When you set up direct deposit or payments from your bank account, you may be requested to provide a voided check. Here’s how to void a check and what you should think about before doing so.
What exactly is a void check?
A voided check is one that contains the word VOID, whether handwritten or printed, on it. The check cannot be submitted for payment, but it contains information that may be used to validate your account and identify the bank that owns your account.
How do you void a blank check?
It is simple to void a check, but you should proceed with caution if you must do so. Write VOID across the face of the check, being careful not to cover up the numbers written at the bottom.
These numbers include your bank’s routing number as well as your account number, which are both required for verification. Also, be sure you use non-erasable ink. Make a note of the check in your checkbook or financial software, noting that it has been invalidated.
You may also photograph or scan the check so that you can use it again if you need a voided check in the future. You should be aware that you may invalidate a blank check as well as a check that has already been filled out. The check, however, cannot be utilized after it has been invalidated.
When should you use a void check?
Certain transactions may need the use of a voided check to validate your banking details. If you are required to give this information, you will often be requested to include your routing number and account number on a form, as well as a copy of a voided check.
1. Establish direct deposit or auto-pay
A copy of a voided check is normally required if you wish to set up a direct deposit with an employer.
While you’ll be asked to fill out a form with your bank routing number and account number, your employer’s human resources department will almost certainly want a copy of a voided check as well.
This procedure enables your company to instantly deposit your paycheck or cost reimbursements. When opening an account with a payment provider, a canceled check may also be required.
2. Establish automatic loan payments
A voided check is often required to set up automatic loan payments such as a mortgage payment, student loan, or vehicle loan.
Automatic payments often yield a higher rate, so it may be worth the additional work of setting up autopay and mailing a copy of a voided check.
3. Configure electronic bill payments to be made automatically
Other sorts of automated payments may also need the use of a voided check. Setting up autopay for your rent, energy bills, or phone bills, for example, may need a voided check if you opt to utilize a direct debit from your bank account.
Additional savings can make the extra work worthwhile. Many insurers, for example, provide an appealing discount if you set up automatic payments.
4. Give permission for a government agency to direct deposit your benefits.
You may set up a direct deposit and have your benefit payments transferred to your bank account online, just like a paycheck.
Direct deposits for federal benefits are free of charge. You may also request that your tax refund be sent directly into your bank account.
5. Make any necessary corrections
The issue is human, and if you make a mistake while writing a check, voiding the check is often the easiest approach to correct the error. However, keep in mind that voiding a check occurs before the check has changed hands or is submitted for payment at a bank.
If you need to cancel a payment on a check that has already been issued, you must contact your bank.
What should you do if you don’t have any checks on hand?
If you are required to supply your bank account information but do not have any checks, you may have some alternative choices.
1. Your online banking login information
An online checking account still utilizes checks, but if you run out, you may be able to mail yourself a tiny check using your online bank’s bill payment service.
You may then void this check by writing VOID across the front and sending it to the entity that requested a voided check. Alternatively, you may be able to print a check at home and then repeat the procedure.
2. Obtain a counter-check from your bank.
Counter checks are the same as the starting checks provided by many banks when you create an account. These checks are produced on-demand and include both your bank’s routing number and your account number. However, keep in mind that certain banks may charge a modest fee for counter checks.
3. Request that a letter be printed on bank letterhead
The organization seeking a voided check may accept a letter written on bank letterhead in specific situations. The information they’ll need in the letter will be outlined in the instructions you get. You should expect to enter your routing number, account number, and name.
It is also critical that this information be typed rather than scribbled. The majority of banks and credit unions should be acquainted with the procedure and what is necessary. The letter should also provide the bank’s contact details.
4. Make use of a preprinted deposit slip
In rare situations, a preprinted deposit slip might be used to validate your financial details. The information on a preprinted deposit slip is the same as that on a voided check, including your name, routing number, and account number.
To minimize delays, it’s important to confirm if a preprinted deposit slip may be used in lieu of a voided check.
5. Make use of a direct deposit permission form
When setting up direct deposit via an employer or for other forms of payments, a direct deposit permission form is often the initial step.
