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March 2024

Do checks expire?

Most financial transactions nowadays are done through mobile apps or online banking platforms. However, it seems almost impossible to deny that checks remain a trusty method when it comes to financial transactions.

Do checks expire? Typically, checks do not expire, however, after six months, personal checks are considered stale, making it no longer valid. However, other types of checks may have different rules.

Personal/Business checks

Personal checks and checks from businesses are valid for 6 months. After that, the checks are considered “stale,” meaning banks may refuse to accept them. This 6 months rule is laid out in the law and most banks, including Hanmi, use it as a guideline for their bank policy.

Government checks

Government checks, such as tax refunds or benefits are void 12 months after the issue date, unless otherwise specified.

Cashier’s checks

Cashier’s checks issued by Hanmi Bank do not have an expiration date. However, some banks print the expiration date on their cashier’s checks that can go stale. If a cashier’s check has a pre-printed expiration date, it’s best to cash it before the printed date.

Money Orders

Generally speaking, money orders don’t expire. However, banks may charge an additional fee if a money order is older than a year. It’s best to check the terms and conditions on the back of the money order.

What to do with a stale check

If you have a stale check, try asking the issuer to cut a new one.

You can still try depositing it into your account. Banks are not required to cash a stale check but may do so at their discretion. However, if the issuer’s account does not have enough funds to cover the check, you could end up with a bounced check, followed by the related fees.

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