How to Read a Canceled Check

How to Read a Canceled Check
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A canceled check is a check that's been paid by the bank. Some banks include copies of canceled checks with monthly statements sent to customers. Others make the front and back of checks available online. Canceled checks are a convenient way for you to reconcile your check register with your bank statement and help ensure that the correct amount was paid to the recipient of the check.

Turn the check over. On the right side of the check, read the signature of the payee -- the person, company or business to whom the check is written.

Locate the stamp of the payee's bank, the bank where the recipient deposited the check. In most cases, the words "For Deposit Only" are stamped in bold letters. There are usually a series of numbers associated with the bank's stamp and endorsements from bank tellers or supervisors.

Locate your bank's stamp, often found in the middle of the check, featuring letters and numbers indicating that the check was approved for payment and funds were deducted from your account.


  • Though it's not common, some banks stamp the word "Paid" on the front of the check instead of on the back.

    Some banks may also include a stamp from the Federal Reserve regional bank through which many checks are processed.