This form may be accepted by certain employers or payment providers on its own. The form requests the same information as a voided check, including your name, routing number, and account number.
However, you’ll often need both a permission form and some sort of proof, such as a voided check.
6. Include a photocopy of your personal check
Contact the organization that requested the voided check. Other options, such as emailing a duplicate of a cheque that has already passed your bank, may be available to you.
However, be mindful of privacy concerns. A cleared check may include information that you or another party would wish to keep confidential.
Important things to remember while voiding a check
- In your check register, keep track of any voided checks. In your checkbook, check register, or financial program, mark the check as voided.
- When sending a voided check electronically, consider encrypting the picture. If you can set up online payments using a canceled check, so can anybody who has access to your checking account information. Consider providing the check copy as an encrypted PDF if at all feasible. Also, make contact to ensure that the recipient is willing to receive an encrypted file. Explain your reservations calmly.
FAQs on Voided Checks
Is it possible to get a voided check online?
If you don’t have a checkbook, you may be able to make a modest payment to yourself using your bank’s online bill pay service.
You might, for example, submit a cent payment and then label the check as void. You may also utilize check printing software to create a void check. Many of these applications are free to use or trial.
Can I re-use the same voided check?
Companies that seek a copy of a canceled check must validate your bank’s routing number as well as your account number.
If you need to demonstrate a canceled check to more than one organization, there’s no need to invalidate a second check since this information is on every check.
Yes, Companies that seek a copy of a voided check must validate your bank’s routing number as well as your account number.
Because this information is printed on every check, there is no need to void a second check if you need to present a voided check to more than one organization.
Is it necessary to sign a voided check?
It is not necessary to sign a canceled check, and it may be safer if you do not. A voided check is only needed to verify your financial details.
On the check, the requester simply requires your name, account number, and routing number.
How do you acquire a canceled check if you don’t have a checkbook?
If you don’t have any checks, visiting your local bank and requesting a counter check is one of the easiest methods to get a voided check.
These checks may be written on demand and include the same information as normal checks, such as your routing number and account number.
Why is a voided check required by employers?
When setting up direct deposit, employers utilize a voided check to assure accuracy. A typo in either the routing number or the account number might cause payment delays and additional charges.
How do I set up direct deposit in the absence of a voided check?
Inquire with your human resources department about the choices they provide. As proof of your account details, they may accept a bank letter or a voided preprinted deposit slip, for example.
What exactly is a preprinted voided check?
When an employer or another organization asks for a preprinted voided check, they are most likely referring to a regular check that you have invalidated by writing VOID on it.
If you have any queries about the documents they want, contact the requester.
Is it safe to email a voided check
Email is not always safe, and using it puts your information at risk. Consider delivering the cheque as an encrypted PDF if at all feasible. This step prevents people without the password from reading the document.
Can my bank provide me with a voided check?
You may ask your bank for a counter check. For this service, some banks charge a fee. Once you have the check, write VOID on it using ink or a permanent marker. Take care not to cover up the digits at the bottom of the check.
Is it possible to void a check after it has been sent?
You have the ability to void a check that you have in your possession. If you’ve already submitted a check, you may request a stop payment if you made a mistake or don’t want the payment to go through for any other reason.
Banks often charge up to $35 for a stop payment request.
Can you cash a check with the word VOID on it?
Most tellers will not cash a voided check, however, there have been incidents of voided checks being cashed. It is advisable not to sign a canceled check and to send simply a photocopy or picture of the check when mailing it.
Is a void check the same as a direct deposit form?
No, while both a direct deposit form and a voided check are often needed, and although both include comparable information, they are not the same. The canceled check serves as proof of your routing and account numbers.
Final thoughts on how to void a check
Requests for voided checks are still widespread, from employers to payment providers to government entities. When exchanging financial information, however, keep your personal security in mind.
If your routing number and account number get into the wrong hands, they may be used to make payments, purchases, or engage in other unlawful activities.
If you’re delivering material over email, consider utilizing a password-protected PDF.