Expiration of Checks

Feb 22, 2024 By Triston Martin

Banks don't have to take checks older than six months or older than six months. This is in accordance with the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), a set of rules that govern commercial exchanges, including checks. However, banks can decide to accept checks. Some banks will accept the old check so long as they believe the funds are in good condition. The Federal Reserve regulation says a bank does not need to accept a check when it is in doubt it will be capable of obtaining the funds from the bank that is paying. The rules are slightly different for certified cheques, U.S. Treasury checks, and money orders.

Personal Checks

Personal checks typically last for six months from the date in the check. However, banks may not be aware of the date or may choose to issue stale checks on behalf of customers.

U.S. Treasury Checks

Federal government checks like Federal income tax refunds differ in the timeframe. Local and state governments can decide on their specific expiration dates. Therefore, you should contact the agency that issued the check to you if you don't receive your check or if longer than 6 months have passed.

Cashier's Checks

Cashier's checks are often complicated, and laws in the state affect how long the checks are valid. Banks may not take cashier's checks as a payment after 90 days as the bank issuing the check could turn the unpaid check following that period. If you've got cashier's checks over 90 calendar days, call the bank that issued them to obtain an updated check.

Money Orders

Most money orders aren't expired. However, the company that issued the money order may begin charging fees to the cash order, reducing its value, eventually rendering the money order worthless. For instance, Western Union charges fees on money orders following up to 3 years. Instead of putting down those outdated money orders, they could be required to contact the issuer to inquire about any value remaining. Other issuers might not have fees; however, they will eventually have to turn over any assets that the government does not claim.

Traveler's Checks

Checks for travel may never expire, but they can be returned if stolen or lost. So long as the company that issued them is still operating, they can be used as instruments in any country where you are allowed to.

Lookout for 'Deposit Item Returned' Fees

If you attempt to cash old checks that bounce, you could be charged the "deposit item returned" fee. The amount varies from one the bank you're using. For example, at Santander Bank, you'll generally be charged $15 per check. At Wells Fargo and Bank of America, the cost is set at $12. It could exceed that for foreign checks. In addition, the person who wrote the check that bounced could be assessed a non-sufficient funds fee by their bank, which can be up to. If the stale check is insignificant and isn't more than the return-check fee, you cannot reach the person who wrote the check for an additional check or verify that his account is in good standing. Your best option may be to cancel the check and claim it as an opportunity to learn.

It Is Possible to Cash Voided Checks

The author of your expired check might have written: "void after 90 days" or something similar to that on the check when the check was issued to you. However, it doesn't mean that the bank won't be able to take the check-in cash after the period. A judge's decision regarding the issue of Aliaga Medical Center S.C. v. Harris Bank N.A. determined that banks are allowed to recover funds following the issuer's request for a time frame if the person has specifically told the bank not to honor the check within the period. If the check came as a gift from a loved one with a fixed income, you might be better at granting the request. You might be responsible for the return fee if her reason for giving the notice was that the money would not be available after 90 days.

Examples of Expiration of Checks

The checks issued from Treasury of the U.S. Treasury are good for one year. You must make sure you cash your tax refund check no more than one year after it was issued. You can request a fresh check from federal and state agencies. If you've lost any state tax refund or municipal government cash voided check, you'll need to contact the organization that issued it. Local and state governments could possess their dates for expiration. As mentioned previously, personal checks are generally valid for six months from the date they were issued; however, you shouldn't rely on your bank's ability to keep track of the date of issue.

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