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When first got married, the majority of the US still relied on paper checks. On Fridays, my husband would get paid but wouldn’t get off in enough time to head to the bank. Depositing his checks became my job, and it terrified me.

I didn’t know if it was legal at that time to have someone else deposit a check for you. I was afraid the teller would tell me, “No,” and we’d have no way to pay our bills.

Fortunately, this was not the case and I quickly learned that depositing a check for someone else was a common practice. And, even though finances are mostly handled digitally now, the practice is still alive and well. Learn more about how below.

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Can someone else deposit a check for me?

You can have someone else deposit a check for you. It is a legal and acceptable practice, but it must be handled properly. Ideally, this means that the check should include the payee’s signature as well as the words “For Deposit Only.”

Though that is the most straightforward way to have a check deposited by someone else, it’s not the only way. Below you’ll find more detailed information and other methods.

Things to be aware of when you deposit a check for someone else

Regardless of the reason behind why you need to deposit a check for someone, there are times you might need to help out. While there is nothing wrong with being a good friend, son or daughter, employee, or spouse, there are things you have to be aware of to protect yourself and the person you are doing the favor for. Following these tips can help.

  • Make sure you have permission – Don’t assume that your spouse or roommate wants you to deposit the check. They might have other plans or prefer to do it themselves. Even if you’ve done it for them before, always ask before you head to the bank if they want you to deposit it this time.
  • Know the requirements – Be certain you know what the bank requires in order for you to deposit the check. In most cases, if you follow the methods below, you should have no problems. However, give the bank a call first to be sure you have everything handled properly.
  • Get a receipt and make a copy of it – When you deposit the check, get the bank teller to provide you with a receipt and make a copy for your own records. Doing so shows the account holder that you did, indeed, deposit their money. It prevents anyone from saying that you cashed the check or forgot to deposit it.
  • Gather the necessary information –  Before you head to the bank, be sure that you have the correct account number to avoid using white out on a check. If possible, have the account holder write it down for you or send it in a text. If you have to write it down yourself, take a picture, send it to the account holder, and let them verify that you wrote it down correctly.

How to deposit a check for someone else

There are a few different ways you can deposit a check for someone else.

1. Use a deposit slip

The safest method for both you and the person you’re depositing the check for is to use a deposit slip. Have the payee fill out the slip with all the pertinent information, and then endorse the check. When you reach the bank, you simply hand over the deposit slip and the check.

person depositing a check for someone else

The reason this is such a great method is that the payee is responsible for ensuring the account number and all information is accurate. If it is somehow deposited into the wrong account, the liability lies between the bank and the account holder – not you. It also gives the payee greater peace of mind that the money is going into the correct account.

2. FDO

If the payee does not have access to a deposit slip, there is another option: “For Deposit Only” or FDO. In simple terms, the payee endorses the check but only to be deposited – not cashed.

With this method, after the payer has finished writing the check, the payee should flip the check to the endorsement area. On those lines, they should write “For Deposit Only,” put their account number and sign it.

3. Signature method

A person can deposit a check for someone else with nothing more than the payee’s signature on the back, but this brings its own risk. With nothing more than a signature, the person who is supposed to deposit the check could just cash it, instead. Or if you happen to lose the check or have your checkbook stolen, someone else can cash the check.

This might be the simplest method, but it’s definitely not the most secure. It’s best to use one of the other methods listed above.

Related:  What is a Certified Check – and How Do I Get One?

Can someone else deposit a check for me without my signature?

Someone else can deposit a check for you without your signature, although there are some points to keep in mind. These include making sure that the person doing this is trustworthy and double checking that the account number is correct.

It makes sense that this is possible to do. After all, what happens if you’re out of town, stuck at work, or in another position that prevents you from signing the check? That said, as mentioned, there are a few things to keep in mind.

The first is that you should only let someone you truly trust carry out such a deposit for you. All this person needs to do is write “For Deposit Only” and the account number to be able to deposit it.

person writing a check for someone else to deposit

Unfortunately, as they have the freedom to write on the check, they could choose to do other things with the check. Those with unscrupulous morals might forge your signature, sign it over to themselves, or deposit it into their own account – none of which you should have to worry about.

Additionally, you need to be sure that they have the correct account number. Otherwise, the money could end up in the wrong account due to a simple error.

If you choose to use this method, ask the person depositing the check to send you a photo of the endorsement area after they have filled in the information. That way, you can double-check that both “For Deposit Only” and the correct account number are there.

 Related: Is It Safe to Order Checks Online?

Can I deposit a friend’s check into my account?

