How to Cash a Certified Check

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A certified check is issued by a bank or savings and loan. The check is guaranteed to clear because funds are set aside to cover the check when it is issued. A check written on a personal or business account is not certified and there is no guarantee it will clear for payment. Provided the bank or savings and loan follows proper procedures, the check is as good as cash. However, because of the mounting number of counterfeit certified checks in circulation, the best course of action is to cash a certified check at your own bank or at the bank where the check was issued.

Step 1

Go to either a bank where you do business or the bank that issued the certified check.

Step 2

Endorse the check, on the back.

Step 3

Present the check to the teller.

Step 4

Give the teller your driver's license or other government-issued identification. Provide the teller with a second form of identification as well (a credit card, for example).

Step 5

Place a thumbprint on the face of the check as directed by the teller. You will be asked to do this only if you cash the check at the bank where the check was issued.


  • Be careful not to lose or misplace certified checks. Although you can ask the bank that issued a certified check to cancel it, it can take up to 30 days to get it canceled.


  • Depending on how long you have done business with your bank, the teller may need to contact the bank that issued the check for verification. Verification is accomplished by a phone call made by the cashing teller via a special telephone line maintained by the issuing bank. The call enables the bank to confirm that a certified check is valid,


  • Super Pages: What is a Certified Check?
  • "Emanuel Law Outlines: Payment Systems;" Lary Lawrence; 2004
  • "Negotiable Instruments and Check Collection: The New Law in a Nutshell;" Richard W. Speidel & Steve H. Nickles; 1993


About the Author

Mike Broemmel began writing in 1982. He is an author/lecturer with two novels on the market internationally, "The Shadow Cast" and "The Miller Moth." Broemmel served on the staff of the White House Office of Media Relations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from Benedictine College and a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University. He also attended Brunel University, London.

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