How to Cash an Official Check

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Cashier's checks, also referred to as official checks, are commonly defined as a guaranteed promise of compensation backed by a bank's funds. For individuals choosing to use a cashier's check, this particular method of payment offers an additional degree of security and stability that personal checks are not capable of providing. If you have received an official check, you can follow a series of simple steps in order to cash it and receive your funds. Getting started with your cashier's check is as simple as visiting the bank from which the check has originated.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

The bank that issued your official check will typically allow you to cash it if you have appropriate identification or an account with the bank itself.

Exploring the Basics of an Official Check

When a bank guarantees a check with its own assets, the check that has been issued can be considered an ironclad guarantee of payment. In recent years, however, banks have been less willing to allow individuals to cash an official check if they do not currently have an account with the bank. With that in mind, you may need to consult with the bank that issued your official check in order to determine what your specific steps moving forward should be. Simply put, whether or not you can cash a check without a bank account is entirely at the discretion of the bank itself.

Cashing Your Official Check

If you have been given the go-ahead to cash your official check, the next steps are relatively straightforward. In order to cash your official check, you will likely need to provide multiple forms of legal identification. This can include a driver's license, state-issued ID, passport, etc. Given the fact that banks have the legal right to refuse to honor a cashier's check in the event of dubious identity, it is in your best interest to bring the most valid identification you have.

Once your ID has been accepted, the issuing bank will cash the check and provide you with the appropriate funds. In the event that you have an account with the bank, you will likely have the opportunity to directly deposit your cashier's check proceeds here. If you do not, you can take the funds and deposit them wherever you deem necessary.

Exploring Other Options

In some situations, a check-cashing service may offer to cash your official check. That being said, you will likely be required to pay hefty check-cashing fees which could significantly reduce your "take-home" pay from the check itself. This should always be an important consideration before choosing this specific option.

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About the Author

Ryan Cockerham is a nationally recognized author specializing in all things innovation, business and creativity. His work has served the business, nonprofit and political community. Ryan's work has been featured at Zacks Investment Research, SFGate Home Guides, Bloomberg, HuffPost and more.

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