How to Void a Check

A woman writes a check. This story explains how to write a void check and why you'd need to write a void check.

Carmen Mandato / The Penny Hoarder

Much like cursive, less individuals are finding out the ins and outs of check writing, thanks to advances in direct deposit, online autopay for costs and payment apps like Venmo and PayPal.

But that doesn’t indicate paper checks are going the method of the dodo (not yet, a minimum of).

In reality, to establish automated payments from your checking account for costs, established direct deposits to your checking account from your company and total automatic cleaning home (ACH) transfers, you’ll require to understand how to void a check.

What Is a Voided Check?

Voided checks are genuine checks that can no longer be utilized as legal tender. The minute you void a check, you’ve rendered that check ineffective for real payment functions.

How to Void a Check

  1. Get a blue or black ink pen.
  2. Write the word “VOID” in big letters throughout the front of the check, or you can compose “VOID” in uppercase on the date line, payee line, payment quantity box, quantity line and signature line.
  3. Avoid writing “VOID” over the routing number and checking account number at the bottom, as these are what will be utilized to establish your checking account for direct deposit or withdrawals.
Pro Tip

When voiding a check, you ought to not sign your name on the signature line. You likewise do not require to date it.

After you void the check, take down the check number and the factor for voiding in your check register. (This is the record of all your payments from and deposits into your checking account. While most banks offer this for you nowadays by means of an app and/or electronic banking website, it’s wise to tape checks by hand too and compare that versus the digital accounting your bank or cooperative credit union deals. Remember: Honest errors occur.)

Again, when you’ve voided the check, you can no longer utilize it, so be particular you’re all set to void that particular check prior to doing so. There’s no going back.

Pro Tip

Keep your voided check or take an image and/or scan it and wait so you can utilize it in the future. That method, you don’t need to lose a tidy check each time somebody requests a one.

What to Do If You Don’t Have Checks

Nowadays, individuals depend upon a mix of mobile wallets, payment apps, debit cards, direct deposit and electronic costs payments to manage their financial resources, rendering checks ineffective for lots of. As such, there are individuals out there with savings account who just do not have a checkbook.

So what takes place if you don’t have a checkbook however require a voided check? You have a couple of choices:

  • You can purchase checks. Many banks offer you your very first set of look for complimentary, and still others offer you a variety of checks a year complimentary of charge. These generally take 7 to 10 organization days to deliver, so if you require to void a check rapidly, this isn’t a perfect service, though it still may make good sense to do this now for the next time you require a voided check. Does your bank charge for extra sets of checks? You can purchase checks from business outside your bank — with enjoyable graphics and (typically) more affordable costs.
  • You can ask for a starter check. If your bank charges for checks or will take a week or more to send them, you can see if your regional branch can print you a starter check to void. They ought to have the ability to print this in-house for a much faster turn-around. These are likewise called counter checks, and they often might be used for a charge.
  • You can get a deposit slip. The point of voiding a look for direct deposits or autopay is to offer an organization a proven copy of your routing and account numbers. A deposit slip consists of the very same info as a voided check, and many banks provide these to members.
  • You can ask for other paperwork. If all else stops working and you’re in a rush to offer somebody with your account number and routing number on something authorities from your bank or cooperative credit union, demand other paperwork, like a note on your bank’s letterhead. This might be enough when establishing direct deposit or ACH info.
  • You can establish information online. Voided checks aren’t the only method to ready up with a brand-new account. Many energy business and other receivers of your month-to-month payments don’t demand voided checks when you register online. Some will make insignificant withdrawals (and practically instantly return the funds) simply to confirm that you’ve established the account properly to pay costs online, so make certain your bank account is effectively moneyed prior to attempting this out to prevent overdraft charges.

Why You Might Be Asked to Void a Check

  • Direct deposit: Often, companies will ask for a voided check to establish direct deposit for your income, implying the cash will go directly into your checking account. In reality, 93% of Americans get their incomes by doing this. The voided check permits your company to see your account info, including your checking account number and routing number, and guarantee they’ve been precisely participated in your company’s payroll system. This can be a blank check.
  • Automatic electronic payments or basic cash withdrawals: Similarly, business that immediately withdraw cash from your bank account, like your home mortgage business, will wish to guarantee they have your proper checking account info. They’ll utilize a real, legal check to establish costs payments from your account. You might likewise require to offer a voided look for other costs pay situations, though this is not as typical. You ought to utilize a blank check for this function too.
  • Mistakes: You can likewise cancel a check if you slip up while composing it. For example, if you are composing a $100 check however unintentionally add an additional absolutely no (making it $1,000), it’s much safer to cancel the whole check so that nobody unintentionally withdraws $1,000 from your account prior to you can stop them.

How to Cancel a Check

So what do you do if you require to cancel a check payment when you’ve currently handed the check out to somebody else? Are you out of luck? Not totally.

Please note: Canceling a check is various from voiding a check and is generally accompanied by some seriousness.

Let’s state you have actually sent out a check and recognized later that you have actually made a mistake, such as overpayment. You should call your bank rapidly to cancel it. You will require the following info:

  • The check number
  • The quantity the check was produced
  • The date of the check
  • The check recipient’s name or organization name
  • The factor for the stop payment

The graphic shows the parts of the check, which includes the check number, the date of the check, the amount the check was made for, the recipient's name or business name.

You ought to have a carbon copy of the check in your checkbook that you can reference. You can likewise evaluate your check register to get this info.

Some banks will enable you to do this by means of app or electronic banking, however you can likewise visit your bank face to face or contact us to cancel the check. Tell them you require a stop payment order, however be prepared to pay a charge for this service.

If the recipient of the check has actually currently cashed or transferred it, do not attempt the stop payment online. Visit the bank face to face or provide a call.

Frequently Asked Questions (Frequently Asked Questions)

Here are some frequently asked concerns about voiding checks. See if these response any of your concerns:

How Do You Void a Check Sent to You?

If you have actually gotten a check and the payer has actually asked you to void it, initially guarantee that you will get all cash owed to you in some other kind (money, Venmo, a brand-new check that will clear, and so on.). Once you make sure you will still get appropriate payment, you can void another individual’s check constructed to you; just compose “VOID” in big letters throughout the check. For excellent step, you ought to shred or burn the check.

Can You Void a Check That’s Been Mailed?

If you have actually unintentionally sent by mail a check to the incorrect individual or in the incorrect quantity, you can try to cancel it prior to it is cashed or transferred. Some banks enable you to do this online or by means of their mobile apps, however you can likewise call your bank or go to a branch face to face to provide a stop payment order.

A stop payment generally includes a charge. You ought to likewise alert the payee that you have actually provided a stop payment.

Do You Sign a Void Check?

If you have actually currently signed a check and after that wish to void it, you still can by composing “VOID” throughout the front of the check. However, you do not require to sign a space check to cancel it. The big “VOID” will be enough in voiding the check, no signature required.

Looking for a brand-new bank account that satisfies your requirements? Check out these online bank account for a greater APY and much better user experience.

Contributor Timothy Moore is an author and editor in Cincinnati who covers banks, loans insurance coverage, travel and vehicle subjects for The Penny Hoarder.


A news media journalist always on the go, I've been published in major publications including VICE, The Atlantic, and TIME.

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