Checks are very useful, but did you know you can also use voided checks for a specific purpose?
Sometimes you will need to void a check to keep it from being used or to use it to set up direct deposit. But in order to avoid problems, you’ll need to know exactly how to void a check. So if you need to void a check don’t panic! It’s really easy to do.
Explore this How-To Guide:
- What is a Void Check?
- Why You Might Need to Make a Void Check
- How to Write a Void Check for Direct Deposit
- How to Void a Check You Already Wrote
- How to Void a Check You Already Sent
- How to Get a Voided Check
- How to Send a Voided Check
- Some Helpful Links About Voiding Checks from Different Banks
- Keep a Record
What is a Void Check?
A void check is simply a check with the word “VOID” written across the front. Writing “VOID” on a check means that the check can’t be deposited or cashed. When you void something it means you’ve made it empty, of no effect, or null. So if a written check is full of the monetary amount you write on it, voiding the check makes that check financially empty.
When you void a check it can’t be used as a check, meaning it can’t be deposited. Usually, a check is a document you sign to allow the recipient to withdraw the amount you specified from your bank’s checking account. Voiding the check makes the recipient unable to do this anymore.
Why You Might Need to Make a Void Check
You might need to use a voided check to set up an electronic link to your checking account. Most likely you’ll need to set up this link to get your paychecks through direct deposit, or to set up a recurring payment like your monthly bills.
Direct Deposit. Your paper checks all have your bank information on them—the name of your bank or credit union and your account and routing number. By giving a voided check, you give the person establishing the link the bank account information they need to set up your direct deposit. But because the check is void, they won’t be able to use the check to take money from your account.
Automatic Payment. You can also use a voided check to set up automatic payments. Autopay can be very useful to stay on top of recurring bills like utilities, rent, or credit card payments. By using autopay you won’t have to worry about forgetting any bill payment and accruing late fees and hits to your credit score.
Stop a Check Payment. Sometimes you’ll need to cancel a check payment after you’ve already sent or given the check.
Mess Up. If you mess up writing a check, then you’ll want to void the check you already wrote on and start over again. This can happen if you accidentally write the wrong amount on the check, or if you write the wrong name down for the recipient.
How to Write a Void Check for Direct Deposit
- If you don’t already have a checkbook from your bank or credit union, then contact your bank to receive one.
- Use a blank check from the checkbook that is linked to your checking account or the account where you want to make deposits.
- Write the word “VOID” across the front of the check in large letters. You can also write “VOID” in smaller letters over key parts of the check. You would need to write “VOID” in the payment amount box, across the payee line, and on the signature line. Either method should work just fine.
- Keep a record of the voided check in your check register in the back of your checkbook. This way you can remember why you voided a check later on when you go to balance your checkbook.
*Cover most of the check with the word “VOID” but do not write over the check numbers at the bottom of the check. These numbers link the check to your bank account and are necessary for establishing the electronic link.
*Use a writing utensil that cannot be erased, like a marker or an ink pen. Do not use a pencil as someone could erase the word “VOID” and try and use the check to withdraw from your account.
How to Void a Check You Already Wrote
So you wrote a check and something goes wrong. Maybe you don’t need the check anymore, or you messed up writing it out and need to change something on it. If any of these things occur you can simply void the check to ensure it doesn’t accidentally get used later. Voiding a check you already wrote is a safe method of destroying the check.
Follow the same procedure outlined above and then store the voided check away in your banking files, or keep it in your checkbook.
How to Void a Check You Already Sent
So you wrote a check and gave it or sent it, but now you need to cancel it. Maybe you realized you messed up on the check, or the check got lost in the mail. Or maybe you realized too late that you won’t have enough money in your account when the recipient of the check goes to deposit it.
If either of these things occurs what you are going to want to do is get a Stop Payment Order. A Stop Payment Order from your bank or credit union is how you void a check you already sent.
Basically, voiding a check you already sent is like bouncing your check preemptively. If you know the check you wrote is going to bounce then canceling it before the recipient tries to make the deposit can leave you with fewer consequences and fees than if you let it bounce. However, fees for canceling a check payment are still going to apply.
If you need a Stop Payment Order for a check, your bank will probably need the information on the check you want to cancel. This is why it is always a good idea to document your check transactions in your check registry so that you will always have information like, the check ID number, the amount, and who you paid.
You can also try to just get the check back if it was given to someone you know. Handling these kinds of financial issues amongst yourselves is usually the least complicated option, and then no one will receive any fees from their bank. In the very least, you should let the check recipient know that you canceled the payment.
How to Get a Voided Check
To get a voided check you’ll need to talk to your bank and get them to send you a checkbook. Some banks and credit unions will automatically send you a book of checks when you first open an account with them. Others will require you to purchase your checkbooks from them.
How to Send a Voided Check
To send a voided check to your employer just ask them for the mailing address you should use. Then send the void check in the mail to them. Sometimes you can also bring them the void check directly into the office.
Some Helpful Links About Voiding Checks from Different Banks:
No matter what financial service you use, be it a bank or a credit union, the process to void a check from any financial organization is going to be the same as the process outlined above. You simply write the word “VOID” in big letters on the front of the check. If you need to cancel a check, no matter the financial system you’re using, you can always contact them and they will run you through the procedure to stop a check payment.
How to void a check in QuickBooks
If you use QuickBooks, then follow this link to learn more about how to void a check in QuickBooks.
How to get a voided check from Bank of America
Take a look at the FAQs page for Bank of America to read all about voiding checks with their bank. If Bank of America is your bank, and you want to set up direct deposit, then you actually don’t need to void a check with them to do so. Instead, you can just use their online banking to download a direct deposit form and use that document the same way you would use a void check.
How to get a voided check from Chase
If you have a Chase account, then you can also fill out a form instead of using a void check to set up direct deposit. All you’ll need to fill out the direct deposit form is your routing number, account number, and check ID number.
How to void a check from Wells Fargo
You can void a check from Wells Fargo online, by phone, or in the store. This link will have the phone number you need to contact them and the step-by-step process of how to void a check online.
Keep a Record
Always keep a record of all your check transactions, and of all voided checks. You can easily keep this information in the check register of your checkbook. You should also always keep the check stub—the thin paper copy behind each check you write—because this acts as a detailed receipt of all your check transactions.
When you record void checks, make sure to include the reason you voided the check as well.
Knowing how to use money orders can be another safe way to pay your bills, “Filling Out A Money Order Properly.”
Take full advantage of your checkbook, “6 Advantages of Using Checks.”