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A step-by-step guide • Benzinga

In a world of mobile banking apps, online bill paying and electronic transfers, you can still receive a paper check. You may be wondering, “where can I sign a check?” » Unfortunately, digital technology and online banking have sidelined the art of check writing, but you still have to navigate a paper check.

It’s important to know how to properly endorse a check to avoid delays and have funds deposited into your checking account quickly. Incorrect check endorsements can have legal implications and cause problems for both the sender and payee. It is important to correctly endorse a check in the designated area on the back and follow your financial institution’s guidelines. Some institutions may not accept third-party endorsements or require additional documentation. When endorsing a check with multiple names, clearly indicate who can cash it using the appropriate wording. Some institutions may require an account number to be included on the endorsement, while others discourage it. It is also important to match the signature on the endorsement with the name on the face of the check and to write clearly and legibly when endorsing it.

How to endorse a check? Everything you need to know is explained below.

Steps to endorse a check

Check endorsements may vary depending on the purpose for which the check is issued. The question then is “how do I endorse a check in this situation?” »

Generally, for a financial institution to accept the check:

  • The check must contain the beneficiary’s name on the front.
  • The facade must have a nominal value, both in words and in numbers.
  • There must be an appropriate statement on the reverse.
  • The sender’s signature and a date must be present.

The steps to follow to properly endorse the check will depend on the purpose and type of endorsement. Some notices only require a signature on the back, while others require specific language and additional information.

Here are some important steps to properly endorse a check.

1. Verify the check information: Before endorsing a check, verify that the information is correct, including that it is addressed to you, that the amount is correct, and that it is a valid check. Look for errors or discrepancies that need to be corrected before approving.

2. Confirm who should endorse the check: Check the payee information to see who should sign the check. When a check is payable to more than one party, the words “and” or “or” on the payee line determine whether both parties or only one must endorse the check.

3. Sign the check: Turn the check over and look for the designated endorsement area. This area is usually a blank space, often marked with the words “Approve Here” or “Sign Here.” Use a black or blue ink pen and sign your name exactly as it appears on the front of the check. Make sure the signatures match to avoid any problems when cashing the check.

Types of approvals

Here are some of the most common types of endorsements and the steps needed to complete them:

Blank approval

The term empty is a somewhat abusive term, because it seems to indicate that the check contains no endorsement. However, as we see in the image on the right, the issuer endorses the back of the check, but since there are no additional instructions (left blank), this is called a blank endorsement.

Blank endorsements are the most common type of check endorsement. You typically use this type of endorsement to cash or deposit checks yourself, or to give it to someone else to cash or deposit.

  • The beneficiary signs his or her name on the back of the endorsed check.
  • Make sure the signature matches the one on the front of the check.

Please note: anyone in physical possession of a blank check can negotiate it.

Restrictive approval

Restrictive endorsements limit check deposit options. Restrictive notices are a safe method to use. This endorsement prevents anyone other than the intended beneficiaries from negotiating (or cashing) the check.

To perform a restrictive approval:

  • Write the phrase “for deposit only” or “for deposit to an account number” and/or specify your preferred account.
  • Sign your name on the next line, making sure the signature matches the name on the front of the check.

Special rider

A special endorsement is commonly used to pay contractors or third parties for services rendered.

An example might be when your insurance company (issuer) issues a check to you (payee) and you then have to endorse it to an auto body shop (third party) for work done on your car.

To create a special approval:

  • Write “pay to the order of…” and name the person/institution who will receive the money.
  • Next, sign your name below as it appears in the signature on the front of the check.

Unlike a blank check, a special endorsement check allows only the person/institution whose name appears on the endorsement to deposit or cash it.

Mobile Deposit Rider

In 2018, new banking regulations made it mandatory to endorse checks deposited electronically using Remote Deposit Capture (RDC) technology.

To endorse a check for a mobile payment:

  • Include the phrase “for mobile deposit only” as part of the addendum.

Depending on the specific guidelines applied by each financial institution, this approval phrase may be included above or below your signature.

Although some checks have a pre-printed check box indicating mobile deposit, the endorsement process is not legally completed until you write the phrase “for mobile deposit only” on the back of the check.

Qualified approval or conditional approval

There are a few more rider options: the qualified rider and the conditional rider. Understanding the nuances between the two is important, as it can have significant implications on your choices as a consumer.

  • Qualified endorsement: This type of check endorsement conveys title to the check to the payee, but with certain conditions/restrictions. You qualify the check by writing the words “non-recourse” in the endorsement area. Qualified endorsements generally relieve the endorser of liability for payment if, for any reason, the check is dishonored.
  • Conditional amendment: This type of check endorsement specifies, on the back of the check, the specific conditions for payment of the check. For example, the check might say: “Payable to Henry Public upon satisfactory completion of the home renovation.” » Before accepting the check (or cashing it), the financial institution may request proof that the beneficiary has complied with the endorsed condition.

Although the latter two riders are common in commercial transactions, financial institutions typically have restrictive language in their terms of service (ToS) documents. Due to the extra level of diligence required of bank personnel to validate and verify endorsements, bank tellers have some latitude in rejecting such checks.

Approve with confidence

How to endorse a check? Now you have all the tools you need to get it right. The next time you pick up an old-school check, examine its purpose and determine the appropriate endorsement. Your children might wonder, “What is the correct way to endorse a check?” » and you can enlighten them using this information. Knowing how to endorse a check is part of managing personal finances. Use our guide to review all endorsement types and approve your next check with confidence.

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William Dupuy

Independent political analyst working in this field for 14 years, I analyze political events from a different angle.
Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
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