how long do checks last

Checks have an expiration date. If you don’t want your checks to be rejected by the bank, you should know how long they last. So, how long is the check valid? The number of times checks last will be determined by various factors, the most important of which is the type of check used. As a general rule, you should always attempt to cash checks as soon as possible to avoid complications.

Different Types of Checks

Each type of check payment has its own set of rules and expiration dates.

#1. Personal checks

It is considered invalid if a personal check has not been cashed after 180 days or six months.

#2. US treasury checks

Most US Treasury checks are for federal tax returns and can be used for up to a year after they are issued. They can be difficult to obtain if you don’t cash them within a year.

#3. Cashier’s checks

Cashier’s checks vary depending on the bank, so there are no hard-and-fast rules. Many banks will print a deadline on the checks, but others will not.

#4. Traveler’s checks

Because traveler’s checks have no set expiration date, the only requirement for cashing them is that the bank is still open. You can also exchange your traveler’s checks for local currency, though you may face a poor conversion rate when cashing out.

#5. Money orders

Domestic postal money orders never expire and never earn interest.
Having said that, there’s a good chance you’ll be charged a service fee if you don’t cash out the money order within a year or two. This fee will be deducted from the original amount.

How Long do Checks Generally Last?

Personal checks typically have a six-month (180-day) expiration date, but business checks, government checks, U.S. Treasury checks, cashier’s checks, money orders, and traveler’s checks do not. If you need information about a specific type of check, continue reading.

The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) is a set of laws and regulations designed to harmonize sales and regulatory laws across the United States. The UCC informs banks that they are not required to accept personal or business checks over 180 days old (6 months). Personal and business checks can generally last six months; however, some banks will accept older checks.

If you discover an old check made out to you, you should contact your bank to confirm their policy. If you wrote a check that hasn’t been cashed, consider putting a stop payment on it. Following that, you should contact the recipient to see if they want a new check to replace the old one.

How Long Do Personal Checks Last?

Personal, business, and payroll checks can be cashed for up to six months (180 days). Some businesses pre-print “void after 90 days” on their checks. Most banks will honor those checks for up to 180 days, and the pre-printed language is intended to encourage people to deposit or cash a check as soon as possible.

If you receive a check, you should cash or deposit it as soon as possible. If you keep a check for too long, the account number or routing number may change, or the check writer may have forgotten about the check and spent the money on something else. This may necessitate the payment of returned check fees.

How long do US Treasury checks last?

U.S. Treasury checks are legal tender for one year after the date on the check. Because the United States Treasury issues federal tax refund checks, they are only valid for one year. After that period, you are still entitled to the money the government owes you, but you must contact the issuer and request a new check.

How Long are State/Local Government Checks Last?

State and local government checks will expire according to state law. So, the duration of state tax refund checks varies by state, but it typically ranges from 6 months to a year. If your state tax refund check has expired, you should contact the state and request a new check. You are still entitled to what the government owes you, just as you are to a federal check.
When you receive a check from the government, read it carefully and look for anything that indicates when it will expire. The best option is to deposit or cash the check before it expires.

When do Cashier’s Checks Expire?

Cashier’s checks are a type of “official check,” and the rules that govern them are complex. Cashier’s checks have no set or specified expiration date. Some argue that cashier’s checks never expire, while others argue that they become stale (out of date) after 60, 90, or 180 days. Cashier’s checks are backed by the issuing bank and should be valid for as long as the bank is open, but some banks will include expiration dates on the check themselves.

It may be hard to cash or get a replacement cashier’s check for a cashier’s check that may have expired. If you receive a cashier’s check, look for a “void after X days” disclaimer and cash or deposit the check before that date. If you come across an old cashier’s check, contact the issuing bank and ask what they require from you to complete the transaction.

When do Money Orders Expire?

The expiration of money orders is determined by state laws and the issuer’s rules. Money orders don’t usually expire, but they can get so old that they’re considered abandoned property or that fees take away from their value.

It is critical to read the fine print provided by the issuer. Western Union will charge a fee against the value of the money order after 1–3 years. If this continues for long enough, the money order will become worthless. Money orders issued by the United States Postal Service do not expire and retain their value indefinitely. A USPS money order can be cashed anywhere there are post offices.