It is perfectly legal to deposit a friend’s check into your account with that friend’s permission. However, not every bank or financial institution accepts this practice, and they’re not obligated to do so. If you need to deposit someone else’s check into your account, you’ll want to take some steps to ensure you can get it done.

For this explanation, imagine that Kevin rents a room from John. As the bills are all in John’s name, Kevin decides to sign over two of his paychecks each month to cover his portion of the costs.

In theory, this seems like the easiest way to deal with such a situation. It prevents Kevin from having to cash the check and keeps John from having to wait any longer than necessary. Unfortunately, John isn’t aware that his bank views these third-party checks as possibly fraudulent and will not accept them.

person writing a check

There are a few ways to prevent this from occurring. First and foremost, John should have called his bank to ask if they accepted third-party checks. If they don’t, he would either need to find an institution that did or have Kevin cash the check first.

Some banks do accept third-party checks but under specific practices. For example, they might require in this case that Kevin be present to deposit the check himself. Before my husband and I opened a joint account, I would deposit my checks into his account that we paid the bills from. His bank allowed this as long as I was present and showed my ID.

Some banks would only require Kevin to sign the check, then write “Pay to the order of John Rogers.” Then, John would have to sign it.

Other banks might simply require both parties to sign the check. The key, though, is to ask your bank before anyone signs the check. You don’t want to nullify the check or not be able to get it cashed at all because it was endorsed improperly. Always ask first.

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How can I cash a check that’s not in my name?

Cashing a check in someone else’s name requires steps similar to that of depositing another person’s check into your account. It is completely legal and possible, but you need to check with your bank for their requirements first. Not all banks honor this practice as they view third-party checks as potentially fraudulent.

Consider this: If you receive a check that you endorse but lose before you make it to the bank, someone else could find it. If they are dishonest and see your signature on the back of the check, they might try to cash it themselves. Many banks, therefore, do not deposit third-party checks as it could be risky to them and their account holder.

Still, several banks will cash these checks, provided it seems safe to do so. They’ll require certain steps to try to limit the risk, such as requiring Kevin, in this case, to write “Pay to the Order of John Rogers” below his own signature.

Related: Can I Use a Check With an Old Address?

Can I put a check in my account with someone else’s name on it?

Yes, as long as your specific bank accepts this practice. It’s essential that you check with your bank prior to writing anything on the check. Give them a call, explain what exactly you are trying to do, and they will tell you how to proceed.

Some banks completely steer clear of third-party transactions. Others simply require that the check be endorsed in a very specific way. In some cases, though, your bank may require that the person whose name is on the check be present. This allows the bank to see ID and ensure that you have permission to deposit the check.

Can I endorse and deposit a check for someone else?

Unless you have the power of attorney to handle someone else’s financial affairs, signing their name to a check is not a good idea. Under some circumstances, if the person whose name is on the check gives you express permission, it would be acceptable. However, it is typically much safer to have them sign it instead.

If you are depositing the check into their account and they are not present to sign, you can use the “For Deposit Only” method. This allows you to forego the signature and deposit their check.

On the other hand, if you are depositing it into your own account, it is always wise to have them sign it, instead. The legal repercussions of signing someone else’s name without written permission can be stiff.

In situations where you need to deposit a check into your account and there is no signature present, call your bank. Explain the situation and ask them what to do. They may simply have you obtain written or verbal permission to carry out this process, but it’s essential that you ask before making any costly mistakes.

Final thoughts on someone else depositing a check for me

There are many reasons you might need to deposit a check for someone else, including situations like the following:

  • Your boss can’t make it to the bank.
  • Your spouse or friend needs to deposit their check to pay bills but doesn’t get off until after the bank closes.
  • Your roommate went out of town and needs his money deposited for fuel and hotel stays.
  • Your grandmother can’t get around well or your dad is on jury duty and can’t go to the bank.

And all of those could also apply to you, which is why it can be much more convenient to have someone else help you out.

The process of one person depositing a check for someone else isn’t hard and is pretty widely accepted but, in some cases, it’s worth checking with the bank first to see if they’re ok with this. This includes finding out if they have any requirements that need to be met to allow this to go through, which usually relate to them trying to avoid any fraudulent bank activities.

And from there…happy depositing!

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About the author

Anna is the founder of LogicalDollar and a personal finance expert, having been seen in Forbes, HuffPost, Reader’s Digest, MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, and many more. She’s committed to helping others get on the path to financial freedom using the experience gained from turning $60,000 in debt into a thriving investment portfolio. Find out more.