What is a voided check?

When I started working, I remember that the hiring manager asked me for a “voided check.”

It sounds silly when I think about it because the answer is in the name.

But at the time, it confused me, so I asked: it’s just a personal check, except I write “VOID” on it. Makes the check unusable.

I wanted it because that’s how they would pay me. My paycheck would be deposited directly into that account and they needed the check for that information.

That’s just one of the most common reasons someone would want a voided check, but not the only one. If you’ve been confused about what a voided check is, we’ll go over everything in this article.


When someone needs your bank information, usually to establish some kind of electronic link to your bank account, they often ask for a voided check. If you remember, a personal check contains a great deal of information.

What the person really wants are the two numbers at the bottom, in red and green.

The number highlighted in red (nine digits) is your bank’s ABA routing number, which identifies your bank.

The number highlighted in green is your bank account number.

That’s what they want and they’re asking for a voided check so they can read the number for themselves. If asked, you may need to explain what the ABA routing number is, how to find it, and then hope that somehow you don’t misspell or misspell the number when you give it to them. They have to do the same with the account number.

A voided check avoids all of that and that is why many companies request a voided check.

The most common situation in which someone wants a voided check is if they are going to be paid regularly. If you started a new job, someone in the human resources department may want it so you can directly deposit your paycheck. If you are setting up automatic electronic payments, such as rent or mortgage, they may want a voided check to establish that link.


Just get a check, write VOID in black letters, and you have a voided check.

Don’t worry about getting it wrong, just avoid covering those numbers at the bottom and you’ll be fine. Even if you do, it’s still fine if they can read the numbers.

Since the person does not really need the physical check, only the information it contains, you can write VOID on a check and take a photo. Send the photo instead of the check and then tear it up. You can also save that image for future use. (if you emailed it, you already have a copy in your email)

If you don’t have a personal check, you have a few alternatives:

  • Go to your bank and request a counter check. A counter check is just a check that the bank prints for you and will have all the information you need. You also avoid buying an entire checkbook that you don’t need. Your bank may charge you a fee for this (more on this below).
  • If you have pre-printed deposit slips, you could also use them because they contain the same information.
  • You can also request that the bank print a letter, on letterhead, showing your account number, routing number, and account type.
  • Ask the person who requested the check if there is an alternative; usually they will be accommodating because they don’t really need the paper check, just the information.

Regarding check fees, Chase will print 3 checks for a $ 2 fee:


Writing VOID in large black letters across the check means that no one can use that check.

99.9% of the time, not writing empty will be fine. You give the person the blank check, get the information they need, and then shred the check. But since the check no longer exists and the checks are not valuable on their own, it really doesn’t take much for you to write VOID.

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