It isn’t unusual, and is perfectly legal, to write a check to yourself from one of your personal bank accounts to deposit in another. To do this, fill out the check as you normally would, naming yourself as the payee. You then can deposit the check into any of your other financial accounts that accept check deposits. You also have the option of making the check out to Cash, though this presents additional risks if you lose it, since anyone in possession of the check can cash it at your bank or deposit it into an account.
Waiting for Check to Clear
Financial institutions clear checks much faster than they used to thanks to the Automated Clearing House, or ACH, network. If the bank where you deposit the check processes it as an ACH transaction, your funds may be available as quickly as one business day after making the deposit, since the transaction will be transmitted between the banks electronically. When checks aren’t processed through ACH -- meaning the actual paper check is sent to the bank from which the funds are coming -- it can take a few more days before you see the funds available in your account.
Many banks, as a courtesy, will clear a portion of the deposit overnight -- meaning the funds are made available to you before the account you write the check from is debited. When money is a little tight but you're expecting a deposit soon, it can be tempting to write yourself a check for those anticipated funds a little early. Note, however, that writing checks for amounts in excess of the current available balance in your account is technically considered check fraud, regardless of whether you have a deposit on the way or not. (
Checks from a Business Account
Whether you run a small business as a sole proprietorship or use a business entity like a corporation or limited liability company, you can write yourself a check from a separate business account if you have signatory authority. When an account is opened under a business name, banks require the names and signatures of all owners, officers and employees who are authorized to write checks -- meaning they have signatory authority. If you have signatory authority, a check made out to yourself can be deposited in your personal bank account just like any other check you receive.
Checks from Joint Accounts
If you have money in a joint bank account with your spouse or other individual, it means you’re both authorized to write checks to anyone -- including yourself. Since financial institutions don’t require the signatures of both account holders in order to cash a check, you can sign the check you write to yourself and deposit it into a different account -- even if it that account is solely in your name.