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. You may also need to void a check if you make a mistake when filling one out. Knowing how to void a check correctly is important to keep your bank account and personal information secure.

Fortunately, voiding a check is a simple process requiring only a few quick but essential steps. Keep reading for all you need to know about how to void a check.

How To Void a Check in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Using a blue or black pen, write “VOID” on specific sections on the check including the date line, payee line, amount line, signature line and the amount box. Make sure you do not cover the numbers on the bottom of the check.
  2. Make a copy of the check or keep a record of the voided check, noting the check number.
  3. Destroy the original.

Someone could use an improperly voided check fraudulently, so it is essential to follow these steps to protect your checking account. For instance, using the wrong type of ink or leaving blank lines on the check could make it easier to fall victim to a check washing scam if the voided check falls into the wrong hands.

What If You Lose the Voided Check?

If you can’t remember what you did with the check or you lost it, request that your bank put a stop payment on it. This will likely cost you a fee, but it can provide peace of mind — even if someone finds it, they won’t be able to cash it.

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Why Would You Need To Void a Check?

Even if you rarely write paper checks, you still might need to void one for any of the following reasons:

Direct Deposit

If you want to set up direct deposit and allow your employer to send your paychecks electronically to your bank account, you may need to provide a voided check. Taking your banking information directly from a voided check minimizes the chance that you or your employer use the incorrect information to set up your direct deposit.

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 entering the wrong amount or payee, you can void the check and then write another one with the correct information.

What To Do if You Have No Paper Checks

If you don’t have paper checks for your checking account, you can:

  • Go to your bank and ask them to print out a voided check. Be aware that your bank may charge 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.

Final Take

Even if you do all of your banking electronically, you might have to provide a voided check to set up some of those electronic transactions. It is essential to know how to void a check correctly should the need arise so you don’t put your checking account at risk of fraud.

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  • What are the three steps to voiding a check?
    • To void a check, write "VOID" across the check in black gel ink, making sure to write over all of the check's lines and spaces, then record the voided check in your check register and make a copy of the voided check to keep for your records.
  • How easy is it to void a check?
    • You can easily void any check in your possession by writing "VOID" across the check or on each line of the check.
  • How much does it cost to void a check?
    • There is no cost to void a check still in your possession. However, you may incur a fee if you need the bank to void and put a stop payment on a check you've already dropped in the mail or given to the recipient.
  • Why would you void a check?
    • You may have to provide a voided check to set up a direct deposit or preauthorized direct payments, or if you make an error when filling out a check.

Kathy Evans contributed to the reporting of this article.

The article above was refined via automated technology and then fine-tuned and verified for accuracy by a member of our editorial team.

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