How To Write A Check: An Essential Guide

How To Write A Check: An Essential Guide

An important banking instrument, checks continue to remain in use as the safest and easy mode of money transfer to individuals and for other business-related payments. 

Check is the instrument that allows a commercial bank to withdraw money from one account and deposit it into other. It can be cashed instantaneously also by a bearer order. 

Checks can be issued in favor of a person or organization by someone. The money mentioned in the check can be taken from that particular account to deposit in favor of the person or organization mentioned in writing in the check. 

[Read more: Can You Use A Check With an Old Address?]

How to Write a Check Out?

Writing a check follows a particular pattern continuing for decades together. Those writing or issuing the check in someone else’s name or a company to meet payment liability must follow these rules. 

The following explanations may help us understand it better: 

Fill in the date:

All checks must be dated. This means they must have issuing date. Usually, there is a specific space for it. This is found in the right-hand part of the check. Mind you, without an issuing date, a check is not valid. 

Pay to the Order of:

A check must be issued in favor of an individual, a company, or an organization. This is mentioned in this particular space that says pay to the order of. This signifies the account holder’s name in which the transferred money is to be deposited. 

Dollar Box:

This specific box is meant to put the amount in Dollar value. The total amount you are giving to someone is mentioned here. 

Dollars Line:

In the check, there are the word Dollars written on it. Here, the amount is mentioned both in the figure and in words. If one is issuing a check of 200 Dollars, one has to mention it in the figure and also write in the words Two Hundred Dollars.  


This is a short note that you may write to mention why this check is being issued in someone’s favor. It can be for paying house rent, installment money for a bank loan, or insurance payments. The memo spells out the specific purpose for which the check has been issued. 

Signature Line:

A check can be a valid banking instrument when only signed by its authorized issuer who is the legal operator of the bank account. Usually, the Signature Line is at the bottom of the check-in on the right-hand side. 

Numbers at the bottom:

This is the number of your bank account maintained with a particular bank. Without this number, the check is not valid. This shows the bank account from which money can be taken to transfer to the account of someone else. 

How to Write a Check Amount?

Filling or writing a check is quite easy. Only thing is that you have to follow certain banking norms that are mandatory with the check. They are:

  • Mention the issuing date
  • Clearly write the check amount (no overwriting is allowed). 
  • Mention the amount in Dollar value in figure and in writing. 
  • Mention the person or organization in whose favor the check is issued. 
  • Write a memo. 
  • Finally, put your signature or sign the check. 

There are some easy tips to write the check amount. They are explained below: 

How to spell 90: If you are transferring 90 Dollars, clearly write Ninety Dollars in words. 

How to write a check for 100 dollars: A person issuing a check of $ 100 should mention in figure 100.00 in the box meant for the amount. After this, there is a space to write it in words. In that specific space, the person should be One Hundred and 00/100

How to write a check for 1,500: There is a small Dollar Box in the check. First, you write 1,500.00 in the figure and then mention it in words like this: One Thousand and Five Hundred and 0/100.

[Read more: How to Cash a Damaged, Ripped, or Torn Check?]

Things to Consider While Writing a Check

There are certain points that you must keep in mind while writing a check. 

Before Writing a Check: Check the spelling of the person or the company to whom you are issuing the check. Discrepancies in spelling mistakes may disqualify the check for being cashed. Subsequently, ensure that you have put the correct date, mentioned the Dollar Box amount with the right spelling, and finally signed it. You may also write a Memo before writing the check. 

After Writing a Check: After finally signing the check, one should maintain the following: 

Ensure that the signature you have put matches exactly with the one that is being kept on the record document of the bank. 

A check must be kept at a secured place after signing and before handing it over to the person or organization concerned. Any laxity in it may prove to be costly as it may lead to bank fraud. A thief may steal it before being handed over to the rightful person or company. The thief or person with fraudulent intent may misuse the signed check. 

Record the Payment in your Check Register

A bank account holder gets a checkbook. It is always advisable that the holder of the checkbook maintains a written record of an individual check or check-leaf issued. They should enter the date, name against who the check is signed, and the amount transferred. 

Every checkbook has a check register. It has the columns of date, name, and amount. Maintain this in your own interest. This also helps you to know how much money is left in your account after issuing a particular check with a particular Dollar Value. 

It is always wise to keep a record of the purpose for which the check has been issued. 

Security Tips for Writing a Check

There are certain tips that may ensure the security of your checks. Following are the tips that one should maintain:

Make it permanent: The imprint on the check (name, date, and amount) must be made permanent so that no one can alter it or erase it. This can be done by always using a pen which can either be a fountain pen or a ballpoint pen. You should preferably use black ink to sign a check. 

Keep checks from growing: It is always advisable that you issue checks for limited purposes. don’t let the issuance of checks grow for your safety and security.

Carbon copies: This is ideal for keeping a documented record of checks signed and issued. Keeping a duplicate copy is always the best option. Every check has a copy which is a thin paper bearing the same number. This may be used as a carbon copy. 

Consistent signature: Signature, if varying from the bank’s record, may disqualify a check from being cashed. Hence, be very particular about signing the check. It should perfectly match with bank’s record. Here, it may be kept in mind that the signature and its stylistic pattern must be consistent. 

No “Cash”: Ensure that your account maintained with a commercial bank has sufficient balance to meet the obligation of the amount mentioned in the check. Otherwise, the check may be returned with the noting No “Cash”.

Write fewer checks: Issuing fewer numbers of checks is always advisable as you don’t have to bother to track a large number of checks issued by you. Another important reason is that the bank always limits the use of checks and may charge for issuing an additional number of checks. Hence, issuing fewer checks always makes sense. 

[Read more: What Is Counter Credit and What Does It Mean?]

How to Write a Check with Cents?

A check with cents can be written using the number box and the number line. This circumstance may arise if you are paying less than One Dollar (e.g. 50 cents). In the check, you may use a decimal point to mention .50 which signifies in the dollar sign that it is 50 cents. The ideal way is to enter this figure like 0.50. One can also write as Only 50 cents or Only 50/100 signifying you are paying 50 cents. 

In Conclusion

The check is an important banking instrument and its use involves some stages. Certain precautions also must be maintained while issuing a check. Though the world has gone digital and many banking transactions take place online, still check is relevant in today’s time. If you ever want to issue a check to somebody, using the above tips can help.


TheLiveCash is a team of experts in finance and banking. We are striving together to bring financial clarity to readers across the world. We write about savings, making and budgeting money, investing, taxes, loans, and all other financial topics.