We share a bank account; if the check is made out to me personally, can I have my other half run it to the ATM while I'm at work? Also, is it legal to do so?

  • 3
    An ATM won't be a problem.
    – MrChrister
    Commented Oct 14, 2011 at 13:55
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    I tagged this united-states based on your location and the fact that all the answers seem to relate to US banking systems. Feel free to re-tag if this isn't appropriate.
    – Vicky
    Commented Oct 24, 2011 at 8:33

3 Answers 3


As you are depositing the check, there's something simple that you can do that will make this work very easily. Sign the check, and write the works "For Deposit only <BANK> Account # <ACCOUNT NUMBER> (Replacing the <BANK> and <ACCOUNT NUMBER>, of course), then you can use any means to get the check to the appropriate location, so long as you were the person to sign the check. It's perfectly legal to do this, or even to send a friend. My bank actually allows us to mail the checks, making it be a stranger that I don't even know bringing the check to the bank.

However, the question of if your SO could sign the check in your absence, well, it might be doable, especially if you are depositing the check into a joint account, but I wouldn't do it on a regular basis. If there's an emergency, it could be worth a shot, but aside from that... I would not try that unless you have some sort of a legal contract, either being married or some kind of power of attorney or similar document.

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    We're in the middle of a long engagement, so marriage will be there eventually. I'm looking for a short-term solution while I wait for direct deposit to be set up and for occasional mailed checks. But I'll try your first suggestion :) that seems safest anyway Commented Oct 14, 2011 at 15:31

The bank will accept a deposit into the account regardless of who tries to do it. My wife can intercept checks to me and deposit even with no signature.

As I've answered in similar questions, banks may have their own rules, stricter or more lenient than the law suggests. For example, one teller cashes my wife's check, but other one asks me for ID.

  • This should be the accepted answer. No bank in the world will turn down a deposit, regardless of who does it. "Hey I'm depositing this for my SO". Now turn that around to "Hey I need to withdraw all the cash out of my SO's account" and you'll get a much different reaction! Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 16:52

When you endorse a check for deposit, a signature is not needed, so long as you are a named owner of the account. In general, you shouldn't sign the name of another individual.

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    strictly speaking legally, you're not supposed to sign for others. However, I've been married over 10 years. I can masterfully replicate my wife's signature. No banks have ever questioned us on it.
    – Kai Qing
    Commented Jun 6, 2019 at 23:18

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