There are situations where you might find yourself needing to sign a check over to someone else or requiring someone else to deposit checks into your bank account. Maybe you’re out of the country, sick, or just too busy running your small business. Whatever the reason, it’s important to know if this is possible and how to do it.
Whether you’ve got a checking account, savings account, or both, the answer is, in general, yes — you can sign over a check to someone else, and you can have someone else deposit a check for you. Here’s how you can endorse a check to an individual or organization, or make sure that someone else is able to deposit a check for you.
The Process to Sign a Check Over to Someone Else
Have a check payable to you that you need to give to someone else? This is a common situation but it’s important to take the correct steps to ensure it works and doesn’t appear to be check fraud. Here’s how you handle it:
1. Choose a recipient to designate the check to
You can endorse a check to just about any third party, including another person, a group of people, or a company.
2. Make sure the recipient and their bank will accept an endorsed check
There are some cases when an individual or businesses cannot accept an endorsed-over check. Sometimes policies prevent it, so it’s important to confirm this before signing over a check.
3. Sign the back of the check
Find the area on the back of the check that reads: “Endorse check here” and sign your name as you normally would.
4. Write “pay to the order of” and the recipient’s name below your signature
This officially signs the check over. This is a very important step as it officially endorses the check over to your recipient, granting them full ownership of the check and the related funds.
5. Deliver the check to the endorsed individual or organization
Once they have the check in hand, it’s ready to be deposited. All you have to do is wait for it to clear.
Can Someone Else Deposit a Check for Me?
To have someone else deposit a check into your bank account, there are a few things you’ll need to do. Keep in mind that, in the majority of cases, you cannot have someone cash a check for you.
Here are the steps:
- Sign your check. Also known as endorsing a check, you need to sign it. No one else is authorized to sign your check with their name or yours. This mistake can be interpreted as check fraud.
- Write your account number below your signature. Whether depositing to your checking account or savings account, you need to specify the account number.
- Write “For deposit only” below your bank account number. In order for someone else to deposit your check successfully, specify that it’s a deposit.
- Deposit the check at a local branch of your bank in person. Whoever is depositing your check for you must go to the bank to complete the transaction.
Will My Bank Allow It?
The answer to this question varies from bank to bank. Different U.S. banks have differing policies. It’s best to check your bank’s website to find out if someone else can deposit a check in your account.
Alternatives to Having Others Deposit Your Check
While the above steps may work at your bank, it’s really not the best idea to allow your check to change hands unless you’re present. To lower the risk of loss, mix-up, or potential fraud that comes with having someone else deposit your check for you, here are some alternative ways to get your check deposited quickly and securely without needing to go to the bank.
Mobile Banking Deposit
One alternative is to deposit your check digitally by taking a picture using a mobile banking app. Most banks offer this service and it’s very simple. NorthOne is a mobile-first bank that saves you from ever stepping foot in a bank branch again. Banking with NorthOne means you can easily deposit your checks from your phone wherever you are. Assuming your account is all set up, all you need to do is sign the check, write your account number on it, take a centered picture of the front and back of the check, and just like that you’re all set. No matter who you bank with, always double-check for any other specific requirements they may have to process your mobile deposit.
Deposit By Mail
Another remote method of depositing money in your account is to mail the check to your banking institution. Most banks allow you to deposit via traditional mail and it follows the same simple steps. You just endorse the check, indicate which account you want to deposit it into and mail it to your bank’s deposit by mail address. You can also use overnight shipping, FedEx, and other carriers. For specific information, you’ll want to check with your bank.
Assuming it’s a check you regularly receive, direct deposit is by far the easiest method to get money into your account without going to the bank. Direct deposit can be set up with any bank account and is arranged with your employer using a form you’ll need to submit to payroll. You can specify multiple accounts and amounts as you see fit. For your paycheck, direct deposit is safe, secure, and easy.
Add an Authorized User
If you’re in a situation where someone else has to regularly deposit your checks for you (e.g., a caregiver), it may be best to just add that person as an additional authorized user. This allows the person handling your checks access to the account, so it should only be used with a trusted individual or family member. Checks with your name on it will still need your signature, but this method will clear up any potential issues with your arrangement.