Some grocery stores offer check-cashing services to their customers. This increases the convenience for those not wanting to make an additional trip to the bank. From the store's perspective, it gives customers cash to spend there. However, check-cashing policies vary by location, and the policy at one local grocery store will likely be different from another. Check before you go to the store to make sure it can meet your needs.
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Cash with Purchase
Grocery scores often accept checks for purchases and may allow customers to write a check greater than the amount of the purchase to get cash back. You'll typically need to present a government-issued photo ID, and your name, address and telephone number must be on the check. This service is based on the customer's account history, so newer customers, or those who have written bad checks in the past, may not be able to take advantage of this option.
IDs and Fees
Many stores offer check-cashing services at the customer service area. This often includes payroll checks below an established amount, as well as some government checks and rebate checks. You'll need to provide a government-issued photo ID and a Social Security number in most cases. Some grocery stores also might require you to prove you're a regular customer by showing a store loyalty card. This is designed to limit the store's risk. If something happens and the check gets returned, they have your contact information and some degree of assurance that you'll be back. You'll often pay a fee for the service, which can either be a flat fee or vary based on the amount of the check.
When you present your check, the grocery store may scan it for a third-party acceptance service that quickly verifies whether the check is good. The service picks up the information from the scanned check and compares it to information stored in its database, which includes your account history with that grocery store and others who use the service. Your check may be declined if you have an unpaid check or outstanding fees recorded in the database. If it's declined for that reason, you'll get contact information should you want to get more details from that third-party service.
Grocery stores aren't banks, and don't have the same level of check-cashing services that a bank would. A store may limit the types of checks it will cash, or not process anything over a certain amount. As of 2015, Albertson's, for example, won't cash tax refund checks larger than $1,500, while Food Lion won't cash payroll checks for more than $500. Not all stores cash personal checks, particularly those from out of state. You're also unlikely to be able to cast a check that's more than 60 days old, or third party checks.