There are certain financial transactions that may require you to provide a voided check. Some noteworthy examples are payroll direct deposits, investments, and automatic bill payments. Your bank account details are present on those checks and that means that anyone who has one can set up an electronic link to your bank account. It’s important to be able to provide a voided check if you are asked, but it could be a problem if you’ve never done it before. It’s a good thing that learning how to void a check is really easy!
How To Void A Check
The very first step is to write the word “VOID”in large letters, diagonally across the front face of the check. You’ll want to be certain that the letters are written in such a way that they practically cover most of the front of the check. Don’t go too crazy with that marker, though! You don’t want to inadvertently cover over any numbers that a person might need to create a link to your bank account. A marker with a fresh, pointy tip works best because it makes it almost impossible to remove the word “VOID.”
It’s important to write “VOID” across your check so that nobody can use it to try and defraud you by filling out the check and using it to make an actual payment.
If a criminal should get their hands on your check, they won’t be able to steal from your account and use your money for their own benefit!
Keep records: Even though you aren’t writing the check out in the traditional way, you should still notate it in your check register so you can account for it. Failure to fill out your register properly might make you wonder what happened to that particular check. You may wonder if you wrote a check and forgot about it or even panic if you think it was stolen! If this happens, you won’t know how much money you actually have in your account, and that can be a very scary feeling. The best practice is to write the word “VOID” right in your check register, along with the check number, date, and reason why you voided it.
Send the check or check image: Once you have completed the steps listed above, you can go ahead and send your check. If you need to send the check electronically, don’t send it via an unsecured route such as an email message. It’s best if you hide your sensitive information from hackers, thieves, and other white-collar criminals. For better protection, encrypt the image or upload it to a secure file service and share it that way.
If You Do Not Have Any Checks
If you don’t have any checks, then it goes without saying that you will need to order some or get “creative” and think of a different way to link to your bank account.
Online options? You can look into setting up your direct bank account link online. Linking your account online would mean you wouldn’t have to void a traditional paper check. You need to find out if your bank has an online system (most do), and then proceed to the website and set up an account. Online banking means simply providing the required information by filling out a form on your bank’s website.
Deposit slips instead of checks: Instead of providing a voided check, you might be able to use a deposit slip. Deposit slips almost always include the bank’s routing number on them, and you would just have to fill in your account number in the space provided. While blank deposit slips are readily available, you may be required to provide a pre-printed slip. It’s highly likely that you have several of these pre-printed slips in the back of your checkbook.
Starter checks: A lesser-known solution is to visit your bank’s nearest branch and obtain a “counter check.” You’ll need to ask the teller for this, as he/she would have to have it printed. This is not as uncommon as you might think (dealing with an actual human being, that is). Once you get your counter check from the bank teller, you can void it out using the same instructions provided earlier.
Check printers: Here’s where getting creative comes into play. If you have access to a check printer, you can simply have it print out an image of a voided check. This isn’t a good option if you have to mail the checkout, but it can provide you with an image of a voided check that contains your personal account information. You can get a check order started, and when the time comes to preview your check style, you can grab that image and use it as a voided check.
Other documents: If you’ve exhausted every available avenue, your final option would be to ask your bank for official account documentation in place of a voided check. This documentation doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s basically just a piece of paper with a bank letterhead that lists your bank account and routing number. It would also need to stipulate the type of account, usually either checking or savings. Since direct deposit has become so popular, most banks will provide you with a form letter designed to make it easy to set up a direct deposit. Once logged into your bank’s online system, locate the form letter and print it out.
Keep A Copy
When you create a voided check, you should always make a copy by photocopying or scanning it. There’s no reason to have to make more than one voided check unless the requester will not accept copies. The truth is that over time you will need to provide voided checks many times for many different reasons. If a copy is acceptable, you’ll have it on hand so you can complete the process quickly and easily.
It’s also important to stress security. Keep originals, copies, and images of voided checks in a safe place such as a locked safe or an encrypted storage folder on your computer.