How To Sign Over a Check

Posted by in Banking | Updated on November 15, 2022
At a Glance: To sign a check over to someone else, you should first endorse it where you typically would. Then write “Pay to the order of (person’s name) who you want to sign it over to” on the next line.

Before you learn how to sign over a check, you should understand what signing over a check means.

Signing over a check is an action associated with the payee, not the payer. At times, you may not be able to deposit or cash your check personally. This may require you to give it to someone else who will do it for you. This is known as signing over a check to let someone else deposit it for you. Here is everything that you should know.

Can a Check Be Signed Over to Another Person to Cash?

There are various circumstances in which a check can be signed over to another person to cash it out.

You may want to sign over a check when it has been erroneously made payable to you while the money is owed to someone else. You may also wish to sign over a check when the check is under your name, but the money is intended for another person.

Getting a check signed over to another person to cash may not always work for various reasons. Moreover, doing so is a lengthy procedure as the bank follows a long process in releasing the money to your bank account.

How To Sign Over a Check

Before anything else, verify that both the receiving bank and the issuing bank accept signed-over checks. If they do, read on.

To sign a check over to someone else, you should first endorse it where you typically would, then write “Pay to the order of (the person’s name who you want to sign it over to)” on the next line.

You may also need the person you are signing the check over to to sign the check.

These things indicate that you signed over the check to the other person, allowing them to cash or deposit it.

Alternatives To Signing Over a Check

Many banks don’t allow signing over a check, and others may take longer to process it, so it is better to avoid this procedure. Signing over a check should be your last resort if you can’t present the check to the bank yourself.

Here are some of the alternatives for getting your check cashed.

Cash It at the Issuing Bank

If you want to cash a check on behalf of someone else, take the check to the issuing bank. This will make the process of getting it cleared less time-consuming.

Present the check at the counter of the bank it is issued by. On presenting the check, the bank employee will quickly see if the account from which the amount is to be debited has enough to cover the amount in the check. If you are lucky, you can get the amount immediately after the usual process is completed.

However, if you don’t have an account at the bank where you are presenting the check (which is also the issuing bank), you will have to pay a fee for the service. This amount may vary from bank to bank.

Cash It at Check Cashing Company

There are also check cashing companies that cash the check you present to them. They charge a fee based on the amount of money to be cashed. This is a feasible option if you want to get it encashed urgently.

When using a check-cashing company, you should be careful of check-cashing scams.

Mobile Check Deposit

If you want to deposit a signed-over check without visiting the bank, a mobile check deposit is a good alternative. If the bank allows, you can take a picture of the check and upload it digitally. You can withdraw the money or send cash electronically after that.

Credit Unions

If you are a credit union customer, you may be able to deposit the check at branches of other credit unions as well (provided they participate in the union).

This is also a great option if you have a credit union branch near you and want to get your check cashed urgently.

When You Don’t Have a Bank Account

Cashing a check if you don’t have a bank account may be more difficult. Many people are unable to open a bank account these days due to the high maintenance fee plus the minimum fixed account requirement.

However, various online banks allow you to open a bank account with no monthly fees. This will at least help in getting the checks cashed.

Warning: Don’t Deposit Signed-Over Checks at the ATM

Depositing a signed over check at the ATM could cause trouble. Thus, ensure that the person responsible doesn’t deposit the signed-over check at the ATM.

This is because if the check is not cleared, i.e., the payer doesn’t have the required funds in their bank account, you will get in trouble.

Though ATMs these days can handle check deposits, they are not as effective at depositing them as they are highly automated.

ATMs are fine for depositing a standard check. But depositing signed-over checks at the ATM should be avoided.

Depositing it personally at the bank will increase the chances of getting it cleared quickly. If there are any discrepancies, you can revisit the bank to check the process, which may not be possible if depositing it at the ATM.

When you are endorsing a signed-over check, you are fully responsible for that check’s legitimacy.

If the payer cannot cover the check you deposited, you may have to pay a returned item fee.

Also, after you deposit a check, it may take a few weeks before the process of transferring funds is settled between the receiving bank and the issuing bank. However, you can get access to the money much before that.

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It is better to deposit your check on your own; signing over a check should be the worst-case scenario.

If you must sign over a check, research your bank’s requirements before proceeding with it.

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