As noted in another question, banks have different policies regarding post-dated checks before the post-date, although it seems most will accept the check as long as the check issuer hasn't contacted the bank.

If a bank has a policy of NOT accepting post-dated checks before the post-date, and the recipient tries to cash the check at a teller, the teller can easily say no.

But, what if the check is cashed via the ATM? The reader can't always read all handwriting, and I would imagine it would be bad UX to refuse the check because it couldn't read the date.

But I also can't imagine there is a person that manually reads every check that comes in, looking at the date.

Do ATM's verify the date on a check? If no, how does the bank verify the date, or do they not? No specific country, I'm interested in hearing how ANY country's bank handles this.

  • 1
    While there's probably not one single rule, I've had a case where depositing a check failed (through my phone) because I deposited it a day before the date written on it (and it failed because of that). So they do have the ability to OCR the date - whether all of them do it or not is another issue.
    – littleadv
    Oct 22, 2014 at 18:29
  • @littleadv So the OCR rejected it as soon as you tried to submit it via your phone? Oct 22, 2014 at 18:36
  • Banks, where? Country. Tag. Thank you. Oct 22, 2014 at 18:51
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    @John the OCR on the phone identified it and asked me "verify the date is within <last half a year> range", and when I tried to "ignore" it by clicking "yes" the deposit was rejected on the server. That was Ally Bank.
    – littleadv
    Oct 22, 2014 at 23:05
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    @John Banking is a regulated industry. Regulations and hence practices vary by country. This is a personal finance site, for you to ask about your finances, and presumably you bank in one country. That's why we ask for such detail when it is highly likely to matter. But who am I to know the practices around here? :) Oct 23, 2014 at 13:01

1 Answer 1


An ATM deposit, and since most ATMs will not scan or OCR the check, is subject to verification with regards to the date, amount, payee name and proper endorsements. However, most banks -at their option- may either reject or negotiate a post dated check as if it has the current/past date on it.

Since most "post dated" checks are written due to the account they are drawn on not having sufficient funds to cover it, depositing a check before its intended written date is more likely to result in it being returned for insufficient funds. Since banks charge an often exorbitant fee for a bounced checks, it is in their best interest to process it, let it bounce and charge the fee instead of rejecting it. In fact this outcome is unavoidable if the check is processed by way of an automatic deposit (versus it being presented at the bank it is was issued against).

A "check" is a negotiable instrument intended for immediate negotiating, NOT as a promissory note). One should also keep in mind that, in some jurisdictions, writing a post dated check and if it were to arrive at the issuing bank earlier than it was dated for, and assuming the account it was drawn on has insufficient funds to pay the full amount, it can be subject to a criminal investigation and possible charges being filed by locale law enforcement.

A typical Bank Deposit/Account Agreement will have terms that are worded similar to:

Postdated Checks If a postdated check — a check dated in the future — is presented for payment, we may pay the check and charge it to your account even if it is presented for payment before the date stated on the check. If you do not want us to pay a stale-dated or postdated check, you must place a stop payment order on it.

So the only way to ensure that a post dated check you may present to someone else will clear once it arrives at the bank it was drawn on, s not to write it unless you can over the full amount. And to ensure a check you deposit will not get returned, you must not deposit it until the date written on its face is current or has recently passed.

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