In this answer to a question regarding stolen/cancelled cheques, it is stated:

A little known fact about stopped checks is that the stop is often only good for a short period of time (only six months at some banks) at which time the 'stops' are no longer valid. This means you that you'll have to reissue the stop payment order for the remaining checks.

Why is this? If a cheque has a stop-payment order put on it as a result of said cheque being stolen, it is unlikely bordering on impossible that the cheque will ever be recovered, leaving no good reason for it to be made payable again; why not permanently void the stolen cheque?

  • 1
    The checks in the referenced question were blank when they were stolen. How do you put a stop on a check that hasn't been written yet?
    – DJohnM
    Sep 15, 2018 at 3:58
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    @DJohnM: By invalidating any cheques with serial numbers matching those of the cheques in the stolen pack?
    – Vikki
    Sep 15, 2018 at 4:03
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    The question refers to stolen, cancelled, stopped, voided (and in a comment), invalidated cheques. These are all different, with defined meanings. For example, a cancelled cheque is one that has been deposited by the recipient and cleared the writer's account.Could you clarify the question?
    – DJohnM
    Sep 15, 2018 at 4:20

1 Answer 1


Cancelled checks are put on a black list, and deposited checks need to be checked against that list.

If the bank would allow checks to be 'stopped' forever, the list would be quite long by now; too long for a manual check by a cashier (yes, a computer wouldn't mind, but you could always walk into the bank with such a check and cash it with a human).

Note that stopping checks is supposed to be for already signed checks.

Stopping unsigned checks is useless, as anyone can get a gazillion checks printed, with number ranges (and account numbers) of his wishing.
It is of course illegal to sign a check with someone else's account number on it, but stopping stolen blank checks has no significance in avoiding this.

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