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How to Void a Check: Instructions and Examples

Kathryn Vercillo is a San Francisco-based freelance writer and blogger with some ten years of writing experience.

How do you void a check?

How do you void a check?

When's the Last Time You Used a Check?

It wasn’t that long ago that all of us used checks to pay our bills and even to make payments at places like grocery stores. These days it’s just not that common to use a check. Most people use debit cards, credit cards, or cash to make payments at stores. And many people have made the switch to automatic bill pay so that they don’t have to write and send checks to pay for rent, utilities, and other bills. Still, sometimes you do have to write a check, so it's important to know how to properly use them.

Someday, you may need to void a check. The information in this article will teach or remind you about how to do that.

What Does It Mean to "Void" a Check?

A voided check is one that is not going to be used and shouldn’t be cashed. It is also not going to be replaced by another from the same account with the same check number.

For example, let’s say that you’re going through your checks and you void check #1300. This means that #1300 will never be cashed. You’d just move on to #1301 when writing your next check. When you void a check, you basically make it as though it never existed in so far as transactions occur.

Why Void a Check?

Now that you remember what a voided check is, you might want to think about the reasons that you would need to do this. There are a few common reasons that people void checks. These reasons include:

  • There is an error on the check that would make it difficult for the person to cash it. For example, you might write the wrong date or the wrong amount by accident. You would want to void that check so that it can’t be cashed and then start over with a fresh one so that the person cashing it doesn’t have any problems.
  • There is some other reason that you don’t want the person to cash this check. You may have written it out and then decided to make the payment in cash. You would void it so that they can’t cash it and that way you don’t run the risk of paying the person twice.
  • You need to send a voided check to someone to set up an account. Sometimes this happens when you are interested in setting up your automatic bill pay. The company that is going to be taking funds from your account needs a copy of one of your checks to make sure that they have a legitimate account and bank routing numbers for those withdrawals. You want to void the check before sending it to them so that no one can write in an amount on it and cash it.

How to Void a Check

To void a check properly, you want to write VOID on it in four different places on the check. It is important to write void in all four of these places:

  1. In the box where you would typically write the amount of the check. If you’ve made an error here already, simply write VOID across the amount you’ve written in. If it’s blank, include VOID in the blank space.
  2. Across the signature line that you would normally use to sign the check. Likewise, void this either across your signature or in the blank space.
  3. In big letters across the front of the check. This is what most people do to void a check. You should do this; it just shouldn’t be the only thing that you do.
  4. In big letters across the back of the check. To make extra sure that the check gets voided, you should void the back of it as well as the front.

Most people will tell you that it’s okay to do just one or two of these things when you’re voiding a check. That’s technically true, but it’s better to take the extra precautions and void the entire thing by marking all four spots as voided. It doesn’t take much time and it’s not as if you void checks often.

Finally, you shouldn’t just void a check and forget about it. You should make a notation to yourself somewhere that a check has been voided by noting the number and the date that it was voided. Also, make a note as to why you voided it. This way, if your account ends up showing that a check was used with that number, you’ll have the information that you need to show to your bank to deal with this problem. It’s highly unlikely that this would happen but it’s a smart habit to get into.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


monicamelendez from Salt Lake City on July 17, 2012:

@bettssling - don't be ridiculous. If both options work, who cares?

bettssling on May 15, 2012:

The image of the voided check that accompanies your article is not voided in accordance with the directions you give!

Cheryl J. from Houston, TX on September 23, 2011:

Great hub. Thanks for the reminder. I think I have forgotten how to correctly write a check since the beginning of the debit card world.

Jeff_McRitchie on August 02, 2011:

Yep, people still write checks. This Hub has some great info in it that I'm sure to use. Thanks!

newmember on July 13, 2011:


Well, even google (one of the largest company in the world) still use check, I think they give option to their adsense publisher to choose check, western union, or bank transfer, but they DO still uses check

Bizz from East Coast on October 11, 2010:

People still write checks?!

henrykasan from UK on September 21, 2010:

Informative Hub!!!!

The hub explicitly depicts about the facts related to void check. The hub contain practical information concerned to day to day transaction with check. As a voided check is a check that is not going to be used and shouldn’t be cashed. There might be some error into the check which make it really difficult to cash. Thanks a lot for sharing such a wonderful peace of text.

jaymelee23 from United States on July 20, 2010:

I gave up on checks.. I hate waiting for them to post to accounts. I just use a debit card and pay my bills online.

vaalion on July 07, 2010:

Haha, kinda humorous that not everyone would know how to void a check but I guess you have to learn it somewhere :)

Jorge Vamos on June 07, 2010:

I just tear it up...

ciidoctor on December 04, 2009:

very nice i checked you blog it is so cool.

wsp2469 from Alta Loma, Ca on November 13, 2009:

I can't believe anyone NEEDS this information! Damn! They should have learned it from their parents or from school if they weren't on the college track. It's nice it works in your favor to write hubs like this but still . . . damn . . .

Cameron Dinsdale on September 19, 2009:

I love coming across tutorials with detailed information such as this hub, nice job! Now I won't have to spend time searching on Google when I need to void a check.

Rose Ella Morton from Beverly Hills, Michigan on September 17, 2009:

This is the right way. I can't rememer how many times I voided a check, only to forget why?

ciidoctor on August 28, 2009:

I'm bookmarking this page! No matter how many times I look up 'how to void a check' I always end up looking it up again (and again). Thanks so much! Great hub.

takeyou from Los Angelos on August 27, 2009:

why not draw a nature view on it, just one void will be enough i think; thanks for the share

jonty on August 12, 2009:

Very well written hub .....

very much informative ......

Thank you very much for your great hub, for good advice, good wishes and support. Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us.

kblogs from NYC on July 10, 2009:

I'm bookmarking this page! No matter how many times I look up 'how to void a check' I always end up looking it up again (and again). Thanks so much! Great hub.

Gin Delloway on July 08, 2009:

nice hub! I like it!!

Erick Smart on June 26, 2009:

Nice hub, too many people do not use checks now and forget some of these little things they need to remember.

Joanie Ruppel from Texas on June 23, 2009:

This kind of information gets lost on young folks these days. When my daughter opened her checking account, they asked her if she wanted checks! I guess everyone uses electronic transfers and debit cards to the degree that they only write checks 2 or 3 times a year.

rockfarmer2009 from Virginia on June 03, 2009:

Hey Girl your hubs are all so intelligently written. I'm new to this and I was wondering if you make money hubbing. I have only one hub so far, but I'm trying. I have a lot of different ideas and am currently laid off. If you think I could do this for extra money let me know. Thanks in advance.

Haunty from Hungary on May 17, 2009:

"Okay, so now that you remember what a voided check is, you might want to think about the reasons that you would need to void a check." Very kind and thoughtful sentences here. :) Thanks for the information, Kathryn. How did you get the idea to write about how to void a check, anyway?