A check is a paper slip, which instructs a financial or banking union to pay a particular amount of money to a specified individual, organization, company, government agency, or anyone whose name is mentioned on it. The one who receives the amount is acknowledged as a payee.   

A valid check consists of the payee’s name, a date, and the authorized signature, along with the amount to be paid. The payee has to sign or endorse at the front/back of the check to receive the amount mentioned on it. With the valid signature, the authorized person, known as endorsement, requests a credit union or bank to pay the amount to the payee willing to accept the money.

How to endorse a check

For endorsing a check, simply twist a slip of your checkbook over and sign it with your name on the back. Most checks provide a space on the back of the slip to you to endorse it. On a check slip, you’ll see one or two blank lines with an “x”, which instructs you to sign your name. The same information is at the back of your check slip stating, Endorse here and Do not endorse / sign / stamp below this line. It is, as the bank also has to use the back of your check slip, for its check-processing data with endorsement stamps. Get in touch with someone if you are doing endorsement for the first time.

There are three main kinds of endorsements:

  1. Blank endorsement – This term can confuse you, as it does not mean that an endorsement is, firmly speaking, for a blank. Instead, it states that the endorsement consists of the payee’s signature without any further instructions.
  2. Restrictive endorsement – Such an endorsement contains your signature, along with the words, “for deposit only.” Such an endorsed check can be deposited into a bank account but not be cashed. The check is meant for deposit to an account if you mention your account number and write “for deposit only.” Some banks need payees to endorse a check that can be used for mobile deposit only that is used for remote use.
  3. Endorsement in full – This kind of endorsement is for a third party. You issue such a check slip to someone, who can endorse it for availing cash or depositing it to his/her account. For a third-party check, mention “Pay to the order of” and the name of the individual, who will receive the funds, in the endorsement space and sign your name.

Never use a pencil to endorse a check slip as such an endorsement can easily be erased. Use a pen with blue or black ink to show up well and clearly on the back of most checks.

When endorse a check

Avoid endorsing a check with only your signature but not further instructions. Don’t endorse a cheque when you are not ready to deposit or cash it. Without endorsement, a check is negotiable and can be deposited or cashed by a person who will present to a credit union or a bank, even the person is not a payee.

Most of you think your home as the safest place for having a ready-to-cash check. Avoid placing ready-to-cash checks at home, as someone might see you where you place the signed checks and use the same to cash. The person can be anyone of your family members, drivers, contractors, delivery executives, babysitters, and caregivers to name a few.


Your proper care and following the mentioned instructions will be helpful to endorse a check for a self or third-party deposit/cash. It will be a wise step to ask someone if you are going to endorse a check for the first time. You can take the required help from a bank staff too.

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