Why & how to void a check

22 Mar 2023 - Category: Blog /
void check

For just as many reasons as we write checks, we may also want to void them. Perhaps you’ve made an error while filling in the check, no longer wish to use the filled-out check, or want to create a direct deposit. No matter your reason for voiding a check, the motivation is always the same: Rendering the check invaluable so that no one can check your check, meaning your money remains in your bank account – right where you want it.

Since voiding a check is such an important matter, you’ll want to learn how to void a check without making any mistakes. Here, we walk you step-by-step through the check-voiding process while answering all your check-voiding-related questions.


Why would you void a check?

Voiding your check prevents it from being used by anyone. This keeps your money safe, especially from thieves or fraudsters who can tamper with an unvoided check. The tempering process often involves writing a large sum of money out to themselves. A voided check can also be useful for supplying your details to banks. Typically, a voided check contains information needed for electronic payments as it includes details such as your account number, routing number, and check number, making it useful for opening direct debits.

Is there a way to void a check?

Yes, there is one guaranteed method for voiding a check that works every time. Put simply, the voiding process involves using a black or blue pen to write “VOID” either across the entire check or in a few appropriate locations across the check, which we will discuss further later in the article.

The process you have to follow to void a check

When it comes to learning how to void a check, the first step is to locate a blue or black pen, as most banks will not accept the void status if a pen of any other color is used.

Next, use the blue or black pen to write “VOID” in large capital letters across the front of the check, ensuring you cover all of the information boxes. Another viable voiding method is to write “VOID” in smaller letters on the date line, amount line, payee line, and signature line, as well as in the amount box.

Be sure to avoid covering the account number and routing number if you wish to use the check to set up a direct deposit or for bill pay. If you wish to dispose of the check, be sure to remove/tear this information from the check beforehand, as it could be used for identity theft or fraud.

Note: These methods work on both blank or filled-out checks.

What are the 3 steps to voiding a check?

1. Find an appropriate pen (most banks usually only accept blue or black pens.)

2. Write “VOID” across the front of the check in large letters, making sure to avoid covering the account number and routing number at the bottom of the check. Or, write “VOID” five separate times—one in each section (date line, payee line, signature line, amount line, and amount box).

3. Dispose of the voided check or use it to open up a direct debit/bill pay.

How do you void a check quickly?

There is no fast or slow way to void a check. The voiding process is almost always the same, including using a pen to write “VOID” across the cheque or in five separate areas of the check. That said, writing “VOID” in large letters across the check is certainly the faster way of both methods. Just be sure to avoid covering the account number and routing number at the bottom of the cheque.

How to void a check online

To void a check online, log into your banking account and seek out options provided by your bank. If you are unable to locate any voiding options, your next step should be to contact customer service for guidance. If you have the option to stop a check payment or void a check, select this and cancel using the appropriate check number. Ensure you copy the correct number, or you might cancel the wrong payment.

What can someone do with a voided check?

A voided check cannot be filled in, cashed, or deposited. That said, the routing and account number can be taken from the check to create a new, fraudulent check by potential thieves, so be sure to remove this information before disposing of the check.

However, while primarily invaluable, a voided check can still be used to get information needed for electronic payments, as it includes details such as your account number, routing number, and check number, helping you to open direct deposits with relative ease.

Do you sign a voided check?

No, there’s no need to sign or put any extra information on a voided check. All the check should include is bank information such as your account number, routing number, and check number with the word “VOID” written on the front of the check.

Can you cash a voided check?

Usually, no, you cannot cash a voided check as it’s considered valueless by banks. Usually, there is no way to cash the check either from banks or from any of the check-cashing places. However, there are some circumstances under which a voided check could potentially be cashed, albeit a rare occurrence.

In some countries, banks are permitted to retrieve funds after the issuer's requested void period. That is unless the individual specifically instructed the bank not to honor the check after the outlined timeframe.

If you fear someone may try and succeed in depositing your check despite its voided status, be sure to immediately contact your bank and have them issue a stop payment on the check.

Why void check for direct deposit?

A voided check can be used to establish a direct deposit or bill pay. This eliminates the need to go to the bank to make payments or deposit your paycheck while also automating your transactions, saving you time, and allowing you to keep tabs on funds going in and out of your account.

While checks aren’t as popular as they once were, it’s still important to know how to void one in order to protect your money. They can also be useful when it comes to opening accounts or direct deposits. So, if you’d like to practice voiding checks or start using them for yourself, a book of checks from the CheapCheckStore is a great starting place.

An alternative to using checks is sending money online through platforms like Small World. You can make your payments or send money to a family member through our app or website. You have all the information available on how to use our services on our website.

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