4 Ways to Endorse a Check

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4 Ways to Endorse a Check
4 Ways to Endorse a Check

Sign here, please! Checks are negotiable instruments, which means they are a promise made by one person to pay a specific amount to another.. By endorsing a received check, you are legally signaling how you want the person who issued the document to fulfill their promise. Knowing how to properly endorse a check and the different ways you can do it is essential in managing your personal finances.


Method 1 of 4: Endorsing a Check with a Signature

Endorsement to Check Step 1

Step 1. Check the information on the face of the check

The person who gave you the document must have written their name, their signature, the date and the amount (both in words and in numbers). Without all this information, the bank may not be able to process the payment order.

  • Some people will put a date later than the day they are signing on the face of the check, which is called "pre-dating". Although banks are not legally obligated to wait until the date written on the check to deposit it, be aware that if the check is postdated and you cash it, it could cause the person who wrote it to be left with a negative balance.
  • If the person who wrote the check has made a mistake, it is better to ask him to write a new check than to ask the bank to correct it, as the institution is legally obligated to pay the person named on the document the written amount.
Endorsement to Check Step 2

Step 2. Sign the check

Turn the received document over and find the set of gray lines located on top of it. Sign your name on the lines as written on the face of the check.

  • Most checks say "do not write, stamp or sign below this line" under the endorsement area because the bank needs the space to document the completeness of the money order. Your endorsement must be within the indicated area to avoid confusion or errors in the bank.
  • If your name is misspelled on the face of the check, write it correctly below the signature.
Endorsement to Check Step 3

Step 3. Sign on one of the gray lines

Flourish the signature a lot. You can use this space in a variety of ways, but if you're just preparing your check for deposit or withdrawal, the least you can do is sign.

The signed name must match the name to whom the check was written. If the front of the document indicates that the money is for "Beto", do not sign "Roberto". If your name is spelled wrong (for example: "Giovana Souza", but your real name is Giovanna Souza), endorse the check as written on the front and then sign with the correct spelling below

Endorsement to Check Step 4

Step 4. Take the check to the bank to be cashed or deposited

Ask the bank to deposit the amount in one of your accounts or exchange it for cash.

  • An unrestricted endorsement (signature only) means that anyone holding the check can legally cash it. Therefore, you must protect the signed document as you would money. Wait to sign the check after you arrive at the bank where you will deposit it.
  • Some banks have ATMs that allow you to deposit checks through an automated system or even using a mobile app, taking pictures of the front and back of the money order. Both methods require at least one signature as an endorsement.
  • If you don't have a bank account, you can cash the check at the bank of the person who issued it. The institution's name will be on the face of the document. Note that the issuing bank may or may not charge a fee for the withdrawal.

Method 2 of 4: Endorsing a Check for Deposit Only

Endorsement to Check Step 5

Step 1. Turn the check over and write "For Deposit Only" on the top endorsement line

This type of endorsement restricts how the check can be used, specifying that only the person listed on the face of the check can cash it or deposit it. By using this restrictive endorsement, you ensure that if you lose your check or need to ask someone else to deposit it, no one but you will be able to use the funds.

This type of endorsement is most effective if you are mailing the check or giving it to someone else to deposit it on your behalf. If you are endorsing the check in person at the bank, the restrictive "deposit only" endorsement is no more helpful than the nonrestrictive one, as it is not possible for someone else to steal your check

Endorsement to Check Step 6

Step 2. Sign the check on the next line

It may be necessary to sign with fewer flourishes to conserve space for the rest of the necessary information. As stated above, this act indicates that you wish to exercise your right to the check writer's promise to pay. Your signature will be required no matter what type of endorsement you use.

Note that if the signature is above "Deposit Only", the check technically becomes a bearer bond and can be modified by someone else

Endorsement to Check Step 7

Step 3. On the next line, write the name of your bank and your checking account to ensure that the check can only be deposited at the specified institution and the chosen account

Enter the account number to which you want the check deposited.

  • This type of restrictive endorsement, specifying the account to which the check must be deposited, is especially useful when someone else is going to deposit the money order, such as an employee. Anyone who has access to the check will only be able to deposit it in their account.
  • Even if you want to protect your check with a restrictive endorsement, it's important to preserve your banking information as well. Your account number is very important, and you should take care of a check endorsed with that number to avoid identity theft or fraud.

Method 3 of 4: Endorsing a Check to Transfer it to Another Person

Endorsement to Check Step 8

Step 1. Write "Pay to order from" on the top line

Then put the name of the person you are transferring the check to on the next line. This step transfers your rights to the check funds to the chosen person.

This step is like writing a new check for the person named in the transfer: they need to sign the document to cash it. Before that, you just transferred the rights to the check to her, so only that person can withdraw the amount

Endorsement to Check Step 9

Step 2. Sign your name below the name of the person you are transferring the check to

The person will then need to sign under their signature.

Endorsement to Check Step 10

Step 3. Tell the person you are transferring the check to what they must do to endorse it

After writing the transfer endorsement, the check must be endorsed by the recipient to be cashed. This endorsement may or may not be restrictive, as well as what you might have originally done.

Endorsement to Check Step 11

Step 4. If necessary, go to the bank with the other party

Legally, the authorized party has the right to deposit the check, but some careful institutions may require you to be present before allowing the deposit of the amount, as in the case of a large sum or a foreign attorney. If the recipient of the check cannot withdraw or deposit the money, it may be necessary to go with the check to the bank.

Method 4 of 4: Endorsing a Commercial Check

Endorsement to Check Step 12

Step 1. Endorse the check with your business information

Write over the gray lines in the endorsement area on the back of the check. On the first line, put the name of your business establishment.

  • For example, write "João's Hardware Store" on the first line of the check.
  • Use this method when the check is made not to you personally, but to your company.
Endorsement to Check Step 3

Step 2. On the next line, write your name and title

This will create an unrestricted endorsement on the check, which means that anyone who has physical access to the document can withdraw the amount or deposit it into their own account.

  • For example, write "João da Silva, Owner" under the name of the establishment.
  • For your endorsement of a commercial check to be valid, you will need authorization from the company. Generally, the merchant account will include names of authorized agents who can make payments and deposits on behalf of the merchant.
  • Remember not to add the endorsement until you are ready to cash the check to protect it from theft. After signing it with their title and the name of the establishment, anyone who has access to the document can withdraw it as holder.
Endorsement to Check Step 13

Step 3. Add as many restrictive endorsements as you like

As with personal checks, you can add a restrictive endorsement to your business check, indicating that you want it deposited to a specific account, or you can transfer rights to another person or establishment.

  • For example, writing "Deposit Only" with your bank and your bank account on the remaining lines ensures that the check can only be deposited into one of your business accounts.
  • If you want to transfer the check, you can write "Pay à Order de" and the name of the other person or business to whom you are going to transfer the rights to the document. After you write the transfer endorsement, the payee must endorse the check themselves to cash it or deposit it.


  • To save a lot of time and effort, you can purchase a stamp with the text "Deposit Only" and your account number on it.
  • For multiparty checks, addressed to two or more people with the word "and", all parties must endorse the document. If the check is addressed to two or more people with the word "or" between the names, one of the parties must endorse the check.

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