You can cash your paycheck anywhere in the United States, but only if you can find a bank or check-cashing service willing to negotiate it. Small regional banks and check-cashing centers are often reluctant to cash out-of-state checks because bad check laws are set at the state rather than federal levels; this makes it difficult to prosecute people from out of state whose checks bounce. However, in many instances you can cash your paycheck even if you are out of state.
Major national banks have locations around the nation. If you have an account at a national bank, you can access your account and conduct transactions in Wyoming even if you opened your account in Maine. Additionally, if your employer banks at a national bank, you can take your check to any branch of that bank anywhere in the nation. However, you must provide government-issued identification when cashing a check, and some banks may charge you a fee if you are not an account holder. Technically, banks do not have to cash checks for non-account holders, but most banks do cash payroll checks if you have appropriate ID.
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Many check-cashing centers operate nationwide; if you go to a major chain, you can cash your check just as easily out of state as you can in state. Check-cashing centers often charge much higher check-cashing fees than banks; and, like banks, in most states check-cashing centers are not subject to any fee limits. Therefore, shop around for the check-cashing center that charges the lowest fee, and ensure that you have the ID necessary to cash your check.
Some major retail stores offer check-cashing services. Normally, these stores charge fees that are lower than those at check-cashing businesses or at banks. If you normally cash your check at a certain retailer, you can do the same when you are out of state. However, most retailers only accept pre-printed payroll checks from major firms. If you work for a small business or receive handwritten checks, then you can normally only cash these checks at your local retailers, and not at out-of-state stores.
In the past, banks could place lengthy holds on out-of-state checks, because it often took a few weeks for banks to process these checks. As of 2011, due to advances in the electronic processing of transactions, the Federal Reserve no longer allows banks to hold out-of-state checks any longer than in-state checks. Therefore, more banks and businesses are willing to cash these checks than in the past.