Voided Check Basics: What It Is and When You Need One

Share this post

Managing your personal finances requires knowledge of various related topics. A voided check is one such topic that can come up in different financial scenarios. Have you ever heard of a voided check but weren’t quite sure what it is or why you might need one? If so, you’re not alone! 

Knowing what is a void check and when you might need one will ensure you are prepared no matter the situation. In this article, we’ll explain what a voided check is and when you may need to use one. We’ll also provide some tips on how to write a voided check if it’s something that you’re asked to do. By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll have all the information necessary to make informed decisions about voided checks.

What is a Voided Check?

A voided check, also known as a “canceled check,” is a type of bank document that has been made unusable. However, unlike a canceled check, which has already been processed and deducted from a bank account, a voided check has never been used for payment. When you void a check, the account information, such as the routing and account numbers, remains visible on the face of the check, but it can no longer be used for transactions or payments. 

The Purpose of a Voided Check

Voided checks are used for a variety of reasons, and it is important to understand what they are and how they are used. The purpose of voiding a check is to prevent potential fraud or identity theft by making sure that your financial information cannot be copied and used without authorization. A voided check provides proof of ownership of a bank account. 

Many businesses and organizations require voided checks to set up direct deposit or to establish automatic payments from a bank account. A voided check provides the necessary information to link a bank account with another account or service.

In addition to setting up automatic payments, voided checks can also be used to verify a bank account number and routing number. For example, when setting up an online payment account or providing bank information to a third party, a voided check can be used as proof of the bank account information.

Different Ways to Void a Check

So, how do you void a check? The most common way to void a check is to write “VOID” in large letters across the front of the check using a pen. You can opt for writing “VOID” in smaller letters in five areas of the check to cover the date line, payee line, amount box, amount line, and signature line. You can also ask your bank to void the check electronically. This is done automatically when the bank receives the check, and it can be tracked in your account history or on your monthly statement. 

But how to get a voided check online? Luckily, some banks allow you to void a check using their online services, allowing you to enter the required information and have the check voided without having to write anything on it. This method is often more convenient than physically voiding a check, especially if the account holder is not able to access the check physically. 

If you are setting up direct deposit or automatic payments from your account, you will need to print out a blank check with all of your financial information included. Make sure that you write “VOID” across it clearly so that it cannot be used for any type of transaction.

When Do You Need a Voided Check?

This document may be required when setting up certain financial transactions, such as a voided check for direct deposit for payroll or automatic bill payments. 

Situations Where a Voided Check Is Required

Examples of situations where a voided check is required include when opening a new bank account to establish the account and provide accurate bank account information. Also, when applying for loans or credit cards, a voided check may be requested to verify bank account information. 

In addition, you may need a voided check when signing up for utility services like telephone or electric service and submitting an application to receive government benefits. It may also be requested when switching banks or transferring funds between accounts at different institutions.

And many companies and organizations will ask you for one to set up automatic bill payments. This is often done to streamline the payment process and avoid late fees or missed payments. 

Common Uses For a Voided Check

One of the most common uses of a voided check is to prove that you are the owner of a certain bank account. A voided check can also be used to verify the bank account number and routing number, which is necessary for setting up direct deposit or automatic bill payments. Direct deposits allow funds to be transferred directly from one account to another, while automatic payments are used for recurring bills like a mortgage or car loan payment. The voided check provides the payee with the necessary account and routing numbers needed to complete such transactions. 

When setting up direct deposit or automatic payments, it’s important to make sure the information on the voided check is accurate for these transactions to process correctly. It’s also important to keep track of how much money is being deposited into each bank account so there are no surprises when reviewing your monthly statement.

How a Voided Check is Used For Direct Deposit and Automatic Bill Payments

When setting up direct deposit, a voided check is required to provide accurate bank account information. The process involves providing the employer with a voided check, which they will use to verify the bank account information and set up direct deposit. This process can also be done online, where the account holder provides the bank account information, and the employer verifies it with a test deposit.

Similarly, when setting up automatic bill payments, a voided check may be required to provide accurate bank account information. The process involves providing the company with a voided check, which they will use to verify the bank account information and set up automatic payments.

How to Void a Check

Voiding a check is an important step that is necessary to prevent fraudulent activity. Here’s how it can be done: 

Step-By-Step Instructions 

The first step towards voiding a check is to make sure the information on the check is correct. This includes verifying the payee, date, and the stated amount of money. If any of these details are incorrect, it’s best to cross off the incorrect information and write in your corrections before you proceed with voiding the check. 

After you have verified all of the details on your check are accurate, take a pen and draw a large X across the front of the check from one corner to another.  

Additionally, make sure you write “VOID” in large letters on the front of the check to ensure it can’t be used again. You may also choose to make a note of when and why you are voiding this particular check in case there is an audit by your financial institution later on. 

Next, it’s time to get rid of the voided check. Depending on where you work, this could mean either securely shredding the check or putting it into storage until further notice. Failing to properly discard a voided check could result in fraudulent activity taking place, so take extra caution with making sure that yours gets disposed of correctly.

Tips For Voiding a Check Properly

When you need to void a check, it is essential to ensure that the process is done properly. Here are some tips to keep in mind when voiding a check: 

  1. Make sure you have all of the correct information filled out on the check before you void it, including the date, payee name, and amount. 
  2. Write “VOID” on the front of the check so that there can be no doubt that it has been voided. 
  3. Use a pen or marker with an ink color that will not easily rub off or fade over time, such as blue or black ink. 
  4. Avoid using correction fluid to cover up any mistakes if possible. The ink will eventually wear off, leaving the check open to potential fraud. 
  5. Always keep a record of voided checks in your accounting system or some other secure location for future reference if needed. 
  6. Contact your bank to let them know you have voided a check, so they can ensure it is not cashed or deposited by accident. 

