Can You Deposit Someone Else’s Check In Your Account?
Whether you visit your local branch or use a smartphone, writing and depositing a check is a straightforward process. And with the advent of modern technology and the Check 21 Act, processing and clearing speeds are changing for the better, giving consumers faster access to their money.
But can you deposit someone else’s check into your account? In most cases, you can, but there are specific conditions, guidelines and endorsement types that you need to be aware of for a smooth and successful transaction.
What Is an Endorsement on a Check?
An endorsement means you must put your signature on the back of the check before making a deposit. With so many checks circulating in the country, enforcing safeguards that protect people’s money from going to the wrong people is essential. One of the ways to do so is by requiring a check endorsement.
Although it’s a simple process, endorsements come with conditions and specifications. For example, if the check is for “Sara and Ken,” both of them must endorse it. If it is for “Sara or Ken,” then either one can sign.
There are three types of endorsements:
- Blank Endorsements: With a blank endorsement, you sign your name on the back of the check and don’t include any other instructions.
- Restrictive Endorsements: Sometimes, you only want the check deposited but not cashed. In this case, you write “For Deposit Only” on the back and include the bank account number. Depending on your bank, you may need to write “For Mobile Deposit Only” if depositing the check through a smartphone app.
- Full Endorsements: These only happen when you want to create a third-party check that someone else may deposit. To do so, you must write “Pay to the order of,” add the person’s name and then sign your name beneath.
If you want to make a blank endorsement, do so when you’re physically at the bank location for an extra layer of security. Additionally, always endorse your check with a black or blue pen to make it easier to read and prevent someone from erasing the signature.
What Should You Know Before Depositing Someone Else’s Check?
Sometimes, you may need to deposit someone else’s check into your account. Generally speaking, most banks and credit unions will not give you a hard time when you want to make such a deposit. But since each one has different guidelines, you must follow them closely to avoid mishaps or a voided check. Here are some things to keep in mind.
- If you are unsure what your bank’s policies are, call the customer support line and ask them about their process. Inform them of your intent to deposit a check in another person’s name first to see if this is possible. If it is, they will likely give you information on what details you must include on the back of the check.
- The bank may require the presence of the other person and yours to complete the transaction. If so, you must present both IDs so the teller can verify your identity before making the deposit.
Can You Deposit Your Spouse or Minor Child’s Check Into Your Account?
You can deposit your spouse’s check into your checking account with an endorsement. If your spouse consents to you cashing their check, they must endorse it with their name, include “Pay to the order of,” and write your name. The bank’s primary goal is to ensure that the payee authorizes the person making the deposit.
Here is an example of how the endorsement would look on the back of the check:
- “John Smith, Pay to the order of Jane Smith.” After your spouse completes this step, you must sign your name under that statement before you can make the deposit.
If you have a minor child with no bank account and who has a check written in their name — such as if they received a birthday gift from a relative — you can still deposit it in your account. However, there is no set way to do this because each bank has different requirements.
Generally, you can ask the child to sign their name on the back of the check and write “minor” next to their signature. Then, you must sign your name directly below your child’s endorsement and include your account number.
What If Your Child Is Too Young To Endorse Their Check?
Speak to a bank representative about the endorsement procedure if your child is too young to sign their name. Sometimes, you can write their name and include your signature below it.
Before taking any steps, you must call your bank and check what specific actions they require before writing anything on the back of the check. Any errors may cause issues when you attempt to make the deposit.
Alternatively, the bank may have additional rules and documentation requirements to deposit a minor’s check regardless of how you wrote the endorsement. Remember that you will need a proper form of ID for you and your child before making the deposit.
Can You Deposit a Deceased Person’s Check Into Your Account?
In the event of a payee’s death, you may deposit their check under certain conditions.
According to the Cornell Legal Information Institute, an executor or administrator of an estate may endorse the check.
This process does have specific verbiage, which may look like the following:
- “John Smith by Jane Smith, executor of the estate of John Smith.”
If there is no executor of an estate, you must contact the issuing party and alert them of the payee’s death. Depending on your relationship, the issuer may write another for a different payee.
The answer to “can you deposit someone’s check in your account” is yes. Still, there are different processes to be aware of depending on your bank and the payee.
Since each institution has rules and internal controls, always clear the matter with your bank before writing anything behind a check not made in your name. This step ensures you have the correct information to make a successful deposit without hassles, headaches or obstacles.
- Can I deposit a check that is not in my name?
- In most cases, you can, but there are specific guidelines and endorsement rules set by each bank or credit union for this process. If you are unsure what your bank's policies are, call the customer support line and ask them about their process.
- Can I deposit a friend's check in my account?
- Yes, it is possible to deposit your friend's check in your account. To do so, they must endorse it with their name, include "Pay to the order of" and write your name.
- Can I deposit my daughter's check into my account?
- Yes, you can do so by asking your child to sign their name on the back of the check and write "minor" next to their signature. Then, you must sign your name directly below your child's endorsement and include your account number.
Information is accurate as of Dec. 15, 2022.
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- U.S. News. 2019. "Endorsing a Check the Right Way at the Right Time."
- Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. "Checking Accounts: Understanding Your Rights."