Can You Use Checks With An Old Address

Last Updated by Neiko Johnson on 
September 16, 2021
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Do you wonder can you use checks with an old address?

At one point, we wondered the same thing. So, we decided to research and find out the answer.

We have moved a few times so this is a good question to have.

Most people don't think about this situation but it's something good to know.

There are other things to consider related to can you use checks with an old address such as: depositing a check, if you even need paper checks anymore, how to order new checks and alternatives to using checks.

Let's dig in and talk about the details of what we have learned.

1. Can you use checks with an old address?

The answer is yes, as long as the routing and account number on the check is still accurate.

Ordering new checks is another option to choose when moving to a new address. You can order them through your bank or online.

When we say old checks, it's any check that has an outdated address on them such as a payee or your bank account information.

Do not worry about using the same checks again and again since they are still fine to use for payment purposes. The only thing

2. Can You Deposit A Check If The Account Number Is Different?

The account number will need to be updated before you deposit the check. The bank should be able to help with this process.

It is important to note that you cannot deposit a check if the account number on it does not match your bank's records.

Let's say this scenario did happen though, what would be the outcome?

You could be fined for depositing a check that is not yours.

The bank may also place holds on your account and close it if they feel you are involved in suspicious activity.

If the amount of the deposited checks exceeds $5000, this is when it will trigger red flags at your local branch or financial institution. This is why it is good to use checks with an old address sparingly.

Your bank will let you know they are unable to process the transaction and return the check to the payee.

You will be required to contact your bank and verify that you are trying to deposit a valid check into your account.

Some banks may require additional documents in order for them to process this request properly.

If everything goes well, they can return it back to your financial institution with an endorsement stamp-meaning the check is okay to process.

If the routing number or account number on your check does not match what they have in their records, you could be subject to severe fines and penalties by both your bank and federal law enforcement agencies.

When Can You Use Old Checks?

Here are some examples of when it's okay to use old checks: when you are moving, cashing out your vacation or savings account, withdrawing money from ATMs, and writing checks to charities.

You can also use old checks if you make a mistake when writing the amount of money or the payee's name on them.

When this happens it is up to the discretion of the bank whether they want to help you or not.

3. Can You Use Paper Checks Anymore?

Some financial institutions do not accept paper checks anymore, so it is necessary to decide which option is best for you. For those that still rely on checks, there are options like using blank checks or pre-printed checks.

They are a lot less expensive now since pre-printed checks have been replaced by electronic transfers.

The main benefit to using these types of checks is that they can be used as "electronic" transactions for payments and deposits.

They also come with the added security of encryption technology which protects your personal information from being stolen or hacked online.

Blank checks ensure that you aren't spending money without knowing what it's for, and if they get lost or stolen no one can use them.

Pre-printed checks used to be good too because they didn't require your bank information which makes them secure from theft and fraud.

They are also easier to track as compared with blank checks which can get lost or thrown out with the garbage.

Pre-printed checks are still available to purchase online but they do require your bank information on them in order for them to process these requests properly.

You will need to contact your financial institution and ask if it is possible for you to use old checks when moving addresses, cashing out accounts, etc.

You will want to have an understanding of the risks involved when using pre-printed checks since they are not accepted at all banks.

3. Can You Order New Checks Through Your Bank Or Online?

Yes, you can order new checks through your bank or online.

To order new checks through your bank, you will need to contact them and ask if they can process these requests.

You will need to provide some information like the type of account the checks are for (checking, savings, etc), the routing number, and the account number.

The shipping time for this type of request is usually 3-5 business days.

Ordering online is a different situation because you don't have a guarantee that the checks will arrive in a timely manner.

It has been reported that customers have had to wait up to 8 weeks before receiving their order of checks.

4. How To Dispose Of Old Checks

If you are ready to dispose of your old checks, you can shred them. Shredding is the fastest and easiest way to get the job done.

There are many types of shredders that will work on checks like office shredders, tabletop or in-between jobs shredders, or home shredders.

The best option is an in-between jobs paper shredder so it can be used for other items too.

An office paper shredder can do the job but it's more expensive than an in-between jobs paper shredder.

A tabletop or in-between jobs paper shredder is perfect for use at home since they are less expensive and easy to store when not being used.

5. Alternatives To Using Checks

It turns out that most people don't even need to order new ones anymore. They have more electronic options such as direct deposit or paying bills online.

This means paper checks are not only becoming outdated but also unnecessary.

Some options include paying by phone, credit card, or online bill pay. Some people even use PayPal, Venmo, CashApp, and Apple Pay.

If you do need paper checks, we recommend ordering them through your bank. It's the quickest and easiest way to get new ones.

You can also order online but it might take a few days before they arrive at your doorstep depending on how fast the provider ships out orders.

As always, there are many options to think about when thinking about can you use checks with an old address.

6. How to Correct a Mistake on a Check

You can correct a mistake on a check by drawing a line through the number that was wrong, writing the correction over it, then signing your name.

If you are using a pre-printed check, the number can't be deleted or changed so it's important to catch any mistakes before writing out the amount.

You will want to make sure the mistake is corrected immediately since it can be difficult for banks and billers to process mistakes on checks.

Once you have made all of the corrections, sign your name again at the bottom then send out or give it to the payee.

Final Words - Can You Use Checks With An Old Address?

It turns out that most people don't even need to order new ones anymore. They have more electronic options such as direct deposit or paying bills online.

This means paper checks are not only becoming outdated but also unnecessary.

Using modern technology such as Venmo, CashApp, and ApplePay is becoming more common.

It's all about doing what works best for you when it comes to managing your money.

Do you still use paper checks? Why or why not?

Article written by Neiko Johnson
Neiko is a personal finance expert and Co-founder of Secret to Finance. Along with his wife Alexis, they learned how to get out of debt and paid off $400,000 in 4 years.

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