Bank Check: How to Prepare & Send a Bank Check

In this article, we’re looking at how to prepare and send a bank check, including checks on behalf of both individuals and businesses.

This article is part of our free series on how to send money, including through a bank transfer, online payments, money order, or bank check, which you can get full access to right now by clicking here.

Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.

Table of Contents

  1. Bank Check 
  2. Bank Certified Checks vs Cashier’s Check 
  3. Depositing a Bank Check into Checking Accounts
  4. Frequently Asked Questions
  5. Ready to Explore Your Options?

Bank Check

Bank check may refer to a cashier’s check or manager’s check, which are checks issued directly by a bank or financial institution. However, bank checks may also be used to loosely describe a certified check or personal check, which is signed by the consumer. With this in mind, if a specific check type is required for you to complete a transaction, you should confirm whether a check signed by the bank or the consumer is required.

In addition to being signed by different parties, the process to obtain a check from the bank vs a personal check are also different. Not surprisingly, so are the fees associated with obtaining a check. In most instances, a bank will charge a fee for obtaining both a cashier’s check and a manager’s check, whereas a consumer may have a certain number of personal checks for free as part of their checking account.

Bank Certified Checks vs Cashier’s Check

The main difference between bank-certified checks and a cashier’s check is that bank-certified checks are signed by the consumer while a cashier’s check is signed by the bank. In other words, a certified check simply means the issuer had available funds in their account at the time of certification while a cashier’s check is guaranteed by the issuing bank.

We’ll take a closer look at the specific differences between certified and cashier’s checks below.

Certified Checks

Certified checks are personal checks that have been verified by a financial institution. In other words, the bank has reviewed the requesting party’s account and determined there are sufficient funds. Additionally, certain banks will “lock” the necessary funds in the account to ensure that the check is successfully cashed. However, this may vary from bank to bank.

Cashier Check

A cashier’s check is a guaranteed form of payment as it is issued by a financial institution and not an individual. In other words, the successful cashing of a check is not dependent on whether an individual has enough money in their account. Instead, the financial institution withdraws the funds from the issuing party’s account at the time that the cashier’s check is prepared.

For this reason, cashier’s checks are commonly used when making larger purchases that require more substantial confirmation, such as a downpayment on a home, payment for a used car, and similar purchases.

Depositing a Bank Check into Checking Accounts

When depositing a bank check into a checking account, you may need to provide supporting documentation. For example, if you receive a check when selling a vehicle, you may need to show proof of transfer. Alternatively, you may need to provide another form of official documentation showing that you sold your car.

In addition to supporting documentation for the check, most financial institutions also require you to provide proof of identification before depositing. You will then need to sign and (in some cases) add your identification number to the reverse of the check.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are three of the most common questions that we receive from people looking into how to deposit a bank check. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

Is a Bank Check the Same as a Cashier’s Check?

Yes, a bank check is the same as a cashier’s check. However, there are other forms of checks available as well, including certified checks. That said, when a specific type of check is requested, most individuals are asking for a cashier’s check. This is because cashier’s checks are directly issued and guaranteed by the financial institution.

How Do I Get a Bank Check?

You can get a bank check by visiting a branch of your bank and requesting one from a teller. You will need to provide your identification and account number. Additionally, you will need to name the recipient and provide a valid reason for requesting the check. This reason is typically printed on the final check.

What Is a Bank Check Called?

A bank check is typically called a cashier’s or manager’s check. In both instances, it is issued directly by a financial institution. This means funds are withdrawn from the requesting party’s account at the time of issue. This ensures that the check will be cashed, as the funds are guaranteed.

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