Have you ever had a check that you never cashed? It might be from a utility refund, a refund for overpayment on your taxes, or even a work bonus. If the check is for a significant amount of money, you might be wondering if there’s a statute of limitations on unclaimed checks. Here’s what you need to know.
In general, there is no specific statute of limitations on cashing a check. However, each state has its own laws regarding the expiration of negotiable instruments, which include checks. In most states, negotiable instruments are valid for six months to three years after they are written. After that time period, the instrument is considered “stale” and can be more difficult to cash.
There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if the check is from the federal government, it can be cashed at any time. Similarly, if the check is from a state government or local municipality, it can usually be cashed within a year or two after it is written.Additionally, some banks will not accept stale checks, even if they are technically still valid.
If you have an old check that you want to cash, you might be able to do so—but it might not be easy. Each state has its own statutes regarding the expiration of negotiable instruments, which include checks. In most cases, the check is only good for six months to three years after it is written. However, there are some exceptions. If the check is from the federal government or a state or local government entity, it can usually be cashed within a year or two after it is written. Additionally, some banks will not accept stale checks—even if they are technically still valid—so you may have to look for another institution that will cash them.