Properly writing a check reduces the chances of making an error and makes it difficult for someone to fraudulently alter the information. Always use an ink pen, as pencil marks can be erased and check amounts changed.
Write the Date
In the upper right-hand corner of the check, below the check number, write the date. The standard format is month followed by the day and year. For example, July 4, 2015. Most often, this will be the date on which the check is written. You can post-date a check by writing a future date. Checks can only be deposited or cashed on or after the date written in this field.
Write the Recipient's Name
Write the recipients name on the blank line next to Pay to the order of. This can be the name of a person or an organization. Verify with the recipient that the appropriate name is being used for the account to which the check will be deposited.
Write the Numerical Check Amount
In the box next to the recipient field, write the check amount numerically, including dollars and cents. For example, the check might be for $52.23. If needed, draw a line after the amount to fill in any remaining space.
Spell Out the Check Amount
On the line below the recipient field, write the check amount with dollars spelled out and cents written as a fraction. For example, $52.23 is written as Fifty-two and 23/100. Then draw a line through the remaining space in the field.
Write the Reason for Payment
Called the Memo or For field, the space in the bottom left can indicate the reason for payment. This field is optional.
Sign the Check
Sign your name exactly as it's printed in the upper left-hand corner of the check.
Tips & Warnings
- Again, always use pen to write checks.
- Make sure all fields are legible.
- Record the check in your check ledger immediately.
- Check your bank statement -- online or the mailed statement -- to ensure that the check was deposited.