A valid ID and a bank account are common requirements for cashing a check. So, what happens when you badly need to cash a check but you don’t have a valid form of ID or even a bank account? Can you cash the check anyway? Of course! You can cash a check even without a valid ID or a bank account.
You can cash a check without a valid ID or a bank account using any of these methods:
- Signing the check over
- Cash your check at a retailer
- Use a prepaid card account
- Using a Payday lender
While it’s possible to cash a check without a bank account or ID, you’ll pay more to cash the check than you would if you had a valid ID or a bank account. Below, I have highlighted some of the best ways to cash your check without providing an ID or account number. It’s left for you to select that which sits well with you.
How to Cash a Check Without a Bank Account or ID?
Cashing a check is difficult for people without a bank account or valid ID. Some 7.1 million United States households don’t have a bank account, based on a survey from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
There are a few ways to cash a check without a bank account, but they cost more money, take more time, and are riskier than cashing a check at a bank where you have an account.
It’s not unusual to come across individuals who don’t have a bank account or a valid form of identification. In fact, according to a study by the Brennan Center, more than 21 million American adults don’t have an ID form with a photo issued by the U.S. government.
In some other cases, people may have an expired ID, or their document got stolen or lost. Generally, you need an ID to cash a check, so you should have it with you when visiting the bank for that purpose.
The good news is that many documents can take the place of an ID, so you need to reach out to your bank and find out what they accept. If you have a certain document you want to use as an ID, you can ask them whether they’ll take it.
Luckily for you, you can also cash a check even if you don’t have an ID, so you don’t have to bother. Here are some of the best ways to cash a check without a bank account or ID.
- Signing the Check Over
A good way to cash a check without a bank account or ID is by signing the check over to a trusted individual who has a valid ID. The person can be a family member, friend, or anyone you trust. The check can be endorsed if you sign your name and then write “Pay to the order of” on it, then write the full name of the individual you trust with this.
The check will be endorsed underneath; after this, the individual you sign the check over to will have to provide a form of identification. The ID should correlate with the name written by you on the check. Of course, you don’t have to show your ID. The bank will then have to choose if they cash the check or deposit the money and then wait for the clearing of the check.
- Cash your Check at a Retailer
Don’t like the two options above? Then, you can consider cashing your check at a retailer.
You see, there are many grocery chains and big retail stores like Walmart that offer check-cashing services. Walmart doesn’t cash handwritten checks, but it does cash other types of checks, including:
- Cashier’s checks
- Insurance settlement checks
- Preprinted checks
- Payroll checks
- Government checks, including tax checks
- 401(K) disbursement checks
- Two-party personal checks up to $200
Walmart charges $4 to cash checks up to $1,000, a max fee of $8 for checks more than %1,000, and a max fee of $6 for two-party checks. Many grocery chains offer check-cashing services. Kroger and Publix are a few. Fees normally range from $3-$6.
- Use a prepaid card account
Some banks will allow you to cash your checks at their ATMs and load the cash onto a prepaid debit card that you can use to initiate purchases. This is an option to consider if you don’t want to wait in line at a bank branch or a retailer each time you need to cash a check.
However, like other options listed here, it comes with fees. These accounts usually come with a monthly service fee and that could reduce your profits even more than a per-check fee if you aren’t receiving checks frequently.
- Use a Payday Lender
Payday lenders are financial firms that provide small, short-term loans to be repaid when the borrower receives a paycheck. These people are used to taking people’s checks and giving out cash without asking many questions, and they’ll likely cash your check without asking for your ID if you visit them. But the issue with these options is that it is expensive.
Payday lenders are known for charging exorbitant fees for their check cashing services. You might walk away with less cash than you would if you cash your check at a retailer or the issuing bank. I advise you to use payday lenders if you have exhausted other options.