I have a personal check from an acquaintance, but she didn't make the check out to my full name "Geoffrey ____." She just wrote "Geoff."

I tried to cash this check at my bank (a Chase branch near where I live). I have an account with Chase, so I provided my account number and a photo ID to the teller along with the endorsed check. But the teller refused to cash the check because "the name doesn't match" my ID.

What is the reasoning behind this? It's clearly an abreviation of my first name. Is there a requirement that personal checks need to be made out to the payee's full name?


1 Answer 1


This just sounds like a branch or bank policy. Different banks do different things. Without a last name, it's much harder to prove it's you compared to if they wrote "Geoff [last name]". Checks do not need to match your full or legal name, but the bank has an obligation to attempt to prevent fraud.

Typically, when I go to my bank to cash a check, they end up doing a deposit and withdrawal anyways. If they're willing to deposit it into your account, use your card to do a withdrawal, obviously depending a bit on how long Chase takes to credit an account with the amount. I never receive checks that write out my full first name. They're always made out to my shortened first name plus last name.

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