Can You Deposit A Check For Someone Else?

By Zach Buchenau

Last Updated: October 9, 2020

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Can you deposit a check for someone else? | Be The Budget

I’m not sure about you, but for me, depositing a check never seems to get old. There’s just something wonderful about seeing your bank account grow after handing that little piece of paper to a teller at the bank, or snapping a photo of it on your phone. But what happens if, for whatever reason, you are unable to deposit a check for yourself? On the flip side, what if a friend is unable to make it to the bank and asks you to deposit a check for them? Both of these scenarios beg a very important question: can you deposit a check for somebody else?

In short, yes, you can deposit a check for somebody else. As long as the check is endorsed with the payee’s signature, or the phrase “for deposit only”, you shouldn’t have any problems. Though, in the interest of financial security, it is best for the payee of a check to make their own deposit.

Now, all that said, if this is your first time depositing a check for somebody else, it’s understandable if the whole process makes you a little nervous. In fact, I’ve been there. So, if you’re looking for a couple quick tips to make sure everything goes smoothly, keep reading.

The First Time I Deposited A Check For Someone Else

I’ll never forget the first time I deposited a check for somebody else.

I was house-sitting for a couple that owned their own home-based business. And since I was going to be bringing in their mail every day, they asked if I would feel comfortable depositing a check they were supposed to receive while they were gone. (Looking back, they were pretty trusting people!)

At first, it didn’t seem like a big deal at all. I said “sure”, and they walked me through the process. But when that check came in the mail, I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t a little nervous to make the deposit.

Now, thankfully, the whole thing went off without a hitch, and I didn’t run into a single issue. But had I made a mistake that caused the bank to reject the check, I’m not sure what I would have done. And that’s exactly why I decided to write this article.

In the rest of this guide, I want to ease your worries about depositing a check for somebody else by providing you with a few simple options to make sure the whole thing goes smoothly.

How To Deposit A Check For Someone Else | Be The Budget

1. The Deposit Slip Method

If you want to deposit a check for somebody else, the absolute best course of action is to have the payee of the check (or checks) fill out a deposit slip, endorse all the checks, and have you deliver them to the bank.

As long as all the payee provides all the necessary information, and there are no inaccuracies or discrepancies, you shouldn’t have a single issue at the bank. You will just present the deposit slip and the check(s) to the teller, and all will be fine.

Side Note: No matter how you choose to deposit a check for someone else, it is always best to get a receipt from the bank that confirms the money was deposited properly, into the correct account. This is especially nice for the payee, as they will have physical proof that their money is safe and sound in their bank account of choice.

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2. The “For Deposit Only” Method

If the person for which you are depositing a check is unable to provide you with a deposit slip, you have another option. And actually, this option has a couple different methods within it.

  1. If the Payee is able to endorse the check themself, they can write, “For Deposit Only”, in the endorsement area, along with the account number to which they would like the money to be deposited. This is known as a restrictive endorsement, and, like a deposit slip, this method leaves very little room for error. Therefore, you shouldn’t encounter any problems at the bank if this is the method you choose.
  2. If the payee is unable to endorse a check with their signature, you can just write, “For Deposit Only” in the endorsement area. While this is a little less secure than a full, restrictive endorsement with an account number and payee signature, it should still work. For an added step, you can write the account number in the endorsement area as well (if the payee provided you with it), but in my experience, that isn’t necessary. As long as the name on the bank account holder and the payee names match up, you shouldn’t have any trouble depositing a check like this. In fact, I have used this method a number of times when depositing a check for somebody else, and I have never run into any issues. That said, if you have the option of getting the Payee to endorse the check with their signature, that is the better option.

3. The Signature-Only Method

Believe it or not, of all the methods in this article, the signature only method is actually the least secure for the payee. Why?

Well, when a payee of a check endorses it with only a signature, this is known as a blank endorsement. And with a blank endorsement, the person handling the check has the option to deposit or cash it.

Now, seeing how the payee trusts you enough to make a deposit for them, I’m going to go ahead and assume you wouldn’t even think about cashing the check and taking the money for yourself, so that’s not a worry. However, if you were to lose the ‘blank-endorsed’ check, or it were to get stolen, then it would put the payee’s money at risk.

For that reason alone, I don’t recommend this method if you can possibly avoid it. Rather, you should use the deposit slip method or a restrictive endorsement method whenever you deposit a check for someone else.

Can you deposit a check for someone else? | Be The Budget

Final Thoughts

If you have been asked to deposit a check for someone else, there is no need to worry. If you just stick to the methods laid out in this article, you shouldn’t have any issues. Whether you choose to use the deposit slip method, the for deposit only method, or the signature-only method, there isn’t really a reason for a bank to reject a deposit.

So, shake off those nerves, head to the bank, and make that deposit. Having personally made quite a few deposits on behalf of other people, I can tell you that it isn’t that big of a deal.

Zach Buchenau

About The Author:

Zach Buchenau is a self-proclaimed personal finance nerd. When he isn't writing about budgeting, getting out of debt, making extra money, and living a frugal life, you can find him building furniture, fly fishing, or developing websites. He is the co-founder of BeTheBudget, and Chipotle's most loyal customer.

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