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  Home >> Checks/Money Orders >> Checks You Received  
Time Limit on Cashing Old Checks

How old can a check be before it needs to be cashed?

Anyone who's received a check should cash or deposit it as soon as possible, both to avoid the possibility of losing it, and to minimize the chance that there won't be enough money in the check writer's account when the check is presented for payment (in other words, to win the "race to the bank").

The law allows a bank to refuse to pay a check that's more than six months old (although the bank may elect to pay it). A bank and its customer may also agree that checks will become stale sooner than six months from their issue dates; in such cases, it's common for the issuer to print a warning to that effect on its checks.

Published on 1/03/08