How to Cash an Out of Town Check

Cashing out of town checks can be difficult if the drawee bank does not have a branch in your local area. Customers with existing accounts in good standing are often able to cash out of town checks against their own accounts, if their average balances exceed the value of the check being presented. Historically, many banks required account holders to deposit non-local checks and delayed the availability of funds for up to 11 business days. In 2010, the Federal Reserve eliminated the classification of checks as non-local, and all checks are processed the same way.

Step 1

Go online to locate the nearest branch of the drawee bank. If the bank has a branch in the local area, call and ask a representative what identification is required for a non-customer to cash a check. Ask if the bank charges a check cashing fee. If there are no branches in the area, call your own bank and ask them if they will allow you to cash the item against your account. Contact a family member or friend if your bank will not accommodate you and ask them if you can cash the item against their account. If no bank will allow you to negotiate the check, some stores including Walmart will cash payroll checks. Large dollar personal checks usually have to be deposited into your account and will be subject to a hold of up to seven business days.

Step 2

Go to the bank. When cashing the check at the drawee bank, you normally have to pay a non-customer fee of between $5 and $10 dollars and have your fingerprint taken. Give the teller your ID, and endorse the back of the check. If cashing the item at your own bank, you may not pay a fee or provide a thumb print. If you cash the check at a friend's bank, sign the check and your friend must also sign it under your endorsement. Both you and your friend need to give your IDs to the teller.

Step 3

Count the money. Make sure the teller gave you the correct money before you leave the building. Count the money in front of the teller and if it is correct, take back your ID and leave the bank.

Tip

If cashing a large check, it is usually necessary to call the bank beforehand to ensure they have available funds. Banks generally do not accept checks that are older than six months because they view them as "stale dated."

Things You'll Need

  • Government-issued identification

  • Secondary form of identification

Warning

Federal laws do not require drawee banks to negotiate checks for non-customers. Banks are often reluctant to cash large dollar checks for non-customers but exchanging it for a certified check will prevent the item from being held at your own bank.

When you cash a check against your own account or a friends account, the bank give you immediate credit for an item that has not yet been processed. If the check is returned by the drawee bank the account it was cashed against is debited to recoup the amount of the disbursed funds.

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