Names Joined By "Or"
If the names on the check are joined by "or," such as "Jamie Doe or James Doe," either person can cash or deposit the check -- even without the other person's knowledge. For example, if Jamie takes the check to the bank and deposits it in her individual account, that's permissible.
Names Joined By "And"
The policies on depositing a joint check vary from bank to bank. Some require that both parties simply sign the check. Others may require both parties to be present and show identification. Alternatively, either party can deposit the check into an account held jointly with the other person. For example, Jamie could deposit a check to "Jamie and James Doe" into a checking account that has both names on the account.