How to Cash Government Checks

by Lee Tea ; Updated September 11, 2015

Whether you have a welfare, tax refund, Social Security or other type of government check, cashing it is simple. Even if you do not have a bank account, there are other options, such as a check-cashing facility. For those places, you'll need a government-issued ID card or state driver's license that verifies your identity.

If you have an account at a local bank, you can always cash your check there. If you don't have an account, apply to open one. Even without an account, you may still be able to cash certain types of government checks at a local bank. Some checks, such as tax refund checks, are issued directly by the U.S. Treasury, and most banks will cash them even if you aren't an account holder. However, you may be charged a nominal fee because you aren't a customer.

Many large grocery stores, convenience stores and discount store chains, such as Giant Eagle, Wal-Mart, Giant, Publix, Circle K, 7-Eleven, Safeway and Dominick's, often cash government checks for a small fee.

Look for a check-cashing facility. Some popular chains include Ace Cash Express, Money Mart, Check Into Cash and All Kinds Check Cashing. These facilities can honor government checks as long as you have an ID. Fees vary, usually between 1 and 4 percent of the check's total.

About the Author

Leeann Teagno has been writing professionally since 2006. An English major, she continues to study information systems management at American Public University. Teagno is an organic gardener, cook and technology buff with past employment in mobile communications. She also volunteers at an animal shelter and operates a home bakery.