How To Void a Check: 3 Easy Steps

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You may be asked to provide a voided check when setting up direct deposit or other automated payments or withdrawals involving your checking account. Knowing how to void a check correctly is important to keep your bank account and personal information secure.

Fortunately, voiding a check is simple and can be successfully done in just a few steps.

What Is a Voided Check?

A voided check is not intended to be accepted for payment. To void a check, it must have “void” written on the front of it. The banking information printed on the voided check can be used to set up an electronic link to make payments to or withdraw funds from your bank account. This information typically includes:

A voided check can also be a canceled check, and once it is voided, it cannot be accepted for payment by any intended payee. In some situations, you might need to void a check because of errors — for example, the check may have been incomplete, filled out incorrectly, or addressed to the wrong payee.

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3 Easy Steps To Void a Check

You can void a check in three steps:

Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Remove a blank check from your checkbook.
  2. Use a black pen or marker to write the word “VOID” across the front of the check in large letters–preferably in all caps.
  3. Make a copy of your voided check and store it in a safe place for your records. Alternatively, you can scan the check and save it as a document or photo on your computer.

It’s really that easy. A check cannot be used as payment for anything to anyone after it has been voided.

Why Would You Need To Void a Check?

There are several common reasons why you would need to do this.

Direct Deposit

By setting up direct deposit, you allow your employer to send your paychecks electronically to your bank account. Direct deposit is an ACH or electronic funds transfer service that is free to employees, and it’s simple to set up:

  1. Obtain a direct deposit form from your employer.
  2. Complete the form online or fill it out on paper and return it, directly or by email, to your employer for processing.
  3. Monitor your account to see when the money has been deposited.

Preauthorized Direct Payments

If you have monthly expenses such as a mortgage or rent, a car loan, a life insurance policy or utility bills, then you might find it convenient to preauthorize recurring payments from your checking account each month instead of constantly writing checks or making bank transfers.

You Make a Mistake on a Check

If you make a mistake while writing out a check, such as the wrong amount or payee, you can write “void” on the check and then destroy it. Be sure to note the voided check in your checkbook register to avoid any discrepancies in your banking records.

What To Do If You Have No Paper Checks

Some banks do not offer checks with their checking accounts. If your bank does not supply checks, you might find yourself in a predicament when you are required to provide a voided check to your employer or another entity. If you need to void a check but have no paper checks, you can:

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  • Go to your bank and ask them to print out a voided check. Be aware that you may be charged a fee for this service.
  • Ask whether your bank can provide an electronic or paper form for you to complete and return to the party that requires the check.

Advice

If you’re like most people, you might not remember the last time you paid for something with a paper check. Still, you might consider keeping a few checks handy for the next time you change jobs or get a new life insurance policy.

In these instances, an electronic funds transfer is easier if you can produce a voided paper check to have payments deposited straight into your bank account.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

About the Author

Kathy Evans is a personal finance freelance writer and entrepreneur with a technical writing and instructional systems design background. She holds an MS in technical writing and informational design and is currently a doctoral student in instructional technology at Towson University. Through work experience in the federal government as well as commercial and nonprofit industries, she has focused her freelance writing on finance, investing and economic content with a specialization in budget coaching.  

How To Void a Check: 3 Easy Steps
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