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How to cash a check without id

By Izzy M Reviewed by Sarah R Edited by Nooreen B
Modified on February 20, 2024
how to cash a check without id

A valid ID is required to cash a check. Still, some people may not have access to an acceptable form of identification. Perhaps your primary identification card was stolen. Or your ID expired, and you have yet to replace it. If you have received a check, you may wonder how to cash a check without ID. Keep reading to learn about acceptable forms of identification and how you can cash a check without ID.

What Type of ID Is Required To Cash a Check?

To cash a check at a bank or check cashing store, you will typically need to provide a government-issued ID. Some cash checking stores will also require your Social Security Number (SSN). However, you may not have to present your physical card. Official identification documents with photos may work and help financial institutions prevent identity theft, which affects millions of Americans every year. 

You can use primary and secondary IDs at most financial institutions. Still, some check-cashing locations only accept a primary ID. Luckily, there are several identification documents you can present to cash checks at a financial institution.  

Below is a short list of primary identification documents/cards you can use to cash a check near you. 

Driver’s License

A driver’s license is an official document that proves your ability to operate a motorized vehicle. A driver’s license is one of the most common forms of identification used in the United States. This type of identification is helpful because it displays your photo, legal name, age, and address. You can obtain a driver’s license at any Secretary of State facility. 

State Issued ID

A state-issued ID is one of the most critical primary identification documents. Ideally, you should have a driver’s license or a state identification card. You can obtain a state ID at any Secretary of State facility or Department of Motor Vehicles office. 

Are you traveling and need to cash a check? You may be surprised to learn most banks do not accept out-of-state IDs. If you have an out-of-state ID, you may have to provide additional identification forms, such as a utility bill or credit card statement. 

Military Identification Card

The Department of Defense issues military IDs to active military members, retired military members, and dependents. RAPIDS ID Card Offices issue this type of identification card. There is a lot of helpful information on a military ID, such as a recent photo and identifying details. 

There are three forms of military identification cards. 

  • Common Access Card — Standard identification card for active-duty service members, activated reservists, National Guard, Defense Department civilian employees, and certain contractors. 
  • Uniformed Services ID Card — Identification card issued to eligible military community members. This list includes military retirees, spouses, dependent children, and other authorized individuals.  
  • Department of Defense Civilian Retiree Card — Identification card issued to civilians that have retired from a Defense Department agency. 

Passport Book

A passport book or passport card is an official travel document you can use to cash a check at most financial institutions. A passport is an acceptable government-issued ID if you do not have a driver’s license or state identification card.

Can I Use Secondary IDs To Cash a Check?

Most financial institutions require a primary ID to cash a check, but some allow you to provide a secondary ID. Call the financial institution ahead of time or visit their webpage to confirm what identification documents you can provide for cashing checks. 

These are a few examples of secondary IDs you could use to cash checks:

  • Employment ID
  • U.S. Birth Certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • Welfare photo ID
  • Health Insurance Card
  • Firearms Permit Photo ID
  • Government Employee ID
  • Auto Insurance Card

How To Cash a Check Without an ID?

If you do not have any of the government-issued IDs listed above, you may still be able to cash a check. Rest easy knowing there are ways to cash certified checks and cashiers checks without a photo ID.

Use a Third-Party Check

You can sign a check over to someone else if you do not have a valid ID or bank account. A third-party check is written for an individual but given to a third person. Some individuals use third-party checks to avoid check-cashing fees when they do not have a bank account. 

If you have a trustworthy family member or friend willing to cash a check for you, you will need to contact their bank. Once you confirm the bank can accept the check, you can sign the back. Under the line titled “Endorse Check Here,” write “Pay to the order of,” and jot down the receiver’s name and sign. The third-party can then cash your check at their bank and give you the money once it clears. 

Use ATM Check Cashing

Can you cash a check at an ATM? Yes! ATM check cashing allows you to cash checks without a valid ID. Suppose you apply for payday loans and receive a check for the loan amount. You can cash that check at a nearby ATM!

If you have a bank account, you can use the ATM locator webpage on your bank’s website to find the closest ATM. When you insert your prepaid debit card into the bank’s ATM, you can select the “Cash Back” or “Deposit Check” option. After inserting your check into the machine, verify the amount and receive your cash! Some ATMs do not have check-cashing fees so that you can obtain the entire check value. Keep in mind there may be some limitations with check amounts and likely a temporary bank hold for a portion of the check.

Use Your Bank’s Mobile App

If you want to cash a check without an ID, you can choose to deposit money through your bank’s mobile app. Most banks provide free check deposits through their official app. Mobile app deposits are more convenient than ATM deposits because you do not have to travel to an ATM location. 

To take advantage of online banking, you will first have to download the bank’s app on your iOS or Android device. After signing in, you can choose the “Deposit Checks” option. You will have to provide photos of the front and back of your personal or business checks. Once the bank clears your check, you can use your money through your debit card or withdraw cash! 

Use Mobile Apps

If you do not have a bank account, you may still be able to cash a check through a mobile app. PayPal and Venmo are just a few examples of apps that allow you to receive money without an ID. A valid form of identification is only required if you intend to make payments. 

Mobile apps allow you to quickly cash tax refund checks, personal checks, etc. You have to download your preferred payment app and create a Venmo or PayPal account. Like a bank’s app, you will have to upload your check images online. Once the app approves your deposit, you will see the amount of your cashed check-in your available balance. 

Use a Prepaid Card With a Check Cashing App

You can get a prepaid card if you want to cash a check but lack a photo ID. Finding a prepaid card option that doesn’t require identification may take time, but it’s possible. The card issuer may require a deposit, and you may have to pay a check-cashing fee.

The prepaid card issuer may provide an app for online banking. If they don’t, you will have to use a third-party app such as Ingo Money. You will need to link your prepaid card to the mobile app. Once the bank clears your funds, you can spend your cash!

In Conclusion

There are multiple ways to cash a check without a valid photo ID at a bank or check cashing store, so rest easy if you do not currently have an ID. However, know that everyone must have some form of primary identification and a bank account. 

If you have lost your ID or had it stolen, take the time to obtain a replacement. A primary identification document makes it easier to conduct financial transactions and prove your identity.

One of the best long-term financial solutions for check cashing is opening a bank account. If you do not have a bank account, know that opening a free checking account has never been easier. Many banks require minimal documents to sign up, and you can easily find a checking account option with no fees. A bank account allows you to cash a check online, pay bills, make purchases, etc. 

References: 
5 Legit Ways to Cash a Check Without an ID
Military ID Cards 101
What Type of I.D. Do I Need to Cash a Check?
How And Where To Cash A Check Without ID

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