In some cases your check doesn't need the correct date

I recently made a payment by check and then a couple of days later discovered that being a klutz at times, I had dated the check for October instead of August. A prefectly understandable mistake that could happen to anyone as I’m sure you will agree.

Anyway, I called the company and got a representative who checked with their Payment office who said it wouldn’t make a damned bit of difference. The magnetic numbers would be read, the amount posted to my account and the whole transaction from there on would take place by electronic fund transfer and no one would even look at the date.

I questioned the process but he insisted that I would have no problems. I still intend to check well in advance of the payment date and make sure it is credited and if not to pay by telephone fund transfer which I don’t like to do but will do if absolutely necessary.

If this keeps up all someone will have to do is wave their hand and money will be taken out of your account. It is getting way to easy to spend money.

The reason for that is that there is no such thing as a post dated check. When someone agrees to take a post dated check there is no guarantee for them to actually hold it til that date. You issue the funds when you write the check, not the date you put on it. The fact that you may have written it ahead of time means nothing, and if someone does take a post-dated check and actually holds on to it, they are doing you a favor.

You’re right. It doesn’t make a bit of difference, unless you’re actually cashing a check in person with a teller.

I learned the hard way my first years out on my own. A guy comes to the door with coupons for discounted auto repairs at the local shop. I couldn’t pay him the entire amount up front, so i gave him three checks, dated a month apart each.

“Make sure you don’t cash these before their date”. “OK”, he says.

Anyway, of course they deposited all of them and I was then overdrawn. Good thing I learned right away!

True, doesn’t matter at all if you aren’t cashing/depositing it in person, and then it only matters if the teller happens to notice. Otherwise, it all gets machine processed based on the MICR* encoding at the bottom, which, as you’ll notice, doesn’t include the date.

*Magnetic Ink Character Recognition–the ink is magnetically treated so machines can read it. In case you care.

Hell, I’ve had checks that I haven’t even signed be cashed with out problem. Not even a call from the bank.


Me to. I didn’t sign a check I gave my son one time and when he told me I said for him to sign it and I would certify it with the bank. When I told the bank the answer essentially was, Who Cares? If it has the magnetic numbers and an amount it gets cashed.

With automatic processing I don’t think anything matters. I wrote a check at Cub Foods once but wrote Sam’s Club on the payee line, no one ever said a work about it.

This is a mistake I make so often it’s not even funny. October frequently becomes 8 (because Oct means 8 of course) and August, apparently by reason that only makes sense in my mind, becomes 10.

Most checks are processed by machines through central clearing houses at the banks, and they just read the magnetic codes identifying the account/branch/bank and use OCR to read the amount. The machine ignores the payee and date info. Normally they are not even seen by humans unless there is some problem which prevents the machine from getting the information and it is kicked out for human review, and even then the reviewer is often looking at an image rather than the actual check. If you mail a payment into a large company, they may process it the same way. Our department handles client payments like this (although we do read the date and other info for our own accounting system).

I used to deliver for Domino’s, and people would give us checks made out to Pizza Hut all the time (so much for the millions spent on advertising!), and we’d just endorse them and deposit them. The bank didn’t even blink.

Well, get an RFID chip implanted in your hand and you can already. Mostly they’re being used in the form of cards or key fobs, but the same technology could easily be implanted.