How to write a cheque

Writing a cheque is becoming a dying art but still one you need to master. So whether it is to pay a bill or for a friend's birthday, here is how to write a cheque.

Updated on 13 May 2015.

Cheque writing hand pen

Cheques are being phased out in the UK, but there is still the odd occasion where you might need to dust off your cheque book, such as paying your plumber.

Here is how to write a cheque without making a mistake that would make your cheque unusable:

What you need:

When you write a cheque this is the information you will need to include:

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  • Payee name (the person you are paying)
  • Date
  • Amount in words
  • Amount in numbers
  • Your signature

Payee name

You need to write the payee's name as it appears on their bank account.

If you are making the cheque out to an individual you will need to use their full name, for example 'Martin Lane' or 'M Lane'.

If you put a cheque in joint names, then it will have to be paid into a joint bank account.

If you are paying a company you should check exactly how you should write their business's name on the cheque - this information is likely to be on your bill, statement or invoice.


The date will usually be the day you are writing the cheque and needs to include the day, month and year.

You can post date your cheque by writing a date in the future, this will prevent the recipient from cashing it until that date.

Amount in words

When you write the amount in words you need to write the amount in full, followed by the word ONLY - this is to stop anyone amending the amount written on your cheque.

For example 56.23 would be written as: Fifty Six Pounds and Twenty Three Pence Only.

It is also common practice to draw a line through the rest of the amount box after the word ONLY.

Amount in numbers

This should be entered in the small box on the right hand side, must match the amount in words and should include pounds and pence.

You have to write the amount in both letters and numbers for your cheque to be valid.


Finally you will need to sign your cheque in the space in the bottom right hand corner. This signature must match the signature on record with your bank, or your cheque will bounce.

What else you need to know about cheques

So what happens after you have written your cheque and given it to the payee? Read our guide, How Does Cheque Clearing Work? to find out.

It is always worth checking that you have the right current account for you, especially as now you can switch your current account in just 7 days. Take a look at the best current accounts on the market to find the one that is right for you.

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