You can easily void a check by writing “VOID” on the face of the check in blue or black ink and large letters. You may need to void a check in order to set up automatic transactions, such as bank transfer. B. Depositing paychecks directly into your checking account.
Although many financial transactions are now paperless and most of us track our finances using websites and apps, there are still many common reasons to use a physical check.
Often times, employers require you to file a bad check to record your account information and set up a direct deposit for your paychecks.
Fortunately, reversing a check is an easy and straightforward task. Read on to learn exactly how to void a check, why you might need to void a check, and what to do when you run out of checks.
How to cancel a check
Voiding a check is as simple as writing “VOID” in large letters on the front of the check. However, there are a few other things to consider. Follow these three steps to get a properly invalid check to set up direct deposit or other automatic payments.
Step 1: start with a blank check
If you are filing an invalid check for direct deposit or automatic payments, there is no need to include any information on the regular lines. Take a blank check from your checkbook and move on to the next step.
Step 2: reverse the check using blue or black ink
Using a blue or black pen, write “VOID” in large letters across the face of the check, making sure not to cover the routing or bank account numbers. These numbers are used by the person receiving the invalid check to identify your checking account.
When you write "VOID" on the check, you prevent anyone from filling out and cashing the check. There is only one step left in the process.
Step 3: Make a copy of the invalid check
Make a copy of the invalid check to mail to your employer or whoever needs the invalid check. You can keep the original to yourself as a reminder that the check with that number was not used on a specific payment.
You can use copies or pictures of the same invalid check in multiple situations. Read on for some scenarios where a canceled exam is required.
Reasons you might need to void a check
In a variety of situations, providing an invalid check can release your checking account information without anyone being able to use the check.
Here are a few times that invalid testing may be required:
Set up direct deposit: If you want your paycheck to be deposited directly into your checking account, your employer may request an invalid check so they can view your account information.
Set up automatic payments: Some recurring payments, such as loans or utility bills, can be automatically debited from your checking account on a set schedule. However, this often requires the establishment of an invalid check.
To clear a faulty check: After completing a check, you may find that you made a mistake on behalf of the recipient or in the amount. You can void the check simply by writing "VOID" on it and then writing a new check.
If for some reason you need to void a check but don't have one, there are workarounds to try.
What to do if you don't have checks
When you need to produce a bad check but don't have any checks, there are a few things you can try:
Connect directly to your bank account: Many employers and companies now allow you to directly connect your bank account using your credentials or routing and bank account numbers without the need for an invalid check.
Preview a check on your bank's website: When ordering checks online, many banks will preview the checks. In certain situations you may be able to print this preview image and write "VOID" on the check. However, this may not always be sufficient.
Get a countercheck at your local bank branch: Many banks offer you a countercheck at a local branch. Instead of an entire checkbook, this is a single check that you can void. Note that some banks charge a fee for providing counter checks.
If none of these solutions are suitable for your particular situation, you may need to order checks from your bank. Some banks do not offer checks. Therefore, if you need checks to void, you may need to sign up for a new checking account.
Make sure you have a budget in place to keep track of your income and expenses after voiding a check and giving it to your employer or other company.
Frequently asked questions about voiding checks
With checks becoming rarer, many people have questions about how to void checks. Here are some of the questions people often have:
How can I cancel a blank check?
You can cancel a blank check or a completed check in the same way: write “VOID” in large letters across the entire check. Once you do this, no one can deposit the check.
How do I cancel a direct deposit check?
To void a check so that your employer can make a direct deposit, take a blank check and write "VOID" in large letters across the entire check. Make sure you don't cover the routing or account numbers your employer uses to make sure your paycheck goes to the correct account. Make a copy of the check you plan to send to your employer and keep the original for your own records.
How can I cancel a check that has already been sent?
There is no way to void a check if you've already sent it. Instead, you'll need to contact your bank and ask them to issue a payment stop for that particular check number, although a fee may apply for doing so.
How can I cancel a lost check?
If you've lost a check, you can't void it. However, you should contact your bank immediately so that they can issue a stop payment for this check number that will prevent other people from using it. Note that some banks may charge a fee to stop writing a check.
Register with Mint today
From budgets and bills to free credit scores and more
Discover the effortless way to stay on top of things.
Learn more about security