Cashing Old Checks: How Long Is A Check Good For?

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  • This means that federal tax refund checks are good for one year as those are issued by the U.S.
  • This can be safely disregarded as an attempt to remind people not to hold a check for too long.
  • However, if a check is unprocessed beyond its expiration, the issuer might use the funds in other ways.
  • If a bank does elect to cash or deposit a check for you, this does not mean the balance of the check will be immediately available.

Checks can become “stale dated” and may be harder, or even impossible, to cash. Stale-dated checks refer to expired checks or checks that banks and credit unions will no longer process. Stale checks are the result of the check expiry period passing, which is six months after the check issuance date.

What Happens if You Don’t Cash a Check?

A check from a state government is generally valid for six months to a year, though that can vary by state. When a check is stale-dated, the recipient of the check will need to inform the issuer of the check and request that they provide them with a new check for the payment. This includes filling out a new check with the proper information. Of course, depending on the situation, purpose of payment, and circumstances surrounding not processing the check in a timely manner, this may be easier than in other instances. is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service.

  • In some situations, the recipient can also be charged a fee in addition to having to refund the deposit.
  • Waiting too long could also result in the payer stopping payment on the check.
  • If this goes on long enough, the money order will be worthless.
  • This means that, in theory, you can cash a money order at any point in time.
  • But it may help to keep in mind that if there aren’t enough funds to cover the check, you could run into issues with a bounced check and related fees.
  • Checks issued by the federal government (such as tax refunds or benefits) usually carry an expiration date of one year.
  • The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) is a collection of laws and regulations meant to harmonize the laws of sales and regulations across the U.S.

However, if you’ve ever found a check several months after it was issued, you may have wondered, “Do checks expire? ” It’s a good question to ask, and the answer will likely depend on the type of check. Because it can be a good practice to cash or deposit checks soon after receiving them, you may want to stale dated checks consider direct deposit. Learning how to set up direct deposit for regularly recurring deposits like payroll checks could make life a little easier—and give you one less item on your to-do list. Some banks may allow you to deposit a check that’s gone stale if they believe the funds will be available.

What happens if you try to cash an expired check?

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