Procedures to follow when accepting checks:
The best way to protect yourself and lower your risk of loss is to avoid taking bad checks in the first place. The procedures that follow are guidelines and suggestions to help you establish best practices for accepting checks.
Establish a Check Acceptance Policy
Adopt a firm but courteous policy of accepting checks. Clearly post your policies which should include what types of checks you will and won’t accept.
Educate your Employees
Fully educate your employees so they are familiar with your check acceptance policy and the requirements of the bad check restitution program.
Identify the Check Writer
Identity must be established using a picture I.D. The writer’s driver’s license or social security number and date of birth must be written on the checks at the time the checks are issued and accepted. Compare all information on the check with that on the writer’s picture I.D. including name, address and identifiers. Get a phone number and write that on the check as well.
Make Sure the Check is Properly Signed
The check should be signed in the presence of the person accepting the check. Do not accept previously signed checks or checks where the signature does not match the printed name on the check. Make sure the signature is legible on company checks and, if not, print the name of the individual on the front of the check.
Verify the Address
Do not accept a post office box for an address. Arrest warrants cannot be served on a post office box. Also, do not accept out-of-state checks.
Make sure the check is completely filled out
Do not accept checks with missing information. Make sure the written and numerical amounts on the check match.
Record the initials of the person accepting the check on the check
Being able to identify who accepted the check will assist you and us if the employee is able to identify the bad check writer should criminal charges be filed.
Be extremely cautious when accepting low check numbers, counter checks, checks with alterations or erasures, and two-party checks. The vast majority of bad checks are written on newer accounts with check numbers under 150. You should avoid accepting these types of checks.
Only Accept Checks for Today’s Date
Never accept postdated checks and never agree to hold a check.
Empower Yourself and Your Employees!
You are NEVER required to accept a check from anyone. If you are suspicious or uncomfortable about a transaction you should trust your instincts. Refuse the check and ask for a different form of payment.