HOW TO PROPERLY ENDORSE A CHECK
- Inspect the check to make sure it’s made out to the correct amount, isn’t dated for the future and doesn’t say “VOID” anywhere. Any of these elements could prevent you from getting paid the amount you’re expecting.
- Make sure there is no other writing on the check or any stains that could obscure lettering or other information.
- Ensure that the check has been signed by a person named on the account. Failure to have a check signed by the account holder could cause it to be rejected.
- Flip the check over to find the endorsement section. Each check typically has an endorsement section on one end of the check or the other.
- Provide your signature within the endorsement section.
- If you are depositing your check through a banking app, there may be a box to check indicating the check is being deposited online. If the box is missing, write “For Mobile Deposit Only” underneath the endorsement section.
- Use blue or black ink only.
You may also want to ensure you’re signing your name in reflection of how it’s presented on the front of the check. The check endorser must also be the person to whom the check is made out, thus ensuring that the right person deposits the payment.
Blank check endorsement
A blank check endorsement is, perhaps contradictory to its name, when you sign a check with just your signature. A blank check endorsement can happen when you deposit a check through an ATM or in-person at a bank. This endorsement includes signing your name in the endorsement section of the check. Then, when arriving at the bank, you inform the teller whether you want to cash the check or deposit it. Some mobile banking apps may accept blank endorsements, but that’s rare.
Restrictive check endorsement
You can use a restrictive check endorsement to limit how the check deposit is used. The most typical restrictive endorsement is “For Deposit Only,” which restricts the ability to cash a check over the counter or endorse it to another party. It is often written as “For Deposit Only to [Bank Account Number].” This prevents the person receiving the check from passing it along to another person for deposit into their bank account.
Special check endorsement
A special check endorsement makes it possible for the recipient to give it to someone else for payment, rather than having to deposit the check and then withdraw funds to pay a debt. For example, a person can write “Pay to the order of” and another party’s name, thus enabling them to have the money deposited by a third party directly.
Mobile check endorsement
Mobile check deposits often come with their own rules regarding how checks can be accepted for deposit. Typically this includes writing “For Mobile Deposit Only” underneath your signature. Modern checks may also come with a check box that you can mark that signifies the check is only being deposited through an app, rather than in-person or through the mail.
Business check endorsement
If a check is made payable to a business, the check must be signed on behalf of the business by an authorized person. Sign the business’s name exactly as it appears on the pay-to line. Include the company’s name in your title (Partner, Accountant, etc.).