Joint checks are made payable to more than one party, which means at least two names are listed on the check. Joint checks are commonly issued for things such federal income tax refunds or apartment deposit returns. If you have a joint check that is made out to you and another person, cashing it may be a simple process, or it can require the presence of the other person named on the check. Banks are used to seeing joint checks and have an established procedure for cashing them.
Examine the front of your check to see how the payable parties are listed. Common variations to separate the names are “or,” “and,” “and/or,” “+” or a comma.
Cash the check with just your signature if “or” or “and/or” is listed between your name and the other name. This designation means either one of you can cash the joint check without the other person's signature.
Bring the other person with you to the bank if any other word or symbol is between the names. In this instance, both of you have to sign the check to cash it. If the other person cannot accompany you, consult a bank official, who may allow you to cash it by first depositing it into your account with “for deposit only” listed on the back of the check. Banks often cash joint checks with only one party present if both parties have endorsed the check.
If you have problems cashing a joint check, request that the check be reissued in your name only. The issuer may be unwilling to do this, however.