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How to void a check

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Voiding a check is an easy way to prevent the wrong people from gaining access to your money. It’s also a handy way to share bank information. This guide will talk you through how to void a check, how to write a void check as well as provide some helpful voided check examples.


What is a voided check?

A void check has the word ‘VOID’ on it, highlighting that it can’t be used as payment. Knowing how to void a check is a useful skill for managing several banking needs and transactions. While a void check can’t be used to cash a payment, it will provide all the relevant banking information needed to help set up regular payments and make sure you get paid every month.

How to write a void check

Voiding a check is simple. Here’s all you need to do:

  1. Write the word ‘VOID’ across the front of your check. Use blue or black ink and make sure you write it big enough to cover most of the check. You’ll need to leave the numbers at the bottom uncovered though, as that’s the information needed to establish a link with your bank.
  2. Make a copy or note for your records. Either photograph or photocopy the check for your records. Make a note of the number of the check that you have voided. That way, you won’t be left wondering where your check went next time it comes to balancing your account.

How to send a voided check

Once you’ve marked the check as void and noted it in your records, you can send it to the people who need it. If you’re sending the check electronically, make sure you encrypt the file. You could also password-protect it, sending the password separately to protect your information from hackers.


When do you need to use a void check?

To set up a direct debit

If you’re buying a product or service from a company that prefers to use electronic payments, you might need to use a voided check to set these up. A void check can confirm your banking information – like your routing or bank account number. For businesses, this may be the required way to set up an automatic payment to your vendor. 

To set up automatic bill payments

Regular bill payments are another example of when you may need to use a void check. You can use them to schedule car loan payments, mortgage repayments, or other regular bills.

If you make an error while filling out a check

If you make a mistake while writing your check, you will need to void it to make sure that the wrong amount of money doesn’t get sent or go to the wrong person.


How to void a check for direct deposit

Many employers ask for a void check to set up a direct deposit for employee wages. A voided check will give them all the necessary information they need to make sure you get paid quickly and easily.

To void a check for direct deposit, just write ‘VOID’ clearly across the check. You could also write it in the date, payee, amount, and signature spaces.

How to get a voided check without a checkbook

If you don’t have a checkbook, you can go to your bank and request for them to print a void check for you. Or they may have starter checks – with no pre-printed info – that you can fill in yourself.

How to cancel a check payment

To cancel a check payment, you’ll need the following information:

  • The check number, amount, and date
  • The person or business the check was written to
  • Why you want to stop the payment

If the check has not been cashed, you can request a ‘Stop Payment Order’ from your bank.

pay checks on a table

Disposing of a voided check

You may choose to dispose of the void check as it contains sensitive information, including the account holder’s name, financial institution, and bank account numbers. Either rip up the check into lots of pieces or use a paper shredder to ensure all sensitive data is illegible.

What to do if you don’t have a bank account

If you don’t have a bank account, you won’t be able to use voided checks to set up any payments or deposits. Instead, you might be able to use pre-paid cards. Use the information on the prepaid card account as you would the information on your voided check to link your accounts.

Other ways to send money

Checks aren’t the only way to send money to businesses and ensure people can send money to you. Alternatives to voided checks could include:

  • Money orders– Similar to a check, money orders offer a faster way to send money to cover bills or as a gift. Because they’re prepaid, you won’t have to wait for the funds to leave your account, giving you a clear view of the money you have.
  • Money transfers– A money transfer offers a quick and easy way to send money anywhere in the world. You’ll need to bring your ID and have the recipient’s name as it appears on their government ID.


How do I void a check I already sent?

Contact your bank as soon as possible – time is of the essence. If the check has not yet been cashed, you can request a ‘Stop Payment Order’ to prevent the funds from leaving your account.

Can you void a check by yourself?

To void a check, you just need to write ‘VOID’ clearly across the check. Alternatively, you could write this on the date, payee, amount, and signature lines on the check.

Can you void a check in online banking?

You may be able to cancel a check if it has not yet been cashed using online banking. Log into your account to see if you can request to stop a check.

How do you void an uncashed check?

If you’ve sent a check to the wrong person or made a mistake, you need to contact your bank as soon as possible. If it has not been cashed, you may be able to initiate a ‘Stop Payment Order’.

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