How to Fill Out a Personal Check: Step-by-Step Beginner’s Guide

While credit card and online payment apps have become the standard form of payment in today’s fast-paced, digital world, there’s still a place for old-fashioned, paper checks.

That’s why it’s important to know how to fill out a check correctly. Here, in this article we’ll show you how to fill out a check correctly. After reading this step by step guide, you will not only learn the proper way to fill out a check but also learn some important safety tips that you should take care of.

Filling out a check is very easy. But if you are going to fill out a check for the first time then, you may have some questions, such as how to write amount in words and how to fill out the dollar box.

Here, in this easy step-by-step guide we’ll show you everything you need to know about how to fill out a check, with easy to follow diagrams and illustrations.

So, without further delay, let’s tackle how to fill out a check in proper order, from top to bottom.

Full diagram of a personal bank check
Full diagram of a personal bank check

Steps on How to Fill Out a personal Check

Here are the six quick steps to follow when you Fill Out a personal Check.

  1. Write the current date in the top right corner.
  2. Fill out the recipients name next to “pay to the order of”.
  3. Write the payment amount in numbers next to the “$” symbol.
  4. Write the payment amount in words bellow the “pay to the order of”.
  5. Sign the check with your signature in the bottom right corner.
  6. Fill out the memo line in the bottom left corner.

Full Detailed Explanation of How to fill out a check with sample checks

For understanding the process to fill out a check correctly, we have a typical situation where you have to pay Mr. Rayan Wallace a sum of $135.40 dollar for house rent, assuming the payment date to be 09th May, 2021. So now let us get down to seeing how we can write all the details properly.

Step 1: Write The Date

First, Write the date in the top right hand-corner. You can write the current date or a date in the future. Note: The date format should be month, day, and then year. For instance, You can fill out the date like “May 9, 2021” or “05/09/2021”.

Example 1:

Write the current date
Example 1: Write the current date

Example 2:

Write the current date
Example 2: Write the current date

Step 2: Fill Out The Recipients Name

The second step is to fill out the line next to “pay to the order of”. Here write the full name of the payee or recipient. This can be an individual’s first name and then last name, or it can be the name of an organization. Make sure you spell the full name correctly.

Example: “Rayan Wallace”

 Fill Out The Recipients Name
Fill Out The Recipients Name

You can just write the word “cash” as the recipient name, if you don’t know the exact payee name. But remember, writing cash means that anyone can cash the check.

write cash as payee
write cash as payee

Step 3: Write The Payment Amount In Numbers

In the dollar sign box, write the full amount of your check. Use only numbers and fill out the exact amount in dollars and cents. For example, if you are paying $135.40, you will write “135.40”. Don’t forget to write a comma for amounts over a thousand and write a period between the dollars and the cents. Example, “15,200.55”.

Write amount in numbers
Write amount in numbers

Note: The payment amount should not be more than the funds you have in your checking account. Otherwise when the recipient tries to deposit your check, the bank will not cash or deposit the check. And your bank may charge you a fee for insufficient funds.

Step 4: Write The Payment Amount In Words

Bellow the “pay to the order of” you will see a blank line, this is where you write the amount in words. For any cents, write them as a fraction over one hundred. Then draw a horizontal line all the way across to the end. This prevents sneaky people from adding to the amount that you wrote.

For example, if you are paying $135.40, you will write “one hundred thirty-five and 40/100”.

Write The Payment Amount In Words
Write The Payment Amount In Words

Step 5: Sign the check

Now, Sign your name on the line at the bottom right corner of the check. Your signature authorizes the bank to pull these funds from your bank account. In fact, without a signature, a bank will not allow the recipient to deposit the check.

Sign the check
Sign the check

Note: your signature must match the sample signature you submit to the bank when you open your account.

Step 6: Fill Out The Memo Line

The last thing you need to do is fill out the memo section on the bottom left of the check. This step is optional and it will not affect your check validation. It’s usually helpful to write a note to remind you later what this check was for.

Example, “House Rent”

Memo line
Memo line

Completed Sample Check

Here’s what a correctly filled out check will look like.

$135.40 sample check for rent
$135.40 sample check for rent

Remember that you cannot make any changes or corrections to a check you have filled in, it will render the check invalid.

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are the answers to the various frequently asked questions relating to Fill out a check.

1. How to fill out a check with cents?

Want to know how to fill out a check with cents, then here is the quick steps. Let’s, assume you need to write a check for $10.80 (Ten dollars and eighty cents).

  • Write the full amount using numbers in the dollar sign box. Example, “10.80”.
  • Write the check amount in words on the line that ends with “Dollars”. Example, “Ten and 80/100”.
  • Detailed Explanation:- How to write a check with cents.

2. How to write a check for 1000 dollar?

  • Write the current date in the date line.
  • Write the recipients name next to “pay to the order of” line.
  • Write “1000.00” in the dollar sign box.
  • Write “One thousand and 00/100” dollars word line.
  • View Sample check:- How to write a check for 1000 dollar.

3. How to write a void check?

Voiding a check is very easy. To void a check, write the word “VOID” in large capital letters across the front of the check using a permanent ink pen.

4. How to write a check to yourself?

Writing a check for yourself isn’t that difficult. Here’s what you have to do, step by step:

  • Write the date in the top right hand-corner.
  • Write your original legal full name next to “pay to the order of” line or you can just write the word “cash” to cash the check.
  • Write the payment amount in numbers next to the “$” sign.
  • Write the payment amount in words.
  • Sign the check with your own signature in the bottom signature line.
  • Detailed Explanation:– How to write a check to yourself.

5. How to fill out a check for Cents Only?

First, write the exact cent amount of your check. If the check is for twenty five cent, then write “0.25” in the dollar sign box. Then, bellow the “pay to the order of” line write the word ‘Only’. Then write the cent amount in word format. In this case, you would write “Only Twenty-five Cents”.

6. How to fill out a check with zero cents?

Step one, write the exact amount of your check in numbers. If the check is for eight dollar and zero cent, then write “8.00” in the dollar sign box. step two, bellow the “pay to the order of” write the amount in word format. In this case, you would write “Eight and 00/100”.

7. who signs the back of a check?

When you write a check, the only place you need to sign is on the front. But If you received a check, you’ll need to sign the back to deposit or cash the check.

General Safety Measures for Writing a check correctly

  1. Ensure all spellings are correct.
  2. Don’t make alterations or overwrite because your check can be dishonored.
  3. Ensure the amount in words and figures match.
  4. Keep your checks safe from fraud; don’t leave extra spaces between words of figures. Always draw a line through any unused space so that it cannot be misused.
  5. Ensure your signature matches the signature you provided to the bank.
  6. Do not write, fold, mark or pin on the code band of the check. This code band character recognition system helps banks identify and validate the authenticity of the cheque electronically.
  7. Record all the details of the checks issued. You may need this information later.

Thank you for reading this guide on how to fill out a personal check. We hope now you know “how to fill out a check”. For any related queries please comment below.