Most banks will not honor the future date on a check if the check is presented at a bank to be cashed or deposited. A postdated check is a check that, in theory, should not be cashed or deposited when received, but rather deposited or cashed on the date shown on the check which is some date in the future. If having a bank cash your check isn’t an option, there are many local and national check-cashing companies and services that you can turn to, including retailers like Walmart. You’ll pay a fee and can only cash checks up to a certain amount, but will be able to access the money  in a matter of minutes. Though paper checks have waned in popularity in recent decades, there are still many instances where you may find yourself the recipient of a payment on paper.

If that’s the case, it’s best to keep the funds available in your account for at least six months. Banks are permitted to pay checks even though payment occurs prior to the date of the check. A check is payable upon demand unless you submit a formal post-dating notice with your bank, possibly for a fee. There is no guarantee that a bank will honor a request to release or hold funds for a postdated check, but it depends on the bank.

However, just be sure to keep enough funds in your account to cover the deposited check in the event the check gets returned. These types of post dated checks can serve as electronic proof of a business transaction in the event that accounting records become lost or damaged. The issuer is hoping that the person receiving the check will honor the request to not deposit the check upon its receipt, but rather deposit or cash the check at a later time. If your bank allows you to deposit checks at an ATM, there may be a delay before those funds are available. Depending on your history with the bank, the type of check, and the dollar amount, some or all of those funds may be held for one or more business days before being released. If you do not want us to pay a stale-dated
or postdated check, you must place a stop payment order on it.

  • … Business days are Monday through Friday, except for federal holidays.
  • … The bank may often request a written statement; if so, issue them your written request as soon as possible.
  • People pay by check much less often now that so much banking is done online.
  • In some states, if a consumer gives the financial institution reasonably timed written notice about a postdated check before the check is received, then the notice is valid for up to six months.
  • This site may be compensated through the bank advertiser Affiliate Program.

However, state law may require the bank or credit union to wait to cash the check if you give it reasonable notice. Generally, state law provides that if you notified your bank or credit union about a post-dated check a reasonable time before it received the check, your notice is valid for six months. During that time, the bank or credit union should not cash the check before the date you wrote on the check.

What is the law on stale dated checks?

If you don’t have your own account and the issuing bank isn’t available in your area, you can turn to a check-cashing service. There are many standalone check-cashing companies nationwide, most of which typically charge a percentage-based fee. You can also go to one of the many retailers and grocery stores that offer this service. Yes, you can cash a check even if you don’t have your own bank account.

  • We are not contractually obligated in any way to offer positive or recommendatory reviews of their services.
  • But what if the check recipient doesn’t listen to my instruction and deposits the check before the written date?
  • Since banks charge an often exorbitant fee for a bounced checks, it is in their best interest to process it, let it bounce and charge the fee instead of rejecting it.
  • You’ll pay a fee and can only cash checks up to a certain amount, but will be able to access the money  in a matter of minutes.

In fact, if a check has no date on it at all, it’s assumed that it was written on the day that you attempt to cash it or deposit it. If you receive an undated check you can fill in the date yourself. When someone writes a check intending not to cover it, they can be guilty of a theft crime. Some states might have a specific name for the crime such as theft by deception, passing bad checks, or negotiating a worthless instrument (checks are a type of “negotiable instrument”). Whether the crime is a misdemeanor or a felony often depends on how much money was involved.

Credit Resources

If the check is returned for insufficient funds, I have to pay an expensive insufficient funds fee, which averages $35.20 at the top 10 U.S. banks. One noteworthy topic had to do with post-dated checks and what happens to them when you attempt to deposit or cash the checks before the date written on them. However, it is illegal to write a check when you know you don’t have the funds to cover it, even if you hope to have the funds later. It is also illegal to pretend to pay someone without actually intending to do so.

What Does it Mean to Post-Date a Check?

Instead, you may want to deposit the check, as banks will often allow you to make the transaction, but not actually deposit the money until the postdate. If you don’t need the money immediately, this is another courtesy to the check writer, and this can help keep trust between you and them. There are multiple reasons why you may need to write a postdated check and the reasons can vary greatly depending on your personal situation. Below are some common reasons why individuals choose to write postdated checks.

more stack exchange communities

Customers can cash post-dated checks at most banks, credit unions, and check cashing stores. Even though you can legally accept a postdated check, there are a few things to keep in mind if you do choose to accept a postdated check with the intention of depositing it later on. There are a few ways to give your bank reasonable notice that you have written a postdated check. Another term used for checking accounts is Demand Deposit Account or DDA, meaning xero accounting community that when a check is presented to a bank it is a demand to be deposited into the account of the payee. Typically someone writes a postdated check because the funds are not currently available in the account from which the check is drawn, but will be available presumably by or on the date noted on the check. While most people just say they’re going to “cash a check,” there’s actually a difference between cashing and depositing one of these documents.

Where not to cash your check

If you have the option, it is best to avoid writing postdated checks. The only way to guarantee they’ll actually work is to pay extra fees to your bank. If you’re unwilling or unable to pay your bank to monitor your account, you’re at the mercy of whoever you give the check to. Even if your payee is honest, they may make the honest mistake of forgetting (potentially leaving you with bad check fees). Just because it’s legal to write a postdated check doesn’t mean things will work out the way you intended. The date you choose to use is not part of a legally binding agreement between you and the payee.


In most cases, the recipient can deposit the check at any time, and the bank is free to pay funds out of your account before the date shown on your check. If you write a check and don’t have enough money in your account when it’s cashed — whether or not it’s postdated — your bank can cover the payment or let the check bounce based on its overdraft policy. If it doesn’t go through, the recipient might charge you late fees and a bounced-check fee. A debt collector may not accept a check postdated by more than five days unless the debt collector notifies in writing the check’s maker of the collector’s intent to deposit the check. The written notice must be provided at least three but no more than ten business days prior to the collector depositing the check.

Once you’re ready to cash your check, you’ll want to endorse (sign) the back of the check on the indicated line. You may also need to write your account number below your signature as an added verification step. This allows the bank to process the payment and also affirms that you are the intended payee. Contact your bank or credit union to learn what its policies are.

(2) A cheque is not invalid by reason only that- (a) it is not dated; (b) it is antedated or post-dated; or (c) the date it bears is a Sunday. Under Australian law a post-dated cheque is valid under the Cheques and Payment Orders Act 1986. But when someone does intend to honor a check and post-dates it to make sure they can cover it, they haven’t committed any crime. That said, there might still be some things to think about when it comes to post-dating checks, as noted below.