How to Endorse a Check to Someone Else? | Free Guide

In this article, we’re sharing how to endorse a check to someone else for cashing or depositing.

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. How to Endorse a Check to Someone Else
  2. 3 Ways to Endorse a Check
  3. Frequently Asked Questions
  4. Do You Want Help Opening Bank Accounts?

How to Endorse a Check to Someone Else?

To endorse a check to someone else, the payee will effectively transfer a check to a new person with an endorsement signature. That said, there are different methods for check endorsement, including blank endorsement, restrictive endorsement, and special endorsement. 

Each method has its own check endorsement requirements. But, the objective is generally the same, allow for check clearing to take place through another person, either through check cashing or depositing into an account. It’s important to keep in mind if the check you endorse bounces, you will likely be charged a NSF fee (non-sufficient funds fee).

Of course, the specific endorsement method you choose will depend on your objectives. Though there are limitations to each of the available check endorsing methods. Likewise, one of the check endorsement methods is better than others when it comes to check fraud prevention. We’ll cover this and other important factors below when exploring the three ways to endorse a check.

3 Ways to Endorse a Check

As mentioned, there are three ways that you can endorse a check to be deposited by another person. These three ways include (1) using a blank endorsement, (2) using a restrictive endorsement, and (3) signing over checks to another person through a special endorsement.

We will detail each of these options along with their pros and cons below, starting with the blank endorsement method.

1. Use a Blank Endorsement

Blank endorsement refers to signing the back of a check without any specific instructions. Likewise, because the check is signed “blank” it can be deposited by anyone that physically holds the check.

The benefit of using the blank endorsement method is the flexibility that it provides. However, it also has the potential risk of being lost or stolen and then cashed by an unauthorized third party.

For this reason, the blank endorsement method is best suited to immediate deposits, mobile application deposits, and when handing the check to a trusted person like a family member to deposit or cash.

The next check endorsement method that we’ll explore is the restrictive endorsement method.

2. Make Check a Restrictive Endorsement

Restrictive endorsement refers to signing the back of a check and including specific instructions (restrictions) that make it clear how the check can be processed. An example of a restriction is “for deposit only to account XXXX-XXXX-XXXX”.

The clear benefit of using the restrictive endorsement method is that it prevents the check from being cashed by an unauthorized party in the event of loss or theft. As for drawbacks, this method has less flexibility than the blank endorsement method.

However, it’s important to be aware of the date the check was written, as some banks will refuse to cash checks if the date exceeds six months. Banks refer these as stale-dated checks.

The next check endorsement method that we’ll explore is the special endorsement method.

3. Signed-Over Checks to Someone Else (Special Endorsement)

Special endorsement refers to signing over checks to someone else personally. In other words, it places specific instructions about the individual who is entitled to cash or deposit the check. For example, the original payee (recipient) of the check would include “Pay to the order of John Smith” on the back along with their endorsement signature.

Similar to the restrictive endorsement, the clear benefit of a special endorsement is that it prevents any unauthorized cashing or depositing of the check. That said, it is far more restrictive and lacks any flexibility.

How to Choose a Check Endorsement Method?

Each of the check endorsement methods discussed above allows a check to be deposited or cashed by another person. However, if you know the account number or the specific person that you want to deposit or cash a check, you should use restrictive or special endorsement methods in order to avoid unauthorized cashing of the check.

On the other hand, if you require more flexibility or you’re not sure which restrictions or name you need to endorse, then the blank endorsement method may be suitable for your needs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a few of the most common questions we receive from people looking into how to endorse a check to someone else. If you have further questions you would like to ask our team, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

What Is the Easiest Way to Sign Over a Check to Someone Else?

The easiest way to sign over a check to someone else is to endorse the back of the check by signing it and then write ““Pay to the order of ” followed by the recipient’s first name and last name. For example, if the recipient’s name was “John Smith” you would write “Pay to the order of John Smith” along with your endorsing signature.

Can I Deposit Someone Else’s Check In My Account If They Endorse It?

Yes, you can deposit someone else’s check in your account if they endorse it. However, it’s important to note that they will either need to sign a blank endorsement, a special endorsement to your name, or a restrictive endorsement to your account number or simply for deposit.

Can the Recipient of a Check Endorse It?

Yes, the original recipient of a check can endorse it to a new recipient if they want the check to be deposited or cashed by another person. There are three methods that they can use to endorse the check, which includes blank endorsement, restrictive endorsement, and special endorsement.

How Do You Endorse a Check For Mobile Deposit?

To endorse a check for mobile deposit, you must include the words “For Mobile Deposit Only” on the back of a check below your signature. This is effectively a basic requirement for depositing checks via mobile applications in all major banking jurisdictions around the world.

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GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

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