A crossed check is one that includes two parallel lines through the top-left corner or across the entire check. Crossed checks are more secure than regular checks, because the "cross" indicates that a bank can't cash the check immediately. The bank will deposit the check into your account, but you will have to wait for the check to clear before the bank makes the funds available to you. Banks in the United States don't usually use crossed checks, however, the procedure is used commonly on checks from Great Britain.
At First Glance
When you first get a crossed check, look it over and see if anything is written between the two lines. If the check contains the words "a/c payee," "non-transferable" or "account payee only," the check must be deposited into the account of the person named on the check. This means you can't sign over the check to someone else, otherwise known as a special endorsement. You must only deposit the check into your own bank account. However, if it does not, then you may be able to sign it over to another person.
At the Bank
When you present a crossed check at the bank, the procedure to cash it is very similar to cashing a regular check. Sign the back of the crossed check, in the presence of a teller, and hand it over to her. You will also have to show proof of your identify using a government-issued identification card. One main difference between cashing a crossed check and a regular check is that although you are handing the check over to a teller at the bank, she will automatically place a hold on the check until it clears. And, depending on the bank, this could take several days. Once the check clears, the bank will then deposit the funds in your account and make them available for you to use.
Free and Clear
After the funds show up in your available balance, you may now withdraw the cash from your bank account and use it in any way you wish, as with any other check deposit. There are no more restrictions placed upon these funds as soon as they're made available to you. You're able to withdraw these funds through a bank teller or automated teller machine. You can also write checks, use your debit card to make purchases or leave the funds in your account to set up automated payments.
Angela M. Wheeland specializes in topics related to taxation, technology, gaming and criminal law. She has contributed to several websites and serves as the lead content editor for a construction-related website. Wheeland holds an Associate of Arts in accounting and criminal justice. She has owned and operated her own income tax-preparation business since 2006.