When ordering various family history records from England, payment often must be in the form of a pound sterling cheque.

How do I obtain a pound sterling cheque while living in the United States?

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    @JohnDoe I wanted to give you my advice on this. From personal experience living abroad I know that there is no point in getting a pound sterling cheque because you will pay an arm and a leg for it. You should speak to the record office directly about other payment options, and consider whether it may be more economical to hire a local researcher to copy the records. You may also see if you know anyone in the UK who could purchase the records for you and then scan/email/post them to you, and then transfer the funds by Paypal or similar.
    – vervet
    Oct 19, 2015 at 23:08
  • Hardly anyone in the UK wants cheques these days. Generally copies are ordered and paid for online, and while you may be charged for a currency conversion, your US debit or credit card should be fine. Oct 20, 2015 at 15:05
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    @AndrewLeach Local Register Offices are well behind the times and very often insist on cheques for payment... and never offer an online ordering service (the GRO is better set up).
    – user34241
    Oct 20, 2015 at 16:47

1 Answer 1


Most US banks don't allow you the ability to draft a foreign currency check from USD. Though, I know Canadian banks are more workable. For instance, TD allows you to do this from CAD to many other currencies for a small fee. I believe even as a US Citizen you can quite easily open a TD Trust account and you'd be good to go. Also, at one time Zions bank was one of the few which lets US customers do this add-hoc. And there is a fee associated. Even as a business, you can't usually do this without jumping thru hoops and proving your business dealings in foreign countries. Most businesses who do this often will opt to using a payment processor service from a 3rd party which cuts checks in foreign currencies at a monthly and per check base.

Your other option, which may be more feasible if you're planning on doing this often, would be to open a British bank account. But this can be difficult if not impossible due to the strict money laundering anti-fraud regulations. Many banks simply won't do it. But, you might try a few of the newer British banks like Tesco, Virgin and Metro.

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