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Instructions and Problems With Signing a Check Over

Can You Sign a Check Over to Somebody Else?

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Endorse a check on the blackboard
Jeffrey Coolidge / The Image Bank / Getty Images

If you want to sign a check over to somebody else, include their name with your endorsement. Sign the check and write "Pay to the order of John Doe", where John Doe is the person you want to sign the check over to. Then, pass the check on to that person so they can deposit or cash it.

Will the Bank Allow It?

Banks may not cooperate if you sign a check over to somebody else. It’s perfectly legal to do this, but banks aren’t required to honor your instructions. If they have policies against this activity or they see any red flags, they’ll reject the check.

If you insist on signing a check over to somebody else, have them check with their bank before you endorse the check. Find out if it’s allowed and what the requirements are. For example, things might go smoothly if you go to the bank with the person depositing the check (with your ID) so the bank has more confidence that nothing fishy is going on.

Ideally, you should pay the person another way: cash the check or deposit it yourself if you want to avoid any hassles. There are numerous ways to send money online for free, and those methods might be a lot easier than dancing around bank policies. Things might seem to move more slowly if you deposit the check yourself first, but at least you know it'll work.

Return to the main page on How to Endorse Checks.

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