How to Void a Check: A Step-by-Step Guide

Voiding a check is a common practice for many people, but it’s not always clear what the process entails. Whether you’ve made an error when writing a check or need to cancel one for security reasons, knowing how to properly void a check is essential. Voiding a check sounds simple, but there are several steps you need to follow to ensure that the check is cancelled and your records are up-to-date. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of voiding a check, as well as provide tips for avoiding common mistakes. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clearer understanding of how to void a check and why it’s important to do so correctly.

What Does It Mean to Void a Check?

When you void a check, you essentially cancel it so that it can no longer be used to withdraw funds from your bank account. Voiding a check is a way of telling the bank not to process the payment associated with that particular check.

Voiding a check can be necessary for several reasons. Perhaps you made an error when filling out the check, such as writing the wrong amount or misspelling the payee’s name. In this case, voiding the check allows you to start over and write a new one with the correct information.

Another common reason for voiding a check is if it has been lost or stolen. Voiding the check ensures that nobody else can cash it if they find it. It’s important to note that simply throwing away a check doesn’t void it – you must specifically instruct your bank to cancel it.

When you void a check, it’s typically referred to as a “cancelled check.” Once a check has been cancelled, it cannot be used again to withdraw funds, even if it’s found later on. Instead, you’ll need to write a new check if you still want to make the payment.

It’s important to keep in mind that voiding a check is not the same as putting a stop payment on it. Putting a stop payment on a check means that you’re instructing your bank not to process the payment, but the check itself is still valid. If the payee tries to deposit the check, it will bounce and you may incur fees. In contrast, a voided check is invalid from the outset and cannot be deposited or cashed under any circumstances.

Overall, voiding a check is a simple process that can save you a lot of hassle down the line. Whether you made a mistake while writing the check, or it was lost or stolen, cancelling it ensures that the payment won’t be processed and you can safely write a new one with the correct information.

Reasons for Voiding a Check

Voiding a check is a common practice that may happen for various reasons. Here are some of the most common reasons why you may need to void a check:

Incorrect information on check

One of the most common reasons for voiding a check is when there is incorrect or incomplete information on the check. This can include errors in the payee name, misspelled words, wrong amount, and even wrong dates. If you notice any errors on the check, it’s important to void it and issue a new one to avoid any confusion or legal issues.

Lost or Stolen Check

Another reason for voiding a check is when it has been lost or stolen. If you have lost your check or suspect it has been stolen, it’s important to quickly take action to prevent fraud or unauthorized transactions. Voiding the check will ensure that it cannot be cashed or used by anyone else.

Stop Payment

If you have issued a check but later decide to cancel the payment, you may need to place a stop payment order on the check. This may be necessary if the original recipient did not receive the check, or if you do not have sufficient funds to cover the payment. In such cases, voiding the check can help prevent unwanted charges or fees associated with a bounced check.

In conclusion, there are several reasons why you may need to void a check. Whether it’s due to errors in the check, lost or stolen checks, or placing a stop payment, it’s important to take swift action to prevent any issues that may arise from the use of a cancelled check. Always be sure to keep accurate records of any voided checks for your own records and reference.

Steps to Void a Check

Step 1: Get the Necessary Information

Step 1: Get the Necessary Information

Before you can void a check, it’s important to gather all the information you need about that specific check. This includes the check number, amount, date, and payee. Having this information on hand will make the process of voiding the check much smoother.

Check Number

The check number is typically located in the top right corner of the check. It’s important to make sure you have the correct check number when voiding a check, as there may be multiple checks with similar amounts or dates.


The amount of the check should also be recorded before voiding it. This ensures that any future transactions or accounting records won’t be affected by the voided check.


The date of the check is another crucial piece of information needed for voiding it. Make sure to record the exact date written on the check, as this can impact your accounting records.


The payee is the person or entity that the check is made out to. It’s important to ensure that you have the correct payee name written down before voiding the check, as this can impact your bookkeeping.

Once you have gathered all the necessary information about the check, you are ready to move on to the next step in the voiding process. By taking the time to gather all the information beforehand, you can avoid potential mistakes or complications down the line.

Step 2: Write ‘VOID’ on the Check

When voiding a check, one of the most important steps is to make it clear that the check has been cancelled. One way to do this is by writing the word ‘VOID’ on the check. Writing void on a check is a simple process, but it must be done correctly in order for the cancellation to be valid.

To write ‘VOID’ on a check, use a pen with black or blue ink and write ‘VOID’ in large letters across the front of the check. It’s important to ensure that the word is written clearly and legibly so that there is no confusion about whether the check has been cancelled.

Voiding a check with writing is not the only way to cancel a check, but it is one of the most commonly used methods. Other methods include using a check cancellation stamp or punching a hole in the check. However, writing void on a check is often preferred because it is easy to do and leaves a clear record of the cancellation.

It’s important to note that once a check has been voided, it cannot be used again. This means that if you made a mistake when writing the check, you will need to start over with a new check rather than trying to correct the error on the voided check.

