Endorsing a check means to sign the back of it in order to cash it, deposit it or sign it over to someone else. Learning to endorse a check is an important early lesson in personal finance. There are several different ways to endorse a check, depending on what you intend to do with the check once you have endorsed it.
- Skill level:
Turn the check over so you are looking at the back. Look for a line or set of lines on one side, usually with a phrase like "Endorse Check Here." If there are no lines, look for the blank space above where it says "Do not Write, Stamp, or Sign Below This Line." Turn the check 90 degrees so that section is facing up.
Sign your name, just as it appears on the front of the check, on the top line. This is called a blank endorsement and can be used to cash the check, deposit it, or give it to someone else for him to cash or deposit it.
Include the phrase "For deposit only" or "For deposit to account number XXXX" above or below your signature, if you plan to deposit your check.
Write the phrase "Pay to the order of" on the top line, print the person's name on the second line, and then sign your signature on the third line to sign your check over to someone else. That person can then endorse the check by signing her name below your signature.
Tips and warnings
- Always use a non-erasable ink pen to endorse checks.
- If your name is incorrect on the front of the check, first sign the name as it appears on the front, and then sign again with the correct name.
- To endorse a check made out to a minor child, first print the child's name. Below that write "By," sign your name and write "Parent" in parentheses after your signature.
- Do not endorse your check with a blank endorsement until immediately before you want to deposit or cash it. If the check gets lost or stolen, anyone can cash or deposit it into his own account.
- Do not write below the line that says "Do not Write, Stamp, or Sign Below This Line."