How to Void a Check in the U.S.: Everything You Need to Know

Do you have to void a check but aren’t sure how to go about it? You’ve come to the right place. When it comes to personal finance, there could be several reasons why you need to know how to void a check associated with your bank account number.

Read on how to safely void a check without risking the safety of your bank account.

Void a check

3 Steps to Void a Check

You may know how to write a check, but making a voided check is different. If you want to void a check, you have to ensure your bank account number and other personal banking information remain intact.

You have to make sure the check cannot be cashed or missed in any way. To protect yourself, here are the steps to properly void a check.

1. Write “VOID” across the front.

To start, take a blank check and write “VOID” in large letters across the center of the check in black or blue ink. This should be written large enough to be visible to anyone. You can also choose to write “VOID” in smaller letters on key areas like the signature line, payee line, and amount line on the right.

The idea is to make sure this check cannot be used by anyone to wrongfully steal money from your checking account without blocking out the bank account number, which is most likely the only part of the voided check you need.

2. Add this note to your check register.

Once you have made your void check, be sure to note it in your check register. This will allow you to keep track of what happened to that check.

You should take care to write all checks in your check register to ensure you don’t lose or misplace any checks. Lost checks can result in an unwanted debit from your account.

3. Make a copy of your void check.

Once you have written up your void check, make a photocopy of it to keep on hand. This way, if you need to provide any other voided checks, you can use the copy instead of wasting another check from your checkbook.

3 Main Reasons To Void a Check

There are several reasons you may need to know how to void a check. Here is a closer look at some reasons why you might need to void paper checks.

1. Automatic bill payments.

If you are looking to set up automated bill payments, the service provider will likely ask for a void check. This is normally done for two reasons: to verify your identity with a credit union and to make sure the bank account number from which the funds will be withdrawn is noted down correctly.

Your institution and branch number and the bank routing number are needed for automatic payments, and this information is written on the bottom of your check.

Any automated withdrawals require a void check. Instead of using your credit card for bill payments, the funds can be withdrawn directly from your account.

2. Set up direct deposit.

If you have started a new job, your employer will likely pay you through direct deposit. Your employer may ask for a void check to ensure there are no errors in taking down your bank account information. They will also ask you to fill out a direct deposit authorization form. This will ensure there are no delays in you receiving your payment.

After receiving your weekly pay, you will receive a deposit slip to confirm. This is another element of online banking that can simplify your personal finances, and it is much quicker than check payment.

Void a check

3. You made an error.

If you have made an error on a check you are filling out, you should void it before tossing it away. If it falls into the wrong hands, the check may still be cashable.

For example, let’s say you write a check to your neighbor but accidentally write it for the wrong amount. This check could be deposited by someone else if found. To ensure your bank account is safe from fraud, always write “VOID” across the check in big letters to ensure it can never be cashed.

Common FAQs:

Can you void a check after it has been delivered?

If you have made an error on a check and the payee has received it, you can no longer void the check. The only way to ensure a check is not cashed by the recipient is to call your financial institution and put a stop payment on your check.

You will need to provide the check number and the total amount written. There will also be a fee associated with placing a stop payment order on your check. Implementing a stop payment will not affect your credit score.

What if I’m out of checks?

If you have run out of checks, you can either order more or go to your financial institution and have them provide you with one.

The Difference Between Marking a Check for Mobile Deposit and Voiding a Check

For a check to be eligible for mobile deposit by the recipient, the payer must write “For Mobile Deposit Only” at the bottom of the check, directly under the signature on the front of the check. This will mark the check for mobile deposits only.

This is not to be confused with a void check. A void check cannot be cashed in any way. Marking a check for a mobile deposit ensures the recipient can only deposit the funds by mobile banking and not in person at a cash counter.

Further Reading: Spring Cleaning with Your Finances: 3 Steps for a Fresh Start

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