If you are not in the financial industry, you might have never even heard of a void cheque.
Also, you may have heard that your bank makes cheques “void” when writing out a cheque, but what does this mean?
As strange as it may sound, the term “void cheque” is not just some fancy banking legal jargon.
No, void cheques are quite real, and they can be quite valuable in many financial situations.
If a cheque is made void, this means that you have canceled the cheque, and it will not be deposited.
Not sure how to get a void cheque or when to use it? This article explains what a void cheque is, how to get it when to use it, and more.
What is a Void Cheque?
A void cheque is simply a regular cheque that has the word “VOID” written across it which informs the recipient or anyone holding it that it is no longer valid and hence has no cash value.
When you void a cheque, a bank will cancel it, and anyone that has that cheque will not be able to cash it or use it for payment. You would then think a void cheque is useless, isn’t it? No!
Even though the cheque has no cash value, it still contains valuable and sensitive information like the name, address, transit number, financial institution number, and account number.
These information are often needed to set up a direct deposit or an automatic payment for recurring bills, and these use cases are the popular reasons why people use a void cheque to date.
If you have an unused or old cheque, void your cheque to add an additional layer of security to ensure that thieves and criminals cannot cash in on your blank cheques.
It is not enough to simply throw away the old or unused cheque. What you instead need to do is to remove the cheque from circulation, by legibly writing “VOID” with ink on the face of the cheque.
Related: How to Read a Cheque in 8 Easy Steps
What is a Void Cheque Used for?
On rare occasions, you will find the need to write a cheque and then later decide to void it. However, this is not the only time a void cheque is used.
Void cheques are created for various reasons, and you will need to know when to use them. Let’s go over some situations where you might need one:
1. Direct Deposits
If you recently started a new job and would like to have your paycheck directly deposited into your account, then your employer will probably need a void cheque to set up a direct payroll deposit.
Many employees receive their salaries and wages through direct deposits instead of through cheques, and many payroll departments require a void cheque to expedite the process.
2. Pre-Authorized Debits for Bill payment
One way to pay recurring bills (like rent, hydro, etc,) on time and effectively is to set up a pre-authorized debit so that the money is automatically taken from your account instead of you having to pay by cash or cheque in person.
Void cheques give you the flexibility to set up a pre-authorized debit agreement that allows your bank to set up automatic payment withdrawals from your account so that you can easily pay recurring monthly expenses such as:
- Mortgage payment
- Insurance Premiums
- Loan Repayment
- Utilities like internet, phone, cable, and hydro
A void cheque can be handy in certain situations. Void cheques provide a more straightforward and safer way to share your banking information.
Instead of writing out the bank routing number and the account number for someone to record on a form, you can provide him with a cheque that already has those numbers printed on it.
These cheques avoid mistakes caused by copying numbers down incorrectly and help you to reduce the risk of identity theft.
Therefore, to avoid potentially costly errors involving your banking information, it’s a good idea to keep a supply of voided cheques around.
Additionally, it is essential to keep one in your wallet or purse along with some blank cheques if you need to provide your banking information to someone.
But that does not mean that it will always be legit if someone asks for your information. So make sure to keep your eye open for when someone may be trying to take advantage of you.
How to Void a Cheque
If you have a blank cheque, all you need is to boldly and legibly write VOID on the front of the cheque.
You should write it big enough to cover all of the cheque, but not so big that it covers up the numbers on the bottom, which the recipient will need.
Also, do not use a pencil or anything that could easily be erased to mark your void cheque. It is best to use a dark pen or thick black marker.
Alternatives to Void Cheques
If you don’t have a blank cheque, you can request a void cheque from your online banking portal. Afterward, you can save the void cheque as a PDF and then email it to whoever needs it.
This void cheque can be used as many times as possible provided your personal information like address is still the same.
If it has changed, just update your banking information with your bank, and proceed to re-download the void cheque again from the banking portal.
You can also ask your local bank branch for a void cheque if your online banking portal does not have this feature. A void cheque will be printed upon request. This service may have a fee.
However, if your bank does not offer this alternative, there are still a few alternatives you can choose from.
Get a counter-cheque from a bank teller. It is often called a “counter cheque” since it is printed on demand by a bank when you visit them in person.
In most cases, banks will print some counter cheques for free. However, you may be required to order a chequebook for future purposes.
Further, you can make use of a preprinted deposit slip. With a preprinted deposit slip from your bank, you can obtain all the information from a void cheque.
To get it, however, you must physically go to your bank. Depending on why you need it, there may be an option to enter your account information online for a void cheque.
Final Thoughts on Void Cheques
A void cheque is an essential document for people running a business, but the idea can quickly get confusing for those unfamiliar with it.
Think of a void cheque as an insurance policy for your chequebook. You won’t need one very often. But when you need them, it can be very inconvenient not to have a void cheque on hand.
That’s why we recommend ordering a book of cheques from your financial institution and keeping them on hand.
By ordering your book of cheques from your financial institution and keeping them on hand, when you need one, all you have to do is tear one out, void it, and give it to whoever needs it.
If you find yourself needing to void a cheque, you’ll be happy you prepared ahead of time.
You can, however, check if your bank will permit you to print out void cheques from your online banking portal. If this is possible, you won’t need to keep physical cheques in your possession.
FAQs on Void Cheques
What to Do After You Void a Cheque?
Upon creating a void cheque, ensure you provide it to the individual or organization who asked for it.
You can reuse a void cheque since it aims to get accurate account information, as it is not legal tender.
Also, you should save the original of the void cheque if you can provide it electronically, such as through scanning or an online banking feature.
By doing so, you’ll be able to re-use it again and save yourself from writing another cheque.
Lastly, remember to keep track of your void cheques and make sure you discard them properly. The addresses and banking information on them remain, despite being invalid.
Can someone send me a picture of a cheque?
Yes. The payee can receive a check via email, print it, and cash it once it is ready. If you do not want to cash the check, you can deposit it in a bank instead.
What is void cheque used for?
You can link your bank account to your void check as your account information appears on every cheque. Voiding the cheque prevents criminals from filling in your cheque and withdrawing cash from your account.
Do void Cheques expire?
There is no expiration date for a voided cheque. “Void” simply indicates that a person cannot cash a personal cheque.
Is it safe to email a void cheque?
You shouldn’t send the voided check in an email message in the open if you provide the cheque electronically. Ensure that your account information is hidden from hackers and thieves.
Does a voided cheque need to be signed?
No. A void cheque does not require your signature or any other information. Your banking information is copied from a voided check and entered into the recipient’s system when the check is received.
Hi, I'm Adeola Adegoke. I am a licensed Insurance Broker in Manitoba, and I hold a master’s degree in Mathematical Sciences (with a major in Financial Modeling) from the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), Tanzania.
Also, I have a second master's degree in Statistics from the University of Regina, and I am currently pursuing my Ph.D. in Statistics at the University of Manitoba.
The primary purpose of Money Reverie is to help everyday Canadians make better financial decisions by providing up-to-date financial news and information, reports, product reviews, and government programs.