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How to write a cheque

Martin Lane Photo
Written by Martin Lane, Managing Editor

3 September 2018

Writing cheques is a dying art, but you might need to master it if you pay a bill or send someone money for their birthday. Here is how to write a cheque without making a mistake that would make it unusable.

Hand writing a cheque

What you need to write a check

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

  • The payee's name (the person you are paying)

  • The date

  • The amount in words

  • The amount in numbers

  • Your signature

How to use internet banking to send money instead of writing a cheque

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, 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' name on the cheque - this information is likely to be on your bill, statement or invoice.

Date

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.

However, cheques are only valid for six months, so be sure to cash them before they expire.

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.

Signature

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? Here is how cheque clearing works and how long it takes.

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.

New bank accounts are launched all the time, so compare all of the best options to make sure you get the right one for your circumstances.

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