Can I Write a Check From One Account to Another From Different Banks?

by Charlie Gaston ; Updated July 27, 2017
Inquire about wait time before depositing the check.

You can write a check from one bank account to another bank account without penalty fees. The accounts may be at the same financial institution or different financial institutions. Many banks offer online transfers to reduce the wait times associated with cashing out-of-state checks.


Banks do not charge a fee for processing checks that are drawn against a different bank. The procedure for cashing a personal check is the same regardless of who the payee or payer is. When preparing the personal check, name yourself as the payee and provide a hand signature at the bottom of the check. Follow bank rules for deposits.


Before writing a check to draw funds from one bank account and deposit the money into another, analyze your check registry or recent bank statements to determine if you have enough money in your account to cover the value of the check. Failure to do so might result in an insufficient funds fee or a return-check fee if the check is returned.

Processing Times

A variety of factors affect the processing times for checks. A bank can legally place a hold on a check to verify funds. The bank will deposit the check into your account -- although you may not have immediate access to all of your funds -- and then release the full amount of the check on a later date once the funds in your second account have been verified.

Local and Non-Local Checks

A bank can only hold a local check for one day. A local check is one that is drawn on a bank within the same check-processing region. One state can have several regions and one region can make up more than one state. A bank can only hold a non-local check for up to five days from the date of deposit. A non-local check is one that is drawn on a bank outside the check-processing region where the deposit is being made.

About the Author

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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