How to Write a Check

Welcome to how to write a check. If you are just looking for how to write out a certain amount, use our value to word converter right below. Else, follow our step-by-step instructions.

American
British
Check
Currency
Words

To begin with, if you are writing a check for the first time it may seem a bit overwhelming, but it isn’t difficult at all, and as with everything practice makes perfect.

In the first part of this article we show you writing a check with cents. In the second paragraph we explain writing an even dollar amount on a check. Finally, we discuss writing a check to cash.

Keep reading to learn how to write out a check in the United States.

How to Write a Check with Cents

There are five mandatory fields and one optional filed we have to discuss in the context of writing checks. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Date: In the upper right hand corner there is a blank line above the word “Date.” Write the current date on that line. The date format is up to you as long as it contains the month, date and year.
    Date
    Post-dating a check, that is putting a date later than the actual one, is not recommended because the rules regarding post-dated checks vary greatly among legislations and banks.

    Moreover, once a check is signed, it is a legal tender, irrespective of the date on the check. Thus, in the absence of sufficient funds, overdraft or non-sufficient funds penalties may apply.

  2. Recipient: The name of the entity you are sending the check to goes on the line right to “Pay to the Order of.” If the check is going to an individual, include both, their first and last name.
    Payee
    If the payee is a company or organization write out its full name. Get that information right before you start writing by asking the business, organization or individual what to fill in.

  3. Numeric Amount: Write the amount in numbers in the box to the right of the dollar sign, separating dollars and cents by a decimal point. For a check over thousand dollars you may use commas as thousands separators.
    Decimals

  4. Amount in words: Write the amount in word form underneath “Pay to the Order of”, on the line that ends in “dollars”. Insert the number word for the whole dollars, followed by “and [1-100]/100”.
    Words

    To avoid fraud, begin as far to the left on that line as possible, and to ensure nothing can be added to the leftover space, you may draw a line after the cents down to the word “dollars”.

    Even if the check amount is very large, the amount must be stated as explained, including the cents as a fraction of hundred.

    In US English, the “and” between the three digit and the two digit numerals is usually omitted!

  5. Purpose: Optionally, fill out the memo section labeled “FOR” on the bottom left of the check for your own records and because businesses like when you tell them what it’s for, e.g. by the invoice number.
    Memo
  6. Signature: Finally, sign the check on the line in the bottom right corner. A check isn’t valid until you sign it duly ensuring that the signature matches the signature on file at the bank.
    How to Write a Check



You are good to go now. Next in this article is how to fill out a check without change.

How to Write a Check without Cents

To write a check without cents proceed in the same fashion way as explained above in how to write a check with cents, except for the cents in (3) and (4).

  • In the numeric text box put “00”.
  • Write the decimal textual amount as either “and No/100”, “and xx/100”, or “and 00/100” as depicted in the following images.
    How to Write a Check without Cents
    Alternative 1
    Alternative 2

BTW: The textual amount is the legal amount of your payment. If the amounts differs from the numeric amount you have put in the box, the amount you wrote with words prevails.

According to the Uniform Commercial Code § 3-114, Contradictory Terms Of Instrument:

“If an instrument contains contradictory terms, typewritten terms prevail over printed terms, handwritten terms prevail over both, and words prevail over numbers.”

Ahead we discuss how to write a check for cash.

How to Write a Check for Cash

As can be seen in the image below, to write a check for cash is pretty simple: Write “Cash” without the quotations marks in the payee field so that anyone can deposit the document.
How to Write a Check for Cash

For non-US checks carrying the word “bearer” you don’t have to put “Cash”. However, you must cross out bearer and insert the payee information is you want your check to be of type non-cash.

In the next paragraph we explain the legal terms related to check writing and go on to describe the other parts of a check, followed by some frequently asked questions.

BTW: Some of the most searched checks on our site are:

How to Fill out a Check – Terms

We are left with explaining relevant legal terms as well as some more parts of a check:

  • Drawer: The entity writing the check
  • Drawee: The entity, typically a financial institution, who must pay the check
  • Bearer: Whomever has the check in its possession is called the bearer
  • Routing number: The number on the left bottom of the check is called routing number, a specific nine digits bank identifier
  • Account number: To the right of your routing number there is the account number of the drawer
  • Check number: In the top right corner as well as to the right of the account number you can find the check number reflecting the sequential order of the check book

In the context of writing a check, the frequently asked questions include, for example:

  • Can you write a check to yourself? Of course, enter your name in the payee field.
  • How to write cents on a check? Fill in the number word for the dollars, followed by and xy/100.
  • Can I write a check to myself? Yes, write your own names on the recipient line.

Ahead is the wrap up of our information, along with an important advice.

Summary

In conclusion, filling out a check isn’t difficult at all, provided that you can spell English numbers properly. To do this it is recommended using our converter.

However, if something about writing a check remains unclear, then don’t hesitate to getting in touch with us – we are here to help.

You can either fill in the comment form at the bottom of this page, or send us an email with a meaningful subject like proper way to write a check.

Last, but not least, never ever sign a blank check because in case of theft or loss, anyone can fill in their name to steal a large amount of money from you.

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