How long is a check good for: Do checks expire?

stale dated checks

Should we file a police report to try and receive restitution on a fraud loss ($646) versus use a collection agency? This is a fraud loss related to bad checks deposited into a checking account that were charged back.

For all separated participants with less than $5,000, implement an automatic rollover program. Even if both your bank and the issuing bank accept the stale check, it could still be returned for lack of funds. If the check writer has closed the account or no longer has sufficient money in their account to cover the stale check, the check could bounce — and you’ll be on the hook for the check amount and any applicable fees. The six-month time frame generally applies to personal and business checks — including payroll checks. This information is refreshed daily and contains 6 years of data in accordance with our record retention policy.

Municipal Code

Coordination with bank “processing deadlines” can delay processing of replacement checks for up to 5 days. The expiration of money orders depends on the laws of the state and the rules of the issuer.

After a specified period, such property must be remitted, i.e., escheated, to the state. If a check is notated as stale dated it may or may not have been cashed or re-issued. Contact Procurement Services at verify whether the check cleared the bank, was cancelled, was reissued or is still unclaimed.

Stale Dated Checks

Generally speaking, money orders don’t expire, but they could become so old that they fall under abandoned property regulations or the value is eaten with fees. Checks from the state or local government agencies will expire according to state law. So, how long a state tax refund check is good for will vary from state to state, but generally it’s 6 months to a year.

  • So, generally speaking, personal and business checks are good for 6 months; however, some banks will accept older checks.
  • Replacement of these checks requires the same procedures as those for lost checks.
  • Banks are still allowed to process an old check as long as the institution believes the funds are good.
  • Before cashing a check after the requested time frame, consider the reason for the payer’s request.

The Huntington National Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. ®, Huntington®,Huntington.Welcome.® and Huntington Heads Up® are federally registered service marks of Huntington Bancshares Incorporated. Lending products are subject to credit application and approval. Treasury checks include those from the IRS, the Social Security Administration, Defense Finance and Accounting Service for the DOD, the Office of Personnel Management, and Veterans Affairs. Full BioMichael Boyle is an experienced financial professional with more than 10 years working with financial planning, derivatives, equities, fixed income, project management, and analytics.


Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. Another solution is to contact the person or business that wrote you the check and ask them if they would issue another check to replace the stale one. If your bank will not accept a check made out to you or your business because it is now considered “stale”, then there are a few things you can do to attempt to recover the amount you were paid.

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  • It will also prevent you from making any deposits as all transactions will be effectively stopped or “frozen” until you unfreeze your account.
  • State law requires that a letter of notification be sent to a payee regarding a staledated check.

The company that issued the money order could charge a nonrefundable fee that’s taken from the check amount if you don’t cash the money order within one to three years. Bankrate’s editorial team writes on behalf of YOU – the reader. Our goal is to give you the best advice to help you make smart personal finance decisions. We follow strict guidelines to ensure that our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers. Our editorial team receives no direct compensation from advertisers, and our content is thoroughly fact-checked to ensure accuracy.

Give the check writer a heads-up

After that, you should contact the recipient of the check to see if they want a fresh check to replace the old one. You may have valid reasons for holding on to a check written to you, but it’s best to deposit or cash checks as soon as possible, as there are risks involved. Checks from the federal government, such as federal income tax refunds, vary when it comes to the timeline. State and local governments may set their own expiration dates, so if you lose the check or more than six months have gone by, it’s best to contact the agency that sent it to you. Personal checks are typically valid for six months after the date written on the check. But banks might not notice the date, or they might choose to process stale-dated checks for customers.

He covers banking, loans, investing, mortgages, and more for The Balance. He has an MBA from the University of Colorado, and has worked for credit unions and large financial firms, in addition to writing about personal finance for more than two decades. HBL CPAs is a full-service Certified Public Accounting firm based in Tucson, Arizona. HBL has been providing tax stale dated checks services, accounting services, auditing and attestation services, consulting services, and various other services since 1973. “Void” cannot be used in most computer software programs because it has the effect of zeroing the check on the date written which changes all the prior month reports. List the voided check as a negative check on the treasurer report.

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stale dated checks

If this goes on long enough, the money order will be worthless. U.S.P.S. money orders do not expire and retain their value indefinitely. As long as there are post offices, you can cash a U.S.P.S. money order. Cashier’s checks are a special type of check and they’re typically used for larger transactions. Read our article about What’s a Cashier’s Check if you’d like more information about cashier’s checks themselves.

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