To cash a check, you need to have a bank account and a valid means of identification. But what happens when you don’t have these things? In that case, you can still write a check. However, you won’t be the one to cash it. So does it mean someone else can cash your check on your behalf?
Someone else can cash your check on your behalf. To do so, you’ll need to sign over the check to the individual. You’ll also have to ensure that your recipient’s bank can cash a signed-over check.
There are many reasons why you may need someone to cash a check for you. Perhaps you don’t have a bank account, or maybe you misplaced your valid ID or don’t have one. Regardless of the reason, you need to first determine if someone can cash your check on their behalf. I have answered that question in this post. I have also highlighted how to go about it.
How Can I Cash a Check That Is Not in My Name?
Can Someone Else Cash My Check for Me?
Banks will let you cash or deposit a personal check for someone else. This is especially useful for individuals without a bank account, as it means a close companion or relative can cash in a personal check on your behalf.
For an individual to cash a check on your behalf, you’ll need to sign it over to the person. To do so, you need to follow these steps:
You may be keen to sign a check-over and move on, but there are five important steps to follow. Here is how to sign a check over to an individual the right way to prevent possible issues:
- Check that your recipient can accept the check
It may appear obvious, but the first step is an honest talk with your recipient. You should ensure they are willing and able to accept your check before you try to sign it over.
- Confirm your recipient’s bank can deposit a signed-over check
The second step is important. You need to ensure that your recipient’s bank will accept a signed-over check. Depending on the bank, there may be certain endorsement rules to stick to. The easiest way to get this information may be for your recipient to contact their bank and ask.
- Sign your name behind the back of the check
Look for the endorsement line behind the check and sign your name as it appears on the front of the check on the “pay to” line.
- Write “pay to the order of” with your recipient’s name or company.
To sign a check over, you need to write “pay to the order of” and your third party’s full name on the next line underneath your endorsement on the back of the check. The precise location may differ by bank.
- Give your recipient the check.
After applying the steps above, you may deliver the check to your recipient, and they should try to cash the check.
When Might I Want to Sign Over a Check?
There are some reasons why you may want to sign a check over to someone else. For example, you may not live close enough to a bank branch or be physically able to go to your bank in person. It’s also likely that you don’t have a smartphone, or your bank doesn’t support mobile deposits.
And signing a check over to an individual could be a convenient time-saver. If you owe money to someone or a company, it might seem easier to circumvent your bank account and pay them sooner.
Problems You Might Encounter in Signing Over a Check
As you kick, start the process of signing over a check, and keep an eye out for potential roadblocks. One of the most common issues could start with your recipient’s financial institution. Not all banks or credit unions will accept a signed-over check, and those that do may have some stringent guidelines.
Also, some banks won’t allow you to deposit a signed-over check through a mobile check deposit, so you should ensure that your recipient has easy access to a physical branch.
Beware of Check-Cashing Scams!
How to Cash a Check Without a Bank Account or ID?
Unfortunately, check-cashing scams have become very common, so it pays to be careful if someone asks you to deposit or cash a third-party check for them. After you make the deposit, the scammer may ask you to send the money back to them, or someone else before your bank realizes it’s a fake check.
The scammer may ask for the money back in cash or as a personal check, prepaid card, ACH transfer, person-to-person transfer, or wire transfer. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Company, or FDIC, three of the most common scam scenarios are lotteries, online auctions, and secret shopping opportunities.
Here is the issue: as soon as the check bounces, you’ll likely be culpable for repaying the bank the money you withdrew to give to the scammer. If this occurs, you should report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, local protection agencies, or the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Be careful of any check you get from a stranger, particularly if they ask you to accept a third-party endorsement and return some (or all) of the funds.