Is it possible to cash a check made to someone else's name? How to do so?

  • if the "someone else" is your spouse, the bank (at least in the US) probably won't care - even if it is quite large
    – warren
    Jul 24, 2014 at 20:11
  • Hello is it possible to sign a check over to someone if it was written out to my business? Its a small check
    – user25093
    Jan 30, 2015 at 19:24
  • As long as its endorsed to you (meaning, the person to whom the check was originally made out, signed the back with something along the lines of "Endorsed to user454"), then it should not be a problem (in the US). I've done this many times as recent as a couple of years ago. *However, if the check is large (and the definition of "large" depends on the individual bank, but the cut-off is usually around $3-4k) - the bank may ask for the endorser to be present.
    – Ruslan
    Dec 11, 2015 at 6:02

4 Answers 4


It's theoretically possible but pretty unlikely that you'll be successful if the check is very big.

This would be done by having the payee endorse the check (sign the back) and below that write "PAY TO THE ORDER OF JOHN SMITH", and then John Smith can endorse and then cash or deposit the check.

  • 1
    define "big". I've cashed checks lots of times this way, but always through my bank's mobile apps. i suspect that unless somebody complains, the bank doesn't even check that the "pay to" amount matches any of the names on the account. if it did, the OCR would have to properly match both the payee and the endorsement.
    – user12515
    Jan 30, 2015 at 20:35
  • @Michael I would wager the terms of your bank's mobile app forbids depositing this type of check.
    – Jesse
    Mar 30, 2015 at 20:05
  • 1
    @Jesse funny enough, many years ago I wrote a short story for a college (student run) publication under a pseudonym, and received a check paid to the order of that pseudonym. I signed using the pseudonym and cashed the check in person and the teller didn't even notice the name or signature.
    – user12515
    Mar 30, 2015 at 23:47

It's called a 3rd Party check. I was a bank teller in college and I can tell you that generally banks frown upon this (this was 10+ years ago). Today it may be totally against most bank's policies.

  • 1
    This is funny because I remember being taught how to do this in Middle School.
    – Alex B
    Aug 22, 2010 at 20:12
  • 2
    It has been a while since I have done this, but even a few years ago it basically required that the person cashing the check had some history with the bank and enough funds to cover the check. Aug 26, 2010 at 1:11
  • 1
    I've done this a number of times recently, mostly to other people, but also from other people. No problems, but always at banks that at least one of us has a decent history with. Aug 17, 2011 at 13:59

In the UK, this is no longer possible.

15 or 20 years ago, it used to be possible by having the original payee sign the back of the cheque. Now, they don't allow that any more; I could not even pay in a cheque made out in my former name after I had changed the name on my account when I got married.

  • The same is true in the U.S.A. re the maiden and married name example you provided. Even a bank where one has a longstanding relationship will not allow this. Aug 22, 2011 at 22:35

Literally 'cashing' a cheque (as in, walking into a bank with a cheque made out to 'Cash') should be fine, that's the point.

Paying a cheque in to a bank account under a different name is different however; most likely the cashier/teller wouldn't allow it, but I have on occasion been able to pay in cheques to my company account that were made out to me personally simply by asking nicely. Probably depends on your bank and the value of the cheque.

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