Can you deposit a check for someone else

By Nooreen B
Modified on July 18, 2023
can you deposit a check for someone else

There may be a time when you need or want to deposit a check for someone else. The good news is that it may be possible throughout many banks, credit unions, and other depository institutions! Keep reading for more information on how you can deposit a check for another person. 

Figure Out Whether You Want the Check To Be Deposited Into Your Account or the Payee’s Account

Before you can figure out how to deposit someone else’s check, you should figure out whether you want funds to go into your own account or theirs. If you deposit a check for someone else, most banks, credit unions, etc., will likely only let you do so into that person’s savings or checking account. However, some options are available through and outside of a bank which makes it possible for the other person to send that money to your account. 

Options When Depositing Checks for Someone Into Their Bank Account

Depositing a check for someone else can be pretty straightforward if you simply deposit it into their checking account. Here are some ways you can do so:

Add “For Deposit” Only to the Check 

One option you will have is to have the payee add “for deposit only” on the endorsement area of the check, along with their signature and the check amount (if you are depositing cash along with the check, add that information as well). 

If the payee cannot endorse the check themselves, adding “for deposit only” and the check amount. And if you have their bank account number and routing number, you should also add that here. You can then head to your bank branch and make the deposit. 

This method is considered a restrictive endorsement method because it limits what the depositor can ask for from the bank teller. When a teller sees “for deposit only” on a check, they won’t cash it; they will do precisely what is listed: deposit it into the person’s account. 

The Signature Only Method

Another option you can consider when trying to deposit a check for someone else is using the signature-only method. This method involves having the payee’s signature on the check (along with the check filled out). This method is also considered a “blank endorsement.” Here you will have the ability to cash or deposit the check. 

Use a Deposit Slip

Whoever you are depositing a check for can fill out a deposit slip. A deposit slip is a small piece of paper you can get from your bank/depository institution. The person you are depositing for can enter the type of funds deposited, amounts, and other details. From here, you should be able to head to your bank and complete the deposit! Using the deposit slip method is the easiest way to take care of a check deposit for a third party. 

What Do I Need When Depositing a Check for Someone Else? 

When depositing a check for someone else, you will need to have: 

  • A State-Issued Photo ID.
  • The check with the necessary information filled out. Learn the basics of writing a check if you haven’t already done so.
  • A deposit slip if you are using the deposit slip method. 

How Can I Get the Check Funds Into My Account?

Let’s say you need to get a check from someone else deposited into your bank account. Well, there are a few methods to do you can use: 

Have an Account Transfer Done After the Deposit

Once you deposit the check into the person’s account, you can ask the payee to perform a simple transfer. Most major banks have some kind of mobile and money transfer option. For example, with Chase bank, you can send and receive money instantly through Zelle, similar to something like a cash advance. Each person must be registered with their email address or phone number. Or an online money transfer/ external money transfer can be done without a third party service if you provide your checking and routing number to the other person (this process is called ACH authorization). This option may take a little longer. 

Ask the Payee To Add You to “Pay to the Order Of” on the Check

Another thing you can do is ask the payee to add you as the person the check is written to. That way, all you will need is your ID and debit card to deposit the check into your bank account. For third party checks, some banks will allow their customers to sign over a check to another person.

Cash the Check and Deposit It Into Your Account

Another option you can pursue is to cash the check and deposit it into your checking account. Remember that you can only do this using the signature-only method or if the check is addressed to you. 

Things To Keep In Mind When Depositing a Check for Someone Else

Here are some things that you may not think about when depositing money for another person but are helpful to consider:

Joint Bank Accounts 

If you share a bank account with someone else, you shouldn’t have to jump through any hoops to deposit a check for them. It will be the same process as depositing a check for yourself. You will need your check, your ID, and your debit card. You can also cash the check if you would like. 

Getting a Receipt

No matter who you deposit checks for or the check amount, you should make sure to get a receipt. A receipt will confirm for the other person that you deposited the funds. Why is this important? Well, sometimes bank tellers make mistakes, and the funds may be sent to the wrong account, or the amount may be different. With a receipt, you can ensure that you have a record of the transaction if things go wrong, so the blame does not fall on you. Depositing someone’s money is a big responsibility, and with a receipt, you can ensure you have proof of your actions. 

The Deposit Slip Method and Deposit Only Method Are Safer Than the Signature Method

Suppose you are allowing someone else to deposit a check for you. In that case, you should consider using either the deposit slip or the for deposit only method, as they are more secure than the signature method. With the signature method, a person can cash the check for you, which can be fine in certain circumstances, but if you want to ensure that the money goes straight into your account, the other methods work better.  

Consider Mobile Check Deposits

If you or someone you know cannot head to a bank branch in person for a check deposit, you can consider a mobile check deposit. Most banks with mobile apps will have this feature. All you have to do is take a photo of either side of the check and sometimes add in other details manually. The check will be sent to clear and once cleared, deposited straight to the respective bank account. With this option and echecks (checks sent electronically), anyone can deposit a check themselves without leaving the comfort of home. 

Confirm the Check’s Information Before Heading to a Bank

One final thing to keep track of when depositing a check for someone else or for yourself is to ensure all the information on it is correct. Make sure you have a check from the correct account, that it is endorsed in the right spot, that all the necessary information is present, etc. This can make the deposit process much smoother and help you avoid a second trip. 

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