There was a time when you didn't actually need a bank account to cash a check. You could simply sign over your check to someone you know with a bank account and they could cash the check for you. This was called third party checks cashing.
Where cashing third-party checks is a thing of the past, in some cases you still may be allowed to cash your check. Some banks, check cashing stores and credit unions will cash your third-party checks if you meet their requirements and approval granted from the branch manager.
Bank of America
Bank of America is one of few banks that will cash third-party checks. Not every case is the same and Bank of America has the right to refuse any situation. The manager of the financial center decides which checks to cash after a full assessment of each individual case.
Due to the increased risk of fraud, the amount of third party checks cashing has been limited by the bank. If approved, Bank of America members may cash third-party checks for free while non-members will pay an $8 fee for check amounts of $50 or greater.
TD Bank and SunTrust Bank
TD Bank and SunTrust Bank charges $7 for non-members. Some banks offer free check cashing if the check is drawn from their particular bank. Others charge various fees depending on the circumstances of their checking situation.
To endorse a third-party check, all parties must be present at the time of cashing the check and must show a valid photo ID. Everyone involved must endorse the check and all signatures must be legible. All parties should endorse the check at the bank in front of the bank teller. If the bank cannot verify the signatures, they will refuse to cash the check.
Even when following these guidelines, banks, check cashing stores and credit unions still have the right to refuse to cash the check, especially if they suspect fraudulent activity.
If you do not bank with Bank of America, they offer a list of other banks that accept third-party checks. It is always easier to go into the bank to cash third-party checks rather than using the ATM or mobile banking systems.
You may know that when you shop at Walmart, some convenience stores or your local grocery store, you can cash your checks. However, they will not honor third-party checks. Check cashing stores are a little bit different. Some check cashing stores like Check N Go will cash your third party checks, depending on their policies and your banking needs. They charge a small fee and have rates that vary from location to location.
There are a handful of banking institutions that do not honor third-party checks. Citizens Bank, Wells Fargo, Charles Schwab, Ally Bank and a few others will not cash third-party checks but will allow you to deposit third-party checks into your account if the deposit is made at the bank with a bank teller.
Each bank, check cashing stores, and credit union has their own policy for third-party checks. It is wise to call your banking institution in advance and ask about their policy on third-party check cashing.