I have a checkbook from my US-based online bank, but the address on the checks is now out of date. What is the best way to destroy the checkbook? Do I need to notify my bank that I am not using the checks anymore?

  • 2
    if you have a fireplace, just use them to start the fire. Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 7:02
  • 3
    I still use checks with my last address and its never been an issue.
    – user662852
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 19:13

2 Answers 2


To get rid of old checks, just use a shredder or other supervised destruction method. You generally aren't liable if someone steals your checks and uses them fraudulently; however, you don't want to give someone the opportunity to do so, either.

No, you don't need to notify your bank. As long as you have new checks that have your current address, you are fine. The bank doesn't care if the numbers on the checks they receive are consecutive or not.

  • 1
    I rip the books apart and send the checks in stacks through the shredder.
    – briantist
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 17:46

I burn them, myself. Shredders are easy to overcome with modern technology unless they randomly destroy the material as well.

That said, I don't use them anymore. Too much liability for not enough return these days. Better to use bill pay for such things so that it is drawn on an internal account to the bank.

  • 5
    The purpose of shredding the checks isn't to hide your account number; everyone you have ever given a check to has access to that number. Shredding just destroys the physical checks, which prohibits someone from taking a blank check, forging your signature, and trying to spend it. No one will accept a check that has been shredded and taped back together.
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 2:12
  • I understand that. This is why I use bank provided bill pay if I have to send a check ever. It means my account number is never exposed. Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 2:14
  • @MichaelTrausch - your account number is "exposed" to anyone who receives your check it's part and parcel of how checks work: every last one of them has your account number and the bank routing number printed on them.
    – warren
    Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 21:25
  • You've obviously never heard of bill pay. You fill out a form on the banks Web site. The bank takes the money from your account and places it into an account from which all bill pay customer checks are issued. Your account number never appears. The bank pays on your behalf as a proxy. Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 21:27
  • @MichaelTrausch - that is NOT how billpay works in the US: they write a check and mail it to the target company. If you have automatic paying setup with the biller instead, you are still giving them your account and routing numbers.
    – warren
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 15:21

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