A cashier's check is a negotiable instrument that is guaranteed by the issuing bank. It is "as good as cash." The check is paid for upfront by funds that are debited from your bank account. Because a cashier's check is treated like cash, financial institutions have an established protocol in place that governs how uncashed checks are handled. The exact protocol varies by bank.
Check Expiration Date
A cashier's check does not have an expiration date. However, some banks have a specific time frame during which check funds are guaranteed. If the bank has a specific time frame, it is often printed on the check. For example, the check may read "Void After 90 Days." If you are unsure of a bank's protocol for cashier's check expiration, contact the issuing bank to determine. The issuing bank's name appears on the face of the check.
Visit The Bank
If you have an uncashed cashier's check, and you are the check purchaser, visit the issuing bank to request a refund. If you are the check purchaser and you believe the check has been lost, stolen or damaged, report your suspicions to the bank. In most cases, you must complete an affidavit before the bank will issue a refund for the check.
Refund Time Frame
If you fail to claim a refund for an uncashed cashier's check within a designated time frame, the issuing bank will not be able to handle your refund request. The bank reports the uncashed check to your state as "Unclaimed Property." This is also referred to "Escheating." Each state has different statute of limitation laws regarding escheating. In many states, the time frame is around six years from the date the check is originally issued. To determine the laws for your specific state, visit your state's unclaimed property website.
Locating Escheated Check
To determine whether your check is reported as unclaimed property, call or visit the Department of Revenue (DOR) for the state in which the check was issued. Provide the DOR representative with your full legal name as it appears on the check. The DOR representative will check the state's unclaimed property database to see if your check appears. You can also check the unclaimed property database yourself by visiting the state's unclaimed property website.
Claiming Your Money
If your check appears in the unclaimed property database, submit a claim form, along with a government-issued photo ID. The state will issue you a new check in the amount of your original cashier's check. The exact time frame to receive your new check will vary by state.