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How Do I Cash a Cashier's Check?

A cashier's check can be cashed at a local bank.
A person can cash a cashier's check much like they would cash a personal check.
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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2014
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You will cash a cashier's check much like any other check you receive: by going to your personal bank, where you might have a checking or savings account, and cashing it there. The process is similar to endorsing a regular check, though a bank will probably ask to see your identification for this particular form of payment. The check will be deposited into your account, and will typically clear the issuing bank within two to seven days, which is when the money is "officially" yours.

At one time, cashier's checks were viewed as very secure forms as payment that were almost as good as cash. This is because the check is issued by a bank on its own holdings, meaning that the money is virtually guaranteed, barring closure of the bank between the time the check is issued and the time it is cashed. This method of payment was often used between two parties when one will not accept a personal check from the other, for fear that the check will not clear. Fraudulent cashier's checks, however, have made the process of trying to cash a cashier's check more difficult.

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Though theoretically you should be able to cash a cashier's check at any bank, you will likely need to have an account at that bank for them to cash the check. This is because the check still needs to clear, and if you do not have an account at the bank, and the check turns out to be fraudulent, the bank has less recourse. Typically, when you cash this type of check, the funds will be deposited into your checking account; then, if the check does not clear, you will be responsible for it. This is why it is important to verify the authenticity of any cashier's check you receive by placing a phone call to the issuing bank, which will be able to tell you in a few minutes if the check is valid.

Otherwise, cashing a cashier's check is a simple process as long as you bring your identification, and the check is made out to you. Endorse the check properly as well by signing your name the way it appears on the check. You may choose to wait until the check clears to use the funds, but in most cases with verified checks, it is safe to use the funds as soon as they are given to you.

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anon276097
Post 6

Once I received a $4,000 cashier's check. I took it right to the bank that issued it, even though I had no account with them. They took my ID and within a few minutes, they came out and gave me cash. No problem.

snickerish
Post 5

I have not given anyone a cashier's check, as I have not bought anything so expensive that a cashier's check was needed. I do understand why cashier checks are preferred when making large purchases. It at least seems more legitimate than a personal check. I will remember to use a cashier's check if I ever buy anything expensive.

I have never thought to call the bank that the cashier's check is issued through to make sure sufficient funds are there, but it makes a lot of sense to do this, and I think I will do this from now on. I have only gotten cashier checks from places of business, so it seems less likely that a business would scam you than an individual person, but you never can be too safe and informed.

Misscoco
Post 4

I really haven't noticed that cashier checks aren't as safe as they used to be. In the past, cashier checks were almost always reliable. I can't think of anyone who complained of receiving a fraudulent cashier's check.

But now it seems to be different. There are a lot more scams going on now. But I don't understand how a bank could issue a cashier's check that wasn't backed up by money in the person's account. I, also, don't see how someone could forge a cashier's check that would get by a bank's security checks. Any answers?

golf07
Post 3

@myharley - I had this situation happen to me and it is best if you return the check to the bank.

My husband was buying a piece of equipment from a man and before he could pick it up and give him the check, he decided he really didn't want to sell it.

We already had a cashier's check made out in his name and wondered what to do with it.

All I needed to do was take the check to the bank and sign the back of it saying something like 'Not for Intended Purpose'. This made the check void and the funds were never removed from my account.

I think it is wise to use cashier's checks when you are buying something from a person, as you never know if a personal check would be good or not.

myharley
Post 2

I have cashed cashier checks and have also given them to someone for payment for an item I purchased.

I have never had any trouble cashing this type of check as the bank always recognizes it as funds that are good.

Many times when I have bought a high priced item from someone they ask to be paid in the form of a cashier's check. I can understand this, as I would feel much more comfortable with a cashier's check if I were the one receiving the funds.

I always wondered what would happen if you had a cashier's check made out to someone and the transaction fell through and you didn't need the check.

Do you just tear up the check or do you need to return it to the bank?

BoniJ
Post 1

Recently, I have read about a variety of scams where, for example, a potential nanny is contacted through the internet and is promised a job. The perpetrator sends him/her a cashier's check that is fraudulent. She is told to deposit the check and then write a check to a third party and to keep the balance of the cashier's check.

The nanny-to-be doesn't know to call the bank to check for authenticity,writes a check from her funds and is responsible for the fraudulent cashier's check besides the amount of the check she wrote.

It's a terrible thing to prey on the vulnerable like that.

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