How to Deposit a U.S. Treasury Check Without a Hold Placed on It

The United States Treasury mails Social Security, disability and income tax refund checks to millions of Americans every year. The Treasury encourages people to sign up for direct deposit to receive funds more quickly. Banks can delay the availability of funds on Treasury checks when people deposit them into accounts less than 30 days old, or into accounts not owned by the payee. Proceeds from large dollar checks are split, with the first $5,000 not subject to delay. But balances in excess of that are held for up to seven business days.

Step 1

Examine the check to ensure it is printed correctly with the correct payee or payees. Turn the check over and sign on the line at the left-hand side. If the check has two payees, leave sufficient room for the other recipient and have the person sign it as well.

Step 2

Complete the deposit slip. For the check to be processed without delay, it must be deposited into the payee's checking account. If two payees are listed, use a deposit slip for a joint account owned by both payees.

Step 3

Deposit the check before the processing cutoff time. The Federal Reserve requires banks to post a time at which bank processing of deposits ends for the business day. Most banks start processing on the next business day at 2 p.m. Deposit the check before the changeover to avoid delays in posting.

Step 4

Check the receipt. The teller receipt shows the deposit's posting date. When no holds are placed, the posting and the calendar date are the same.

Tip

Banks need not hold Treasury check balances in excess of $5,000 if the payee has an established account history and typically maintains high balances at the bank. People who sign up for direct deposit receive payment in their account the same day the checks are printed.

Warning

People depositing Treasury checks with multiple payees into single-ownership accounts should have all payees visit the bank at the time of the deposit. The bank may not hold joint-payee checks if the other parties sign the check at the bank and present acceptable identification. Treasury checks deposited into ATM machines or night-drops can be held. Only checks deposited in person by the payee into the payee's account are exempt.

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