Most banks require you to show some form of identification before they’ll cash your check for you. But if you’re one of the more than 3 million Americans who don’t have a valid ID, you may be wondering how to cash a check without ID. Luckily it is possible to cash your check and get your hard-earned money without a photo ID. Here’s how.
Can You Cash a Check Without ID?
If you walk into your bank and try to cash a check, you’ll usually be asked to show a photo ID, which helps prevent identity theft and stolen checks. Most banks will accept a driver’s license, state ID, passport card or book, or military ID as a valid form of identification. You may even be able to use a work or school ID that has your picture on it, but every bank has different rules. So make sure you call ahead to confirm your bank’s policy, or simply read on to learn how to cash a check without ID.
How To Cash a Check Without ID
If you don’t have a valid form of ID and can’t get your check cashed by a teller, there are still other ways to get your money.
Use Mobile Deposit
If your bank has an app with a mobile deposit feature, you can usually scan and upload your check without showing an ID. And it only takes a little longer to get your money than walking into a bank. You’ll typically be able to access your funds in about one business day. Some banks even allow you to access your money instantly for a fee.
PayPal also enables you to deposit a check directly into your digital wallet by taking a picture of it with your smartphone. You’ll be able to access the funds in ten days once the check clears or in minutes if you pay a fee.
Visit the ATM
Another way to cash a check without ID is to deposit your check into your bank account at the ATM and withdraw it a few business days later. However, if you need your money sooner, some ATM terminals have a convenient check cashing feature that allows you to get your money on the spot without an ID. Just make sure you have your bank card with you, because it’s usually required to complete the transaction.
Sign Over Your Check to Someone Else
As a last resort, you may be able to sign your check over to someone else who has ID and get them to cash it for you. Typically you can do this by writing a few things on the back of the check:
- The date
- Your signature
- “Pay to the order of” followed by the name of the person who’s cashing the check
However, some banks won’t cash a check you’ve signed over to someone else unless you’re present to verify that you authorize the transaction. If that’s the case at your bank, you’ll also have to show a photo ID to prove your identity. So this strategy may not work as a way to cash a check without an ID if your bank has strict rules.
It’s also important to choose someone you trust when signing over a check. If the person you pick is untrustworthy, they could cash your check and run off with your money, so be cautious.
Do you know any other workarounds for cashing checks without an ID? Share your tips in the comments section below!
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Vicky Monroe is a freelance personal finance and lifestyle writer. When she’s not busy writing about her favorite money saving hacks or tinkering with her budget spreadsheets, she likes to travel, garden, and cook healthy vegetarian meals.