How to Void a Check

You can easily void a check by writing “VOID” across the front of the check, using blue or black ink and large letters. You may need to void a check to set up automatic transactions, like direct deposit of paychecks to your checking account.

Though many financial transactions are now paperless and most of us keep track of our finances using websites and apps, there are still many common reasons to use a physical check.

Frequently, employers require you to submit a voided check in order to record your account information and set up direct deposit for your paychecks.

Fortunately, voiding a check is a simple and straightforward task. Read on to learn exactly how to void a check, why you might need to void a check, and what to do if you don’t have any checks.

How to Void a Check

Voiding a check is as simple as writing “VOID” in large letters across the front of the check, but there are a few other things to keep in mind. Follow these three steps to get a properly voided check for setting up direct deposit or other automatic payments.

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Step 1: Start With a Blank Check

When you’re submitting a voided check for direct deposit or automatic payments, you don’t need to include any information on the regular lines. Grab a blank check from your checkbook, then you’re ready to move on to the next step.

Step 2: Void the Check With Blue or Black Ink

Using a blue or black pen, write “VOID” in large letters across the entire front of the check, making sure not to cover the routing or account numbers. Those numbers are what the person receiving the voided check will use to identify your checking account.

By writing “VOID” on the check, you’ll prevent anyone from filling out the check and cashing it. There’s just one more step in the process.

Step 3: Make a Copy of the Voided Check

Make a copy of the voided check to send to your employer or whoever else needs the voided check. You can keep the original for yourself as a reminder that the check with this number was not used for a specific payment.

You can use copies or pictures of the same voided check for multiple situations. Read on for a few scenarios where a voided check is necessary.

Reasons You May Need To Void a Check

In a variety of situations, providing a voided check enables you to share your checking account information without allowing anyone to use the check.

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Here are a few times that a voided check may be necessary:

  1. Setting up direct deposit: If you’d prefer to have your paycheck deposited directly into your checking account, your employer may ask for a voided check so they can view your account details.
  2. Establishing automatic payments: Some recurring payments, like loans or utility bills, can be automatically deducted from your checking account on a set schedule, but this often requires a voided check to set up.
  3. Voiding a check with errors: After filling out a check, you may notice that you’ve made a mistake in the name of the recipient or the amount. You can simply void the check by writing “VOID” on it, then write a new check.

If you need to void a check for any reason but don’t have one, there are workarounds you can try.

What To Do If You Don’t Have Checks

If you need to provide a voided check but don’t have any checks, there are a few things you can try:

  1. Connect directly to your bank account: Many employers and businesses now enable you to directly connect your bank account using your login credentials or your routing and account numbers, bypassing the need to provide a voided check.
  2. Preview a check on your bank’s website: When ordering checks online, many banks show a preview of the checks. In certain situations, you may be able to print this preview image and write “VOID” on the check. However, this may not always be sufficient.
  3. Get a “counter check” at your local bank branch: Many banks will provide you with a “counter check” at a local branch. Rather than an entire checkbook, this will be a single check that you can void. Note that some banks charge a fee for providing counter checks.

If none of these solutions work for your particular situation, you may need to order checks from your bank. Some banks don’t offer checks, so you may need to sign up for a new checking account if you need checks to void.

Once you’ve voided a check and shared it with your employer or another business, make sure that you set up a budget to keep track of your income and expenses.

Frequently Asked Questions About Voiding Checks

Since checks are less and less common, many people have questions related to voiding checks. Here’s are a few of the questions people often have:

How Do I Void a Blank Check?

You can void a blank check or a filled-out check exactly the same way: Write “VOID” in large letters across the entire check. Once you’ve done this, no one will be able to deposit the check.

How Do I Void a Check for Direct Deposit?

To void a check to provide your employer to set up direct deposit, take a blank check and write “VOID” in large letters across the entire check. Be certain that you don’t cover the routing or the account numbers, which your employer will use to make sure your paycheck goes to the right account. Make a copy of the check to send to your employer, and keep the original for your own records.

How Do I Void a Check I Already Sent?

There’s no way to void a check once you’ve already sent it. Instead, you’ll need to contact your bank and ask them to issue a stop payment on that particular check number, though there may be a fee to do this.

How Do I Void a Lost Check?

If you’ve lost a check, you won’t be able to void it, but you should contact your bank right away so that they can issue a stop payment for that check number, which will prevent anyone else from using it. Note that some banks may charge a fee to issue a stop payment on a check.

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