Many people have a good reason for voiding a check. They may wish to void a check that was written incorrectly. Sometimes people accidentally write the wrong amount on the check, so the check needs to be voided. Sometimes a voided check is necessary for setting up direct deposits or possibly even electronic bill payments. Voiding a check is not difficult. Of course, it’s important to void your check carefully to prevent anyone from fraudulently using your check. To learn how to properly void a check, be sure to keep the following tips in mind.
If you are voiding a check that is still physically in your possession, you’ll need a pen. You should avoid using a pencil as pencil lead can be erased. Pen ink is permanent. The key is to use a writing implement that employs ink that cannot be erased. Someone who intends fraudulent behavior can easily erase your “void” mark and write themselves a check.
You'll need to write the word 'VOID" on the where you would typically make a check to your payee. Anyone who sees "VOID" on the payee line of your check will understand that your check has been legally voided and even if there is an amount listed or the check happens to be signed, it is, indeed, a useless piece of paper. A properly voided check is no longer viable or usable. The amount written cannot be cashed or used to pay a bill.
Even if you have written an amount in the payment box, use a dark ink to write "VOID" over it. Writing void in the check's primary sections ensures that there is as little likelihood as possible that your check can be fraudulently used. Make sure that you write the word as clearly as possible so that "VOID" cannot be mistaken.
Yes, you should most certainly write "VOID" once again on the line where you would typically sign your name to your check. Even if you already signed your check, be sure to write "VOID" on top of your signature in dark permanent ink. Many people are surprised the length identity thieves will go to steal money from you. Writing void in each major section of the check reduces the likelihood of someone using it for fraud--and using it to steal your money.
To prevent someone from finding your uncashed check and using it for nefarious purposes, you can also write "VOID" in huge letters across the front of the check and the back of the check. Some people only take the step of writing void in large letters on the front side of the check. However, it's an added safety to write void in multiple spots on the check in order to render it useless.
Naturally, you should keep a record of any checks that you void. This is easy to do if you keep paper records of your checks, but you can also make a record on your online bank account. It also helps to add a quick note that explains why you voided the check. You might have written the wrong amount. You might have written the check to the wrong payee.
Many times if you are signing up for direct deposit into your account from an employer, for example, you might be asked to provide a voided check. The employer can keep the check on file in order to have a copy of your bank's routing number as well as your checking account number. The payer needs this information in order to transfer money to your account.
If you are leaving your voided check with your employer, you want to follow all the steps outlined earlier in this list. Make sure that each major section of the check contains the word "VOID." Rather than using any nondescript pen ink, consider using a Sharpie or a writing implement that clearly states that it is permanent ink. This way, if your check ever becomes lost, it cannot be altered.
You can also void a check online if you need to. Today, most online banks allow their customers to void checks online with a quick "stop payment command." Typically, you will need to log in to your online checking account. You may have to visit the customer service section in order to learn how your particular bank sets up this feature. If you have trouble, you can always contact your bank, and they can walk you through the process to stop payment, which is, in essence, voiding your check.
If you do need to stop a payment but aren't sure if you did it correctly online, you should call your bank. But, be sure you have all the relevant information on hand so that a bank employee can help you with the process. You will need the date of the check, the check number, and what the check was for. With these tips in mind, you can successfully and safely void a check.