Voiding a check properly helps make sure that no unexpected charges or fraudulent activities occur with your account, so take the necessary steps to be sure the process is done correctly every time. Following these tips can help you rest assured that all checks are void safely and securely.

Alternatives to Voided Checks

Voided checks are still commonly used as proof of account ownership, but other alternatives can be more convenient and secure. Here are a few popular options to consider if you’re looking to replace voided checks in your business. 

  • Direct Deposit: Direct deposit is an easy way for businesses to transfer funds electronically without having to use paper checks or cash. This method doesn’t require voiding a check, so it will save you time and effort, and it’s also a secure payment option.  
  • ACH Transfer: Automatic Clearing House (ACH) transfers make it easier for businesses to move money between their accounts quickly and securely. ACH transfers don’t require voided checks, and they can be used to send money from one bank account to another.
  • Wire Transfer: A wire transfer is an instant way to move funds between two accounts without having to use a check or cash. It’s fast, secure, and doesn’t require a void check. However, there is usually a fee associated with this method. 
  • PayPal: PayPal is an online payment service that allows users to easily transfer money without having to write a check or carry cash. This method does not require the use of voided checks, so it can save time and effort for businesses, but PayPal will charge fees for its services.  
  • Credit Card: Credit cards can be used to make payments quickly and securely without the need for physical checks or cash. This method doesn’t require voiding a check, but it does come with higher transaction fees than other payment options. 

These are just a few of the other forms of documentation that businesses can use in place of a voided check. Each one has its own pros and cons, so it’s important to do your research and find the option that best meets your needs. 

The Pros and Cons of Using Alternative Forms of Documentation

These alternatives offer several benefits over traditional voided checks that make them worth considering. The primary benefit of these alternatives to voided checks is enhanced security. While it’s relatively easy for anyone to forge a voided check due to its simple design, some of the new alternatives boast superior encryption and fraud protection features that make forging or falsifying them significantly more difficult. Additionally, many of these newer options allow for two-factor authentication processes, which can further enhance security when verifying sensitive banking information. 

Another major benefit of using an alternative to a voided check is convenience. While it can be time-consuming to write and void a check, many of these newer alternatives allow for bank information verification in just a few clicks. This optimizes the process for both businesses and customers alike.  

Finally, another advantage of using an alternative to voided checks is cost savings. Many digital solutions are far less expensive than traditional methods, meaning that businesses no longer have to worry about wasting paper or ink on printing physical checks. Furthermore, with some digital solutions, there may be options for discounted rates when processing large batches of verifications.

Of course, there are also several potential drawbacks to using alternatives to voided checks. Some of these alternatives may be more difficult for certain customers to use, such as those without a smartphone or internet access. Additionally, some of the newer options may not work with every bank in your area, meaning that customers who use unique financial institutions may have trouble using them. Furthermore, some of these solutions require banks to invest time and resources into setting up the platform, train staff to use it and troubleshoot any potential issues.

Common Mistakes When Voiding Checks

How to write a voided check without mistakes? There are common errors people make when voiding checks that can cause issues down the road. We are providing you with tips to avoid them. 

  1. Not clearly writing “VOID” on the check: This step is essential for successfully voiding a check. Be sure to use bold lettering and make it as visible as possible so that any detailed information on the check will not be readable or used, and no one can cash or deposit the check later on.  
  2. Writing “void” on the wrong part of the check: You should write VOID in large letters across the face of the check, never on any other area, such as the signature line or numeric fields. This will ensure that all fields remain blank so that your bank account balance remains accurate and no one else can use it to withdraw money from your account.
  3. Signing the back of the check: You should never sign the back of a voided check, as this could lead to someone trying to cash or deposit it and cause you an issue down the line. 
  4. Failing to record the voided check: You must keep track of all voided checks and record them in your accounting system. An audit trail of all of your checks ensures you avoid potential fraud. 
  5. Waiting too long to void a check: You should try to void a check as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours, since canceling the check is not a guarantee that the funds will remain in your account. Also, if you wait too long, it could be more difficult for the bank to process the cancellation and prevent any fraudulent activity.
  6. Not telling the bank: It’s always a good idea to notify your bank when you are voiding a check, just to ensure that they know what has happened and that it won’t be cashed by anyone else. Keeping the bank informed will help them prevent potential fraudulent activities.
  7. Not destroying the voided check: After you have recorded the voided check and told your bank, it is important to physically destroy it so that no one can try to use it again. Shredding is the ideal way to do this, but burning or tearing into small pieces will work too.
  8. Forgetting to save a copy of the voided check once you have canceled it: It’s important to keep copies of voided checks so to easily track transactions and know what amount has been taken out of your account. This way, if there’s ever an issue with incorrect or double processing, you can provide evidence that the check was canceled in time.


In conclusion, understanding voided check basics is fundamental to staying on top of personal finances. Knowing what a voided check is and when you need one can help you manage your money more effectively.

Be sure to double-check the information provided on the check before voiding it, and never use a voided check for any payments or transactions. Voided checks are important documents, and they can be handled securely and safely with the right know-how and adequate planning.

Share this post

Subscribe to our latest news

    Scroll to Top