When most people receive a check, they deposit it in their bank account, cash it at their bank, or show their ID and cash it at the bank that issued the check. It’s possible to cash a check without a bank account by cashing it at the issuing bank or a check cashing store. It’s also possible to cash a check if you’ve lost your ID by using an ATM or signing it over to someone else. Learn more below.
Cash a Check without a Bank Account
It’s possible to cash a check without a bank account, but it’s not as convenient and you’ll pay some fees.
How to cash a check without a bank account, but you have ID:
- Cash it at the issuing bank (this is the bank name that is pre-printed on the check)
- Cash a check at a retailer that cashes checks (discount department store, grocery stores, etc.)
- Cash the check at a check-cashing store
- Deposit at an ATM onto a pre-paid card account or checkless debit card account
All of these options will have fees and may be time-consuming. The fees might be small, but they add up. If you’re earning $300 a week and paying $7 to cash your paycheck, that’s 2% of your paycheck used just to convert your paycheck to cash. That’s $360 in fees per year!
Save yourself money and time and open a bank checking account. Once you have a checking account, you can probably get direct deposit (your employer deposits your paycheck directly into your account) or you can deposit your check through an ATM.
Do I need an ID to cash a check?
How to cash a check without ID:
- Deposit it into your account through an ATM at your bank
- Take advantage of ATM check cashing if your bank offers it
- Sign the check over to someone else
Most banks require your ID be presented before they cash a check, but there’s no standard list for what’s considered an acceptable form of ID. Check with your bank or the bank that issued the check to see if you have a document that they’ll accept as ID.
As a last resort, you can sign the check over to someone you trust and ask them to cash it for you. This creates a third-party check. However, if you choose this option, keep in mind that many banks will require verification that original payee authorized the signing over of the check, by having the original payee present and presenting their ID. Read about how to endorse a check to have a friend cash it for you.