How Long Is a Check Good For? (It Is Good for 6 Months and Here is How to Extend)

You have found your old check and are now wondering whether it is still cash-able or not; we all have been there.

Sometimes, we put a check in a safe or drawer we don’t normally open and forget about it until we open it again. Or the busy schedule just doesn’t allow us to go to the bank and cash it in.

No matter the reason, it is important to know about the validity or expiry dates of the checks before you try to cash them.

Or else, they will just bounce.

So, how long is a check good for? Well, it depends on the type of check. Every check type has a different expiry date.

Let’s find out about them in this guide!

Types Of Check

There are different types of checks, and you may have to cash all of them during your lifetime.

Therefore, you must know about the expiry dates of each one of them.

These are the check types:

  • Personal Check
  • Business Check
  • Banker’s Check
  • US Treasury Check
  • State Issued Check
  • Travelers Check
  • Money Orders

Banks have different policies for each depending upon factors like UCC laws, state laws, bank’s preferences, business policies, etc.

That’s why they have different expiration dates.

Let’s now have a look at how long each check is good for.

How Long Is a Personal Check Good For?

Personal checks are good for six months. However, there is still a chance that banks will still accept the check after this deadline has passed if it has a policy.

So, if you have a personal check issued more than six months ago, contact your bank, and the staff will explain to you whether they will accept it.

The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) law deals with this “check delay” and other sales problems. According to this law, banks can reject checks not cashed within 180 days of issuing date. UCC has allowed banks to decide whether they want to accept such checks or reject them.

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Similarly, if you have issued a personal check to anyone and six months have passed, you should contact the bank to put a hold on it. Then, you should contact the recipient and issue him a new check.

How Long Is a Business Check Good For?

Business checks are either handwritten or printed. If they are printed, the Bank also has printed expiry dates. If they are handwritten, then you should contact the issuer to know about their validity.

If the checks issued by a business have an expiry date printed, the banks will not accept them if the date has passed.

For example, most businesses print “void after 90 days” on the checks. If you take such a check to the bank after 90 days, the bank won’t cash it in.

But what to do if no expiry date is printed on the Printed business check? Then, you should contact the issuing party and find out about the check’s validity.

How Long Is a Banker’s Check Good For?

The validity of the banker’s or cashier’s check depends on state laws or the bank’s own preference. Generally, banker’s checks are usually valid for 90 days in most states.

However, some bankers’ checks have 180 days expiry date while some don’t even expire. Banks might also print an expiry date on the banker’s check.

But if they don’t, you can just contact the support and find out how long the check is good for.

If you didn’t notice the date and the check expires, contact the bank, and the employee will help you with how the transactions will be processed further. 

How Long is a US Treasury Checks Good For?

According to the law, US Treasury checks are good for 365 days after issuance. Most of the checks issued by the US treasury also have expiration dates printed on them.

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Generally, US treasury checks issue federal tax refunds, which are cashable for up to one year after the issuance date.

What to do if you still didn’t cash the check within a year? Then, you have to contact the issuer and request a new check.

How Long Is a State Issued Check Good For?

The validity of state-issued checks depends on the state laws. Usually, the state-level checks are valid for up to 180 days to a full year since the issuance date. But note that every state has different rules about the issued checks.

So, you better read about them or consult an expert to find out.

The same is the case with local government-issued checks. You should check state laws to know about the validity period of local government-issued checks. These are also good for up to a year in most states.

If the deadline passes, you should contact the state department and request them to issue a new check.  

How Long Is a Traveler’s Check Good For?

Travelers’ checks do not expire until those who issue them are still in business. So, if you have one and months have passed by, then you can still cash them.

But to be on the safer side, you should contact the business and confirm whether they are still in the business or not.

How Long Are Money Orders Good For?

Money orders are the substitutes for checks, and their validity depends on state laws and the issuer’s own preferences.

For example, USPS money orders do not have any expiration date, but other issuers might.

Usually, they don’t have any expiry dates. So, you can cash them in even after a year has passed since the issuance date. Also, money orders are issued when the money involved is low.

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But still, you might face problems if they don’t cash. Therefore, it is better to read the state laws and contact the issuer to confirm the expiry date.

So, this was all about checks and how long they are good for.

Why Should You Cash the Checks Right Away?

If a company or a person issues you a check and you take your time to cash it in, chances are it will bounce.

This happens due to the following reasons:

Account May Get Closed

If the person or company closes the account to switch to a different bank, then the check signed by them will bounce. In that case, you will also have to pay a fee for trying to cash in such a check.

Funds May Get Insufficient

Cashing checks after a long period is risky because the Payee balance might be insufficient when you take it to the bank.

In this situation, the checks will bounce too.

So, it is better to take the check to the bank straight away when you get them.

Final Words

All-inclusive, it is super important for everyone to know how long a check is good for. The validity of the checks depends on the check types and expiry dates printed on them.

Personal checks are good for 180 days, while business checks have a specific expiry date printed on them.

If not, you can contact the issuing party and know about it. Similarly, US Treasury and State Issued Checks have a validity of up to one year.

Travelers and Money Orders usually do not expire, and you can cash them at any time you want.

But it is advisable to take the checks to the bank right away when you get them. This will save you from penalties and lots of frustrations!