How to void a check? It is no hard. You just have to write the word “VOID” on the check using a blue or black pen. Otherwise, you can print that same word on the check. After voiding a check, it loses its ability to present for the payments. But sometimes voided checks are used by banks to verify the customer’s information when doing some special transaction. In this article, I am going to clarify the best practices that can be used to void a check.
What is a check?
A check is a negotiable instrument that draws on a bank. The check is written, dated, and signed by the drawer (The person who has the account in the bank) to give an order to the bank to pay to the check on behalf of the drawer. Here we can see main two parties. One is the drawer. Drawer means the person who has the account in a particular bank. Other one is drawee. Drawee means the bank on which the drawer draws the check.
A check is a negotiable instrument, which means it can be used as the money when doing any exchange. The drawee( Bank ) is bound to pay the money on demand. Also, check has the feature of bills of exchange except few. The payee(the person who can get the payment) can get the payment from a check by depositing it into an account or directly from the counter. The ability to get payments depends on the crossing of the check.
Usually, checks are used to payments, gifts, or transfer money from one person/entity to another person/entity. Checks are a very safe method for transactions, but with the development of technology, moderns substitutes like wire transfer, internet banking, debit cards, and credit card have come to the market.
How to void a check when you still have it
As I said before, all you have to do is writing the word “VOID” on the face of the check. It prevents it from using for the payments, but still, a void check can be used to verify the account number and routing number. Here are the best practices on how to void a check.
Use a pen
Always use a blue or black pen. What is the reason for using a pen instead of using a pencil? If you are voiding your check using a pencil, someone can unvoid it by erasing what you have written by pencil. So using a pen or something that cannot be erased is the first best practice you have to follow when voiding a check.
Identify detailed areas.
Usually, a default check is a printed one. We can enter our details to it by printing them on it or writing them on it. Whatever the method you are using to enter the details, you have to input the date, the amount in words, amount in numbers, payee, and signature.
Accordingly, your details are in 5 places on the check. So it means you have to void all those areas.
Write “VOID” on identified areas.
Write “VOID” Clearly in large letters across the places you have identified. It means you have to write that word on the amount In word line, payee line, the amount in the number box, dateline, and the signature line separately. The best practice is writing “VOID” separately rather than writing only in one place. Also, you have to make sure that you have not written the word “VOID” over the bank account and routing number.
Keeping records accurately is so important to avoid confusion in the future. Here you have to make sure that you have recorded all voided checks in the checkbook or your check register. Also, update your online banking software by entering the details about the voided check. It will help you to deal with the problems that may arise in the future.
How to void a check after sending it
Sometime you may have to void a check after sending it to the payment. Here we don’t have a chance to write “VOID’ on the face of the check. But you can use the following methods to void a check. It is important to act quickly when you need to cancel the check that has already been sent.
First of all, you have to identify the details you have entered into the check accurately. Here you can use the checkbook or check register to find the accurate details. Otherwise, you can log in to your online banking software to find out the details.
Calling the bank
It’s important to act fast. So the best way to cancel a check without waiting is calling the bank and ask them to cancel it. Here the bank will request your information to verify your identity. By giving the real details, and you can cancel the check immediately. Here you have to make a “Stop payment order,” which stops the ability of the check to make payments.
Use online methods
If your bank has the online banking option, you can use this online method to cancel the check you have sent. Here also you have to enter the real details in order to cancel it. Sometimes this method doesn’t work very well due to the speed. If you are comfortable with time, you can use online methods, and if you are in a hurry, use your mobile to call the bank.
Why to void a check
The voided checks are mainly used to share information like account numbers and routing number. That’s not the only use of a voided check.
To pay regular bills.
When you want to pay regular bills like loans, mortgages online, your bank may ask to present a voided check to schedule payments from the account. It helps to automate the payments by validation your information.
Set up direct deposits
If you are working for an employer, it’s easy for him/her to deposit the salary directly to your bank account. But for that, the employer must provide your information to the bank. Here the employer may ask you to give him the details. So the best way is voiding a check and give the information through that.
If you are running a business, there may be some fixed expenses you have to bear again and again. So writing separate checks and paying those expenses is a time waste. Here you can void a check in order to automate the process.
Fix human errors
If you have mistakenly entered some wrong details to the check, you can void the check to fix it. But this only applies until you have the check. If the check has already been sent, you have to contact the bank to cancel the payments.
How to void a check when you don’t have checks
Not every bank offers the check facilities. In that case, you can follow these methods to void a check even if you don’t have checks.
Use a deposit slip
Not all banks are authorizing this. If your bank provides the facility to confirm your account details via a deposit slip, you can use this method easily. A printed deposit slip provides the same details as a voided check, such as your name, account number, and routing number. But before using a deposit slip as a void check, you have to confirm whether the bank accepts it or not.
Use online methods
If you need to submit your details like account number and routing number to the bank, you don’t need a void check if you have online banking access. Nowadays, people are using online methods to verify identities rather than using traditional methods like voiding checks.
Calling the bank
If your bank accepts your information via a phone call, you could use that method. But it depends on the bank and their regulations. If they are willing to authorize you even you use this method, there is no need for other ways.
If you don’t have checks left in your checkbook, you can go to the bank and ask for a counter check. It’s the same as a normal check, and it can be used to verify your details without a problem. But you have to check whether your bank issues these or not.
Ask for bank letterheads.
When you have to provide your bank details to some organizations, check whether they accept bank letterheads or not. If they are accepting letterheads, you can go to the bank to ask for a letterhead and include your account number and routing number on it.
How to void a check: Important tips
- Keep the record of voided checks accurately.
- If you need to send the voided check online, make sure to encrypt the image file.
- It’s okay to use a voided check twice to confirm information if the entities ask you to provide a copy of it.
- You don’t need to put your signature on a voided check.
- Never let your account number and routing number to fall into a wrong hand. Always use encrypted methods if you are doing it online.