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How to Write a Check

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Old 11-22-2019, 12:36 AM
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Default How to Write a Check

Writing checks is an easy and important s**** every adult should know. To write a check, fill in the current date on the line in the upper right corner, the name of the recipient in the "Pay" field, the numerical amount next to the dollar sign ($), and the written form of the same amount on the line beneath; sign the check on the bottom right line and consider adding a "memo" about the check's purpose on the lower left line. The more often you write checks, the more natural the process will become.


Annotated Check

Sample Annotated Check

Writing a Check
  1. Write the date on the line in the upper right-hand corner. There will be a blank space next to or above the word "Date." Remember that a check is a legal document, and the date written here should always be the day that you sign the bottom of the check.[1]

  2. Write the name of the recipient. Write the name of the person or company you're sending the check to next to the line that says "Pay to the Order of." If it's a company and you're not sure exactly what it's called, make sure you get that information right before you write the check. You can also just pay the check to "Cash," but be careful, because that means that anyone can cash it.[2]

    • If it's to an individual, include both their first and last names. If they are a 'Jr.' or a 'Sr.' you should include this as well.
    • If the check is going to an organization, write out its full name. Do not use acronyms unless explicitly given permission.
  3. Write the amount of the check to the right of the dollar sign. Write the exact amount, using dollars and cents. If the check is for twenty dollars, write "20.00."

  4. Write the monetary amount of the check in word form below the "Pay to the Order of" line. Make sure you also express the number of cents if there are cents, or write "even" at the end of the amount so that another person doesn't add more money to the amount. If you've written a check for $20.00, write either "Twenty dollars and 0/100 cents," "Twenty dollars even," or just "Twenty" with a line running all the way from the right of the word to the end of the line.[3]

  5. Sign the check on the line in the bottom right corner. Your check will be invalid if it is not personally signed.[4]

  6. Fill out the memo section on the bottom left of the check. Though this part of the check is optional, it can be helpful to write a note to yourself or the recipient to remember what the check is for. You can write "For May rent" if you're sending a rent check. Also, many companies or landlords require that you provide some other information in the memo section; some companies require you to write your ID number in the "Memo" section, and if you're writing a rent check for your apartment, you should write the apartment # right in the memo section.[5]


  • Always draw a line if there is still space after you write your amount in word form. This will prevent someone writing in an additional few zeros.
  • Always sign your name the same way.
  • Always use a pen in a dark color such as blue or black. Gel pens are recommended because ink removing liquids do not work as well with the gel.
  • If you're writing a check that you don't want to be cashed until a certain day, write the day that you'd like it to be cashed. For example, if you're writing a rent check early but don't want it cashed until the first of the month, write that date on the check. Note, however, post dating won't guarantee that the recipient will not be able to cash the check before the date written on the check
  • When you write the amount of the check in the little box, make sure you write it as close to the dollar sign as possible. Forgers will try to sneak in an extra digit.[6]
  • Always make sure you use the correct date. If you don't know the date, guess an earlier one. You can postdate a check, but not everyone will accept them.
  • Make sure your check is written out correctly with the correct spelling of the name and the correct amount of money due to that person.
  • When tearing the check from your checkbook, be sure to tear as cleanly as possible. The printed numbers along the bottom of the check, called the MICR line, are necessary for cashing or depositing the check; so is the check number, usually located in the top right near the date. If any of these numbers are partially torn off, the check will be rendered invalid.
  • Remember that post-dated checks can be deposited immediately. The date is used to determine when a check becomes stale and will be refused by the bank (typically 7 years after the date unless otherwise specified), not the earliest date that the check can be cashed. A lot of people have been burned by unscrupulous people promising to hold onto checks until the specified date(s).
Things You'll Need
  • A bank checking account
  • A book of checks
  • A pen
  1. http://www.themint.org/teens/writing-a-check.html
  2. https://www.immihelp.com/newcomer/wr...heck-tips.html
  3. https://comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/file-pay/check.php
  4. https://www.huntington.com/Personal/...-write-a-check
  5. https://www.investopedia.com/univers...g/banking3.asp
  6. http://www.lawfirms.com/resources/cr...heck-fraud.htm
  7. http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/postdated-checks.htm
  8. https://www.gobankingrates.com/banki...-read-a-check/
  9. https://www.checkaflip.com/s/online-shopping-how-to-save-money/

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