Do Checks Expire? | Bank Checks 101

In this article, we’re answering “Do checks expire?” The short answer is “Yes, checks technically expire after six months.”

That said, many checks include language that encourages depositing or cashing the check much sooner, usually within 90 days of receipt.

We’ll discuss the nuances of check expiry dates below and help you navigate whether you can cash a check that you have or not. We will also answer common questions that we receive about check expiry below.

This article is part of our free series on sending money, including the ultimate guide to bank checks, which you can access here.

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

Table of Contents

  1. Do Checks Expire?
  2. How Long Are Checks Good For?
  3. Frequently Asked Questions
  4. Do You Want Help Opening Bank Accounts?

Do Checks Expire?

Yes, checks expire six months after the issue date. After the check expiration date has passed, the check is considered a stale check. That said, most checks include terminology insisting that the check validity period is shorter, usually 90 days.

As a short-term financial instrument, banks insist that checks are cashed within a short period of time to ensure that funds are available and to avoid dormant accounts or the possibility of a check bounce.

Additionally, it’s important to point out that different jurisdictions do have different banking regulations relating to check expiration. For example, while banks in the United States firmly state that the check validity period is six months, regulators in the United Kingdom insist that checks never technically expire.

Of course, banks always have the right to refuse a check, which results in most financial institutions around the world refusing checks after the six-month check-cashing timeframe has lapsed.

Lastly, check issuer policies will vary from bank to bank so if you have a check that is older than six months you should contact the bank directly to confirm if you will be able to cash the check. In most cases, the check presentation time will have passed. As a result, you will need to request a new check from the issuer.

How Long Are Checks Good For?

Checks are good for six months after the date that they are issued. This is because most financial institutions will no longer accept a check that was issued more than six months ago. However, it’s important to point out that most banks and financial institutions set their own policies which can vary in terms of acceptance.

Do You Want Our Free Non-Resident Banking Guide?

Sign up here to receive our Free Non-Resident Banking Starter Guide and weekly updates on the best account opening options available:

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a few of the most common questions we receive from people looking into if checks expire or not. If you have further questions you would like to ask our team, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

What Happens If I Never Cash a Check?

If you never cash a check, the check will be considered expired and the funds will remain in the account of the original party that issued the check. That said, you can still cash a check as long as it is within six months of the issue date. However, after six months, the check will no longer be accepted by financial institutions and it will be considered stale.

Can I Cash a 2-Year-Old Check Into My Bank Account?

No, you cannot cash a 2-year-old check into your bank account. This is because most banks consider checks invalid after six months has passed from the issue date. With this in mind, if you have a 2-year-old check that you would like to cash, you will need to contact the original issuer and ask that they issue a new form of payment.

How Long Is an Uncashed Check Good for?

An uncashed check is only good for six months. However, in most cases, the check issuer will include language that suggests that the check needs to be cashed within 90 days of the issue date. In most cases, financial institutions will accept checks up to 180 days after the issue date.

Do You Want Help Opening Bank Accounts?

If so, you can get access to GlobalBanks IQ in just a few clicks.

GlobalBanks IQ is our flagship international account opening solution. It gives you instant access to the…

+ Expert insights on which banks to choose & why

+ Step-by-step reports to open accounts in the best banking hubs

+ GlobalBanks international bank database & detailed bank profiles

+ Tried & tested banks for high-risk, offshore, & non-resident clients

+ Plus, get YOUR most pressing bank account opening questions answered by our team!

And “yes!” GlobalBanks IQ helps foreigners and non-resident individuals open bank accounts.

In fact, GlobalBanks IQ even helps non-resident, foreign & offshore entities open bank accounts.

Use the link in our menu above to learn more about GlobalBanks IQ. Or, contact us directly with any questions!

Sorry, but you cannot copy the content on this page.