If you need cash immediately, the bank where you have your account might cash a personal check written to you by someone else. Every bank has different rules about cashing personal checks. Call your local branch to find out whether your bank can meet your needs.
Banks usually require that you have enough money in your account to cover the check amount. Typically, a hold is put on that amount until the check clears. If you don’t have enough money in your account, your bank might ask you to deposit the check and wait for it to clear. Some banks process personal checks free of charge and some charge a fee.
The bank where the check writer has his account might also cash it, or you could try a check-cashing company. The service usually involves a fee. Banks and check-cashing companies charge a flat or percentage fee based on the amount of the check or require that the amount be transferred to a prepaid debit card that has fees attached to it.
Any bank might refuse to cash the check for any reason, including if the check is for a high amount or looks damaged or suspicious in any way. If you must go to a check writer's bank and you don’t have an account there, the bank might ask you to open an account. Whatever the situation, most banks and check-cashing businesses require a driver’s license or other proof of your identity.
- CheckAdvantage LLC: How to Properly Cash or Deposit Personal Checks
- PNC Bank: Account Agreement for Personal Checking, Savings and Money Market Accounts
- M&T Bank: General Deposit Agreement (Consumer Checking, Savings and Time Deposit Accounts)
- Fifth Third Bank: Check Cashing
- My Bank Tracker: Cashing a Check at Someone Else’s Bank? It’ll Cost You
- U.S. News & World Report: How to Cash a Check Without a Bank Account