Postdated Check: Is it Legal & How to Write One

Postdating a check is done by writing a check for a future date instead of the actual date the check was written. This is typically done with the intention that the check recipient will not cash or deposit the check until the future indicated date. It is legal for an individual to postdate a check, as well as for a bank to cash or deposit it.

What is a Postdated Check?

A postdated check is one that is written with a future date indicated on it. This is usually done to account for an anticipated delay in deposit. For example, you may decide you would like to postdate a check if you are sending in a bill payment earlier than the due date. It is also common to postdate a check if there are insufficient funds in the checking account at the time the check is written.

How to Write a Postdated Check

When writing a check that you would like to postdate, you’ll first need to make sure that you have checks available with your updated information (if not, you can order checks online), and fill out all sections as you normally would. The date section should include a future date that you would prefer the check be deposited or cashed on. The date on the check serves as a “timer” that indicates when the check can be deposited or cashed.

Is it Legal to Postdate a Check?

You’ll need to check the specific laws for your respective state, but postdated checks are generally legal to write in the United States. Postdating a check may be considered illegal if the check writer’s account does not have the necessary funds to deposit the check, and if the writer’s intent was to defraud at the time of issuing the check.

Can You Cash a Postdated Check Before Date Shown?

A signed check immediately becomes legal tender that a bank can deposit or cash before the indicated date on the check. Therefore, a bank will be able to accept a check if it is dated and signed. Ask your bank or credit union for their specific policy for postdated checks in their account disclosures.

Alternative to Postdating Checks

There are other ways to provide yourself with more time to have the necessary funds to deposit checks in your account besides postdating checks. Some ideas to consider would be: schedule future payments with your online banking service, or ask the billing company about payment plan options.


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