With 21st century technology, clearing a check no longer requires transferring a piece of paper from bank to bank. Your bank's ability to verify an out-of-state personal check fast doesn't guarantee the money's available to you that quickly. As a rule, the bank has to make at least $200 available by the next business day. If you've deposited bad checks or overdrawn your account before, it may take longer.
If the check is $200 or less, you can tap the money the next business day. For a larger check, you can access the money over $200 the second business day. The bank may add an extra day if you deposit the check at an ATM or if you deposit it after the end of the business day -- which can be as early as 2 p.m., even if the bank's still open. If it's a huge check, these rules apply only to the first $5,000 -- the bank can hold the rest of the money longer.
A Durham, NC resident, Fraser has written about law, starting a business, balancing your budget and fighting evictions, among other legal and financial topics.