In some cases, cancelling a check with writing may not be enough to stop the payment. For example, if the check has already been cashed or deposited, writing void on the check will not reverse the transaction. In these cases, you may need to take additional steps such as contacting your bank to stop payment or disputing the transaction with the payee.

In conclusion, writing ‘VOID’ on a check is a simple yet important step in the process of voiding a check. By following the correct procedure, you can ensure that the cancellation is valid and that there is no confusion about the status of the check.

Step 3: Record the Voided Check in Your Records

When you void a check, it’s essential to record the transaction accurately in your records. Recording voided checks allows you to keep track of your financial history and ensures that you have a clear understanding of your current financial situation.

One way to record voided checks is by maintaining a cancelled check record. This record should include the check number, date, amount, payee, and reason for voiding the check. By including this information, you can easily reference the voided check in the future if necessary.

Recording voided checks becomes even more critical when dealing with large sums of money or business transactions. In these cases, it’s not just a matter of keeping track of your own finances but also maintaining accurate records for tax purposes.

Additionally, recording voided checks can help identify potential errors or fraud in your accounts. By comparing your cancelled check record to your bank statement, you can ensure that all transactions are accurately reflected, and no unauthorized transactions have occurred.

Overall, taking the time to record voided checks and maintain accurate cancelled check records is an essential step in managing your finances. It can help prevent errors, identify potential fraud, and provide a clear picture of your financial history. So, be sure to make this step a priority when voiding any checks.

Step 4: Dispose of the Voided Check

Step 4: Dispose of the Voided Check

Once you have voided a check, it is important to dispose of it properly. This ensures that no one can use the cancelled check to gain access to your bank account or personal information. Here are some tips for disposing of voided checks:

Disposal Methods

There are several ways to dispose of voided checks. One option is to shred them using a shredder that can handle paper and other sensitive materials. If you do not have a shredder, there are many companies that offer shredding services for a fee.

Another option is to use a black permanent marker to write “VOID” on the front and back of the check. Then, you could tear it into small pieces and dispose of it in the trash. However, this method is not as secure as shredding.

Importance of Proper Disposal

Disposing of voided checks properly is crucial for protecting your personal information. If someone were to get their hands on a cancelled check, they could potentially use the information on it to steal money from your account or commit identity theft.

In addition, failing to properly dispose of voided checks could also lead to confusion when reconciling your bank statements. If a voided check is not properly marked or disposed of, it could be mistakenly counted as a valid check, leading to errors in your records.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, disposing of voided checks is an important step in the process of cancelling a check. Make sure to use a secure disposal method such as shredding to protect your personal information and prevent any potential fraud or identity theft. By taking this simple step, you can ensure that your financial records are accurate and secure.

Tips to Avoid Mistakes When Voiding a Check

Here are some valuable tips to avoid mistakes when voiding a check. Despite its apparent simplicity, voiding a check can be quite complicated, and committing errors can result in significant problems. Here’s how you can ensure that you avoid common mistakes when voiding a check:

  1. Double-check the Check Details: Before voiding a check, ensure that you have all of the required information and that it is correct. Verify the check number, date, amount, and payee name. If any of this information is incorrect, the check should not be voided; instead, it should be canceled and reissued.

  2. Write “VOID” Clearly: When voiding a check, make sure that you write “VOID” clearly, legibly, and in big letters across the front of the check. The word “VOID” must be visible and prominent enough to prevent someone from attempting to deposit the check.

  3. Keep Track of Voided Checks: Always keep track of voided checks in your records. Ensure that you record the details of the voided check, such as the check number, date, amount, and reason for voiding. This would assist you in identifying voided checks that may still appear on your account statement, preventing duplication of payments.

  4. Dispose of Voided Checks Securely: Voided checks must be disposed of securely. To avoid identity theft or fraud, shred them thoroughly before discarding them. You can also consider using check-voiding services provided by banks if you want to dispose of voided checks safely.

Avoiding mistakes when voiding a check is critical because it can lead to financial losses and other issues. Follow these tips to protect yourself and ensure that your finances are secure.


After going through this comprehensive guide on how to void a check, you should now have a clear understanding of what it means to void a check, the reasons for doing so, and the steps to take in order to properly void a check. It is important to always double-check the information on your checks to avoid mistakes that may lead to the need for voiding checks.

In summary, voiding a check is a simple process that can be done by crossing out the check, writing “VOID” on it, and keeping records for future reference. Properly disposing of voided checks is also crucial to prevent fraud or identity theft.

We hope this guide has been helpful to you and has provided you with valuable insights into voiding checks. If you have any further questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact your bank or financial institution for assistance.
After reading this step-by-step guide on how to void a check, you now have the knowledge and confidence to cancel a check whenever you need to. You understand the importance of voiding a check and the potential consequences of not doing so properly. Remember to always double-check your information, write “VOID” clearly on the check, record the voided check in your records, and dispose of it safely. By following these steps and being mindful of common mistakes, you can avoid any unnecessary fees or legal issues. Voiding a check may seem like a small action, but it can have significant consequences. So, take the time to do it right and protect yourself and your finances.

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