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Can I Legally Deposit a Check for Someone Else?

SmartAsset: Can I Deposit a Check for Someone Else?
SmartAsset: Can I Deposit a Check for Someone Else?

While more people are opting into online banking, it’s possible that you may still need to write or deposit paper checks from time to time. Depositing paper checks to your own bank account can be as simple as handing them off to a teller or snapping a photo using mobile check deposit. But can you deposit checks for someone else? The short answer is yes, though the process for doing so can vary from bank to bank.

A financial advisor can help you create a financial plan for your savings and spending needs and goals.

Can I Deposit a Check for Someone Else?

The answer is yes, generally speaking. It’s possible to deposit checks on behalf of another person into their bank account or in some cases, your own bank account. Banks and credit unions may allow you to deposit checks for someone else when certain conditions are met.

When might you need to deposit a check for someone else? Generally, there are two types of scenarios where that can happen:

  • Someone asks you to deposit their check into their bank account for them

  • Someone asks you to deposit their check into your bank account

In the first instance, you may be asked to deposit a check for someone because they’re not able to get to the bank to do it themselves or they don’t have mobile check deposit through their bank. In the second instance, someone may ask you to deposit their check to your account if they owe you money or they’re unable to access their own bank account for some reason.

How Do I Deposit a Check for Someone Else?

What you’ll need to do to deposit a check for someone else will depend on where you’re depositing the money. Again, you may be asked to take a check to the bank for someone else to deposit it into their account or deposit it to your own account.

Depositing a Check Into Someone Else’s Account

If someone gives you a check to deposit at their bank, the next steps are fairly straightforward. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Ask the person to fill out a deposit slip showing their name, account number, deposit amount and date of deposit

  • Have them endorse the back of the check

  • Take the check and deposit slip to the bank and have a teller deposit it

If you’re not able to get a deposit slip, you can also have the person write “For Deposit Only” on the back of the check with their account number. They’ll still need to endorse the back of the check. You’ll also want to get a receipt from the teller showing that the deposit was made.

Depositing Someone Else’s Check Into Your Account

The steps involved to deposit someone else’s check into your account will depend largely on where you bank. Keep in mind that not all banks may allow you to deposit checks written out to someone else into your account. If your bank does, however, here’s what you may need to do to make the deposit:

  • Make out a deposit slip with your name, account number, deposit amount and date of deposit

  • Ask the person who’s giving you the check to write “Pay to the order of + your name” on the back and sign it

  • Take the check and deposit slip to your bank to deposit it

Again, you’ll want to get a receipt for the deposit showing that it was made. That can help to create a paper trail if there are any issues with the deposit later.

Can I Deposit a Check for Someone Else If They Only Signed It?

SmartAsset: Can I Deposit a Check for Someone Else?
SmartAsset: Can I Deposit a Check for Someone Else?

Endorsing the back of a check gives the bank authorization to complete the transaction. If someone asks you to deposit a check on their behalf, they could simply endorse the back and hand it over to you.

However, just signing the back is the least secure way to have someone else deposit a check. Unless the check specifically says, “For Deposit Only,” the person who receives it can cash it. That can be a problem if someone gives you a check to deposit and you end up losing it.

Whoever finds it could cash it and keep the money. The safer method for depositing checks on behalf of someone else is to have them add “For Deposit Only” and their account number or use a deposit slip. In that case, the bank wouldn’t be able to cash the check and give the money to the person who presented it.

Tips for Depositing Checks for Someone Else

If someone asks you to deposit a check on their behalf, it’s important to make sure the money gets where it needs to go. So here are a few tips for depositing checks for someone else the right way:

  • Ask about their bank’s deposit policy beforehand to make sure you’ll be able to deposit a check into someone else’s account for them

  • Check your bank’s deposit policy if you’re depositing someone else’s check that’s signed over to you into your own account

  • If someone gives you a blank signed check, keep it somewhere safe until you’re ready to deposit it.

  • Double-check all of the information on the check, including the payee’s name and signature to ensure that they match and are spelled correctly.

  • Ask for a receipt showing the deposit information if you’re not offered one at the bank.

You might also consider alternatives to depositing a check for someone else if you’d like to avoid any potential headaches.

Mobile check deposit can save you a trip to the bank and ensure that checks are deposited properly, without violating any banking rules. If someone who’s unfamiliar with mobile banking asks you to deposit a check into their account, for instance, you could walk them through the process of setting up mobile check deposit on their phone so they can make the deposit themselves.

The same is true if someone asks you to deposit their check into your account. You could have them first deposit the check through their mobile banking app, then send a person-to-person payment to you for the amount.

Of course, these alternatives can take longer to process. If time is of the essence, you may need to revert to the traditional methods of depositing checks mentioned above.

Bottom Line

SmartAsset: Can I Deposit a Check for Someone Else?
SmartAsset: Can I Deposit a Check for Someone Else?

Depositing a check for someone else may not be something you’re asked to do often, but it’s important to know how to handle that situation should it arise. The most important thing is to make sure you’re following the bank’s rules for deposits. Missing a step could cause the check to be voided, which could create headaches for you and the original payee.

Checking Account Tips

  • Consider talking to your financial advisor about the pros and cons of depositing checks for someone else. You may also discuss which banking account option might be best for you, based on your needs. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

  • If you’re tired of paying high banking fees, you might consider looking for a new checking account. While traditional banks can offer convenient access to your money, online banks may charge fewer fees and offer more incentives, such as interest on deposits or rewards when you open a new checking account. As you compare the best checking account options, pay attention to what you’ll pay for them, minimum deposit requirements and any added features or benefits you might be able to enjoy.

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