How to Endorse a Joint Check

Both endorsers should bring identification to the bank.
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Endorsing a joint check is a simple thing, though there might be some logistical arrangements you have to make involving other people. Whether your endorsement situation will involve more than one person’s cooperation depends on the way the joint check is worded or on your checking account’s ownership structure. In the first case, you’re trying to cash a check made out to more than one person. In the second, you’re trying to write a check to someone else.

1 Look for the Linking Word

If you’re trying to cash a check made out to two people, check for the word between the name. If the word "or" links the names, as in “pay to the order of Mary or Joseph Johnson,” either Mary or Joe can sign the back of the check and deposit or cash it. If the word "and" links the names, both payees must endorse the back.

2 Check Your Bank Statement

If you’re writing a check to someone else from a joint checking account, check your bank statement to see if the word "and" links your name with your fellow account holder. If “and” instead of “or” is used, you have a checking account that requires both account holders to sign checks on the front. Only one endorsement is needed if the word "or" links the account holders’ names.

Sophie Johnson is a freelance writer and editor of both print and film media. A freelancer for more than 20 years, Johnson has had the opportunity to cover topics ranging from construction to music to celebrity interviews.