When you sign the back of a check prior to cashing it, you provide an endorsement. The signature allows you to transferr the check to another party, even if you are just cashing the item at the bank. The endorsement gives the bank the right to the check funds. A restrictive endorsement allows you to give the check to another party before cashing. Once you apply the restrictive endorsement, the check and funds become the property of someone else.
Turn the check over and look for a line labeled "Endorsement." It will be located at one end of the check.
Write "Pay to the Order of" then fill in the name of the individual or organization who is taking ownership of the document. Use a name that corresponds with their identification. For example, if signing the check over to your married sister, use the last name on her driver's license. If she goes by her married name, that is what you should write.
Sign your name under the restrictive endorsement. The name you sign must match the name on the front of the check. If the check is made out to "John Q. Public", do not sign "John Public".