How to void a check is a common practice used to nullify incorrect checks and set up direct deposits or bill payments. But it’s important that you do it carefully to avoid someone using your check fraudulently.
What is a Check?
A check is a physical, legal contract that effectively represents a promissory note to pay the amounts indicated in numeric and written values, to the payee designated in the “pay to” section. Your signature authorizes the amount indicated to be withdrawn from your bank account and transferred to the payee’s account where the check was presented for deposit. But what if you put incorrect information or just want to undo what you just did? Here comes the term called, ”Voiding a Check”.
Fortunately, voiding a check is easy.
How to Void a Check
Write the word “VOID” across the front of the check in large letters. Make the letters tall and wide enough to cover most of the check. But don’t cover the numbers at the bottom of your check—the recipient needs those numbers to establish the link with your bank account. Use a pen or a fine-tipped marker so that nobody can erase the word “VOID.”
But What If You Don’t Have Checks
How can you void a check if you don’t have any checks? You may have to get creative, wait for checks, or find an alternative way to link your bank account.
What about Online options?
See if you can set up your bank account link entirely online. Instead of using forms, which require you to void a traditional check, try logging into your account. In most cases, you just need to provide your bank account information in an online form.
Ask for a Counter Check
Another solution is to visit a branch and ask for a “counter check.” The teller might be able to print a check with your account information on it. If so, try voiding that check as if it came out of your checkbook.
A creative solution is to have a check printer generate an image of a voided check for you. It will help you get an electronic image of a check containing your account information. Start the process of ordering checks, and when it’s time to “preview” your order, you’ll have a customized check image that you can void.
When everything fails
If all else fails, you may be able to get official documentation from your bank or credit union instead of voiding a check. Ask for a letter, printed on a bank letterhead, which lists your account number, routing number, and account type (checking or savings). Alternatively, some banks provide form letters for setting up direct deposit—just print it while you’re logged in to the online banking system, and it should have everything you need.
P.S. If a check has already been given to a payee, the only way to cancel it is to contact your financial institution and request a stop payment for a fee.
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