How to Cash an Out-of-State Cashier's Check

Man at bank teller
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A cashier's check is a guaranteed method of payment because it is drawn on a bank's own money. You can cash an out-of-state cashier's check the same way you would cash an in-state cashier's check or a regular check because the requirements are the same. There are several options for doing so, and some require a fee.

Issuing Bank

Take the check to a branch of the issuing bank to cash it. It is obligated to honor its own checks. A teller can immediately verify whether it is genuine and the funds are available. You might have to pay a fee for the service if you don't have an account with the bank. Open an account with the money if you want to avoid the charge. Sign the back of the cashier's check in the teller's presence and show a government-issued form of identification, such as your license or state ID.

Your Bank

Your bank might be reluctant to cash a cashier's check that it can't immediately verify but more willing to allow you to deposit it instead. Most will allow it if your account has at least the amount written on the check so you can pay the money back if the check is fraudulent. The first $5,000 will be available to you the next business day and the balance, if applicable, will be available in up to nine days. If your account is less than 30 days old, the full amount will be available in seven business days. Sign the check in front of the teller and present your identification.

Check Cashing Services

You can take the cashier's check to a check-cashing business if you are unable to cash or deposit it at a bank. These businesses charge significant fees for their services. It could be a percentage of the check's value or a fixed fee based on the amount. Some retailers also offer check-cashing services and at much lower fees, but there is a limit on the amount you can cash. For instance, Wal-Mart charges $3 for checks up to $1,000 and $6 for anything over this amount, up to $7,500. Show your identification and sign the check in front of the agent to cash it.

Common Scams

Cashier's checks might be a secure method of payment, but they have become attractive to scam artists. The scams vary but some are easy to spot. On Craigslist, for instance, an individual might send a cashier's check for more than the price of an item you are selling, with instructions to take out your due and send the balance to a third party. You might receive news of a windfall via letter, with a cashier's check enclosed, with a directive to cash the check and return the processing fee. Another version is the mystery shopping scam, in which the sender asks you to cash the check, buy some merchandise to keep and send the balance to a third party. The checks are fraudulent, the senders can't be located, and the victim has to pay the money back to the bank.

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