date of issue and the seal or signature of the person or company issuing it.
  • Now, you need to go to the bank that has drawn the check. Find out the nearest branch or go to the branch mentioned on the check for easier and quicker cashing.
  • Make sure you have some sort of photo I.D. with you. A driver's license, a social security card, a state I.D. card, a credit card with your name on it are all acceptable forms of identification.
  • Most banks ask for at least two forms of identification, especially when cashing checks for people who do not have accounts in their banks. This is a precautionary measure that they use, because if they do not verify the identity of the person cashing the check, it may lead to a loss for their customer and also to the bank itself.
  • Once you reach the bank, present the check and your identification documents to the teller. He or she will verify appropriately the signature or seal of their customer and hand you the cash almost immediately.
Apart from banks, you can also cash a check from other places like grocery stores, Wal-Mart, or other places that cash checks. They will require identification and you will also need to forgo some portion of the total amount on the check at their store as a processing fee.