When Do Checks Expire?

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Have you ever wondered if there is an expiration date on a check? In general, checks do expire, but more importantly, when do checks expire? That is going to depend on the type of check.

When Do Checks Expire?

While some payroll checks may say they are void after 90 days, most banks will cash them up to 180 days or 6 months.

Other types of checks such as business checks and personal checks are good for 6 months.

This is due to the fact that the laws surrounding checks state that banks are not required to accept or honor checks that are over six months old.

However, when it comes to U.S. Treasury checks or government checks banks are required to honor them for up to one year after the issue date.

This includes federal tax refund checks.

When it comes to checks from the state such as a state tax refund, how long are checks valid will be up to the state.

In most cases, it will be between six months to one year.

How Long is a Cashier’s Check Good For?

Most cashier’s checks are good for anywhere between two and six months.

Each bank that issues a cashier’s check will have its own time limit.

You can look at the check and you will see the void date.

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Why You Should Cash a Check Immediately

When it comes to how long do checks last you typically have between 6 months to a year to cash a check but do your best not to wait that long.

Stale checks or an uncashed check can cause you problems even if financial institutions will allow you to deposit it or cash it.

The check writer may have forgotten about the check and used the money for other purposes.

That means there will be insufficient funds in their account and the check will bounce and you could be out your money and your bank will charge you a bounced check fee.

You will then have to take the original check back to the check writer and see if you can have a new check issued.

You will also be in the position where you need to get them to pay your bounced check fees as well.

If they refuse, then you are looking at getting a law enforcement agency involved and no one wants that headache.

So, avoid the hefty overdraft fee and cash the check as soon as you get it so you know there should be sufficient funds to cover it.

Also, an outstanding check is kind of a pain for the person who wrote it.

It is much easier to balance your checkbook if all the checks you have written have cleared your account.

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What Happens if You go Past the Check Expiration Date?

If you have gone past the time where you can cash a check then the best thing you can do is to go back to the person or company that wrote you the check and ask for a replacement.

You will need to present them with the original check to show that it hasn’t been cashed.

You can even do this with a government check but it is going to be much more difficult to get a new check.

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What If You’re the One that Wrote the Check?

If you are on the other side of things and you wrote a check to someone and that check hasn’t been cashed during the six-month processing time allowed by banks, then what should you do?

It is best to go ahead and put a stop payment on the check.

That way you can reconcile your bank account and not have to worry about it.

If the person you wrote the check to finally decides to cash the check, they will find out there has been a stop payment placed on the check and they can come to you and ask you to issue a new check.

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To Sum it All Up:

Most checks are going to be valid for six to 12 months from the date it was issued. Even so, the rule of thumb is that you should cash or deposit a check you receive as soon as possible. Don’t wait. It is too easy to lose the check or the person who wrote it to you may no longer have those funds in their bank account. So, head to the bank and get that paper check deposited today.

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