Please remember that Western Union or USPS may have changed their policies. Inquire with the issuer of your money order to see if it has an expiration date or if it charges fees for old money orders.

Tips to Handle Checks That You Have Written That Go Uncashed

If you wrote someone a check and have been waiting for it to be cashed for an unusually long time, you should contact them to ensure the check hasn’t been stolen or lost. Here are some pointers for dealing with an overdue check.

How to handle unpaid checks if you know who the payee is:

  • Inquire with the payee about the status of the check.
  • If the check is lost or stolen, place a stop payment and issue another check to the payee.

How to handle outstanding checks if you can’t contact the payee and they’ve been outstanding for more than 6 months:

  • Confirm with the bank that a check older than 6 months will not be honored.
  • Mark the check with a stop payment order. This protects you if a teller ignores the stale date on the check and cashes it.
  • Save the funds required to cover the check’s face value in a savings account. The check’s payee will eventually demand payment.

What happens if you don’t cash a check?

Personal checks, like business checks, are generally considered invalid after six months (180 days). Outstanding personal checks can cause budgeting issues, but reminding a friend or family member to cash a check may be easier than reminding a business payee.

How many years is a check good for?

Personal, business, and payroll checks have a six-month expiration date (180 days). Some businesses pre-print “void after 90 days” on their check. Most banks will honor those checks for up to 180 days, and the pre-printed language is intended to encourage people to deposit or cash a check as soon as possible.

Does a checkbook expire?

They do not expire. Your checkbook should remain valid if your bank account number and sort code (or equivalent outside the UK) do not change.

Can I cash a 2-year-old check?

In theory, you can cash a 2-year-old check, but the bank is not legally required to do so. If you have a 2-year-old check lying around, your best bet is to take it up with your bank, the payer, or even the state.

Can I use a 10-year-old Cheque book?

The check from ten years ago is no longer valid. Even if it is considered valid (which is highly unlikely), it cannot be cleared unless

What is the new rule of cheques?

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has mandated that cheques worth Rs 5 lakh or more be encashed using the Positive Pay System (CPPS). If the rules are not followed, banks have the right to refuse to clear such cheques.

How can I verify if a check is valid?

Every valid check has a number in the upper-right corner and the magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) line at the bottom. If the numbers don’t match, the check is fake. Also, low numbers, such as 101-400 on a personal check or 1,000-1,500 on a business check, should be avoided.

What do you do with old checkbooks?

  • Simply shred them or store them safely.
  • You can usually take them to your bank’s branch and have them dispose of unwanted checkbooks/debit cards, etc.
  • Writing “VOID” on each check wastes time when shredding does the job in less than ten seconds.

How long should I keep old checkbooks?

Some people recommend keeping checkbook registers for at least a year in case “issues” (payment questions) arise, and some checks take a long time to clear.

Should I shred old checks?

Check canceled While many banks have moved to digital formats for canceled checks, shred any physical copies or reprints you have from your bank. They contain many personally identifiable information that could put you in danger. Having those canceled checks shredded can prevent them from posing a risk.

What to do with old checks when you move?

Shredding old checks is the best way to get rid of them. If you don’t have a shredder, you can cut them into small pieces with scissors. To increase security, separate the shredded check into different trash bags and dispose of them on different days.


Even if banks are only required by law to honor checks once every six months, it is usually a good idea to avoid any potential problems by depositing checks as soon as you receive them. If you suspect a check you wrote has been lost or stolen, you should immediately contact your bank to cancel the check.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you cash a check after 180 days?

Banks are not required to accept checks that are older than 6 months (180 days). That is according to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), a set of laws that govern commercial transactions such as checks. Banks can still process an old check as long as the institution believes the funds are still valid.

Can you get a check reissued after 90 days?

Personal and business checks, including payroll checks, are valid for six months. You’ve probably seen a lot of checks that say “Void After 90 Days.” While this may be stated on the check, most banks will adhere to the UCC’s established 180-day (6-month) rule.

How long does it take for a $30000 check to clear?

Most checks clear in two business days. Checks may take longer to clear depending on the amount, your relationship with the bank, or the fact that it is not a regular deposit. When the funds become available, you will receive a receipt from the teller or ATM.


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