Last updated on September 18th, 2023 at 02:44 pm
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 this guide created by our team here at Remitly to learn how to safely void a check without risking the safety of your bank account.
Reasons for Using a Voided Check
You may need to know how to void a check for several reasons. Here is a closer look at why you might need to void paper checks.
1. Automatic bill payments.
If you want to set up automated electronic payments for bills, the service provider will likely ask for a voided check. This is normally done for two reasons: to verify your identity with a credit union or bank and to make sure the bank account number from which the funds will be withdrawn is noted down correctly.
Your institution, branch number, and bank routing number are needed for automatic payments; this information is at the bottom of your check. A voided check enables companies that make deductions for automatic payments to avoid problems caused by user errors.
Without a voided check, you may have entered your checking account number incorrectly. If someone else has the same account number as the incorrect entry, the wrong person may end up being debited.
Once the company you wish to pay has this information, the funds can be directly withdrawn from your account. This way, you won’t have to mail a check or use your credit card.
2. Set up direct deposit.
If you have started a new job, your employer will likely pay you through a bank account. Many employers ask for a voided check to ensure no errors in taking down your bank account information.
They will also likely ask you to fill out a direct deposit authorization form. This will ensure there are no delays in receiving your payment.
After receiving your weekly pay, you will receive a deposit slip to confirm. Direct deposits are another element of online banking that can simplify your finances and is much quicker than check payments.
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. The check may still be cashable if it falls into the wrong hands.
For example, let’s say you write a check to your neighbor but accidentally write it for the wrong amount. Writing a new check will solve the problem, but you need to be careful with the old one.
The incorrect check could be deposited by someone else if you throw it away and someone else finds it. 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.
What are the three steps to voiding a check?
You may know how to write a check, but making voided checks is different. If you want to void a check, you have to ensure your bank account number and other personal banking information remain intact.
In addition, you’ll want to ensure that the check cannot be cashed. 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 print “VOID” in large letters across the center with a blue or black pen.
Today, many banks use technology to convert paper checks into electronic payments to process transactions faster. If you use a color other than blue or black, the machines that scan checks may miss the “VOID” label and process the check anyway.
When writing the word “VOID,” make the letters large and easy to read. You can also write “VOID” in smaller letters on key areas like the signature line, payee line, and amount line on the right, but this is not mandatory.
Although you want to make the lettering as large as possible, be careful not to make any marks along the bottom if you need to give the check to someone to deposit or withdraw money electronically. The check won’t be usable to the other party if the words are so big that they cover the account details like routing and account numbers.
2. Add this note to your check register.
Once you have made your voided check, be sure to note it in your check register. Doing so will allow you to keep track of what happened to that check.
You should record 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.
When your statements arrive for each current period, double-check your account information. While check voiding should prevent anyone from depositing or cashing the check, keeping an eye on your account is still a good idea.
3. Make a copy of your void check.
Once you have written your void check, photocopy 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.
Keeping a photocopy of void checks can also protect you if somehow an old check you intended to void ever gets presented to a bank in the future.
Can you just write void on a check to void it?
Technically, all you need to void a check is to complete the first step above by writing void on the front. If you don’t do steps two and three, your voided check will still serve its purpose. However, you may run into difficulty in the future if somehow the check is misplaced and someone tries to use it.
What if you don’t use checks but need a voided check?
Only some people order checks for their bank accounts. If you find yourself needing to present a voided check to an employer to have your paycheck direct deposited or to a company for setting up electronic payments, visit your bank.
Many banks offer checks for this purpose, but you may need to pay a fee for the service.
Be sure to let the representative know why you need the voided check. Otherwise, they might give you a starter check that doesn’t have your name printed at the top. Since the check won’t identify you, it may not be sufficient for presenting to someone for setting up direct deposits or payments.
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.
What happens when you void a check in QuickBooks?
When you void a check with Quickbooks accounting software, the amount of the transaction will appear as zeros, and the check will remain in your account information for future reference.
Is it better to void or delete a check from QuickBooks?
Whether you’re using Quickbooks online or with a program, it’s generally best to void a check rather than delete it. Voiding checks makes a record of the transaction for future reference.
If you delete a check, it will disappear from your history. Should you ever need to find out what happened to a particular check number, you won’t be able to easily research the problem as a result.
What is the difference between marking a check for mobile deposit and voiding it?
A mobile deposit is when you take a photograph of a check and send it to your bank rather than putting it in an ATM, taking it to a branch, or mailing it to your financial institution.
For a check to be eligible for mobile deposit by the recipient, the payer must write “For Mobile Deposit Only” at the bottom directly under the signature on the front or back of the check. Making this indication will ensure that the check is usable for mobile deposits only.
Making a check only available for mobile deposits is different from and is not to be confused with a void check. A voided 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.
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 the check.
You will need to provide the check number and the total amount written. If you don’t have all the information, you likely won’t be able to stop the payment from going through.
Typically, banks charge a fee for stop payments. You can request one up until the time the person you wrote the check to presents it. You typically can’t stop payment once they submit the check for cash or deposit it.
The information outlined above will help you easily void checks to set up payments, begin receiving direct deposits, or correct errors. If you still have questions, contact your financial institution.
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