photo of a check

How to Endorse a Check

Did someone give you a check and you’re not sure what to do with it? Fret no more… it’s easy, really!

On the front of the check, you will want to take note of the “Pay To The Order Of” line. If the check is made payable to more than one person, for example, than both parties may be required to endorse it. The person(s) named in the Pay to line must endorse the check.

As an example, a check is made payable to John Smith as a gift. Here are his options once he’s received this check:

If John Smith wants to deposit the check into his own bank account, he can sign his name on the top line under “Endorse Here,” on the back of the check. Then under that write “For Deposit Only” along with his numerical account number on the second and third lines. This will prompt a teller at his bank or mobile banking software to deposit the funds to that specific account.

If John Smith wants to sign the check over to someone else, under the “Endorse Here” section, he will sign his name and write “Pay to the Order of” and the other person’s name. You will then give that check to the person named on the back of the check for them to cash or deposit it.

If John Smith wants to cash the check, he can take it to his local bank where he should sign his name under the “Endorse Here” section and then provide the bank teller a photo id to receive payment in cash. If John Smith doesn’t have a bank, he can go to store fronts that offer check-cashing services, such as K-Mart and Ralph’s. The only catch is that those stores typically charge a processing fee.