What is a void cheque?
A void cheque is a cheque with the word “VOID” written across it. The “VOID” marker indicates that no one can fill out the cheque and use it for a payment.
What is a void cheque used for?
Void cheques have a very specific set of uses, including:
Payroll & Compensation
One of the most common reasons why Canadians use void cheques is to establish regular deposits.
Automatic payments such as payroll deposits are typically how these cheques are used.
Many employers opt for electronic deposits instead of writing you a cheque every few weeks.
Once your bank account is electronically linked to theirs, they can make simple electronic payments to your bank account every payday.
Void cheques can be especially useful for contractors that lack a single, regular employer.
Irregular work cycles and the inconveniences they can cause can be remedied by providing void checks that enable separate clients to make electronic transfers when payment becomes due.
All cheques including void cheques contain your account information.
As such, you can provide someone like your employer with a void cheque to set up recurring electronic payments.
Void cheques can also be used to set up recurring payments for expenses like utility bills and rent.
If the expense is fixed (such as rent), the landlord can set up automatic electronic payments.
That way, you don’t need to write a cheque every month and pay in person.
The other feature that void cheques offer comes alongside the above benefits: they help you avoid fraud.
If a criminal gets their hands on one of your cheques that has not been voided, they may attempt to commit fraud.
All they need to do is fill out the cheque and forge your signature to take money from your account.
But if they steal a void cheque, they cannot use it to directly steal your funds.
How do I get a void cheque?
There are two ways you can get a void cheque.
The first way is to get the cheque voided by the bank.
Simply go to your bank and ask the teller to provide you with them.
They will normally just print cheques for you with “VOID” printed over the cheque in ink.
However, they might charge you a fee for doing this.
You can call your bank or refer to their online publications to find out.
The second way to get a void cheque is to simply acquire a regular cheque and void it yourself.
How do I void a cheque?
You can void a cheque by writing “VOID” across it.
As per most banks’ guidelines, you should use large capital letters and make sure to use a pen or permanent marker.
You need to make sure your writing is extremely clear and permanent.
When you’re voiding a cheque, make sure you don’t cover important information.
Specifically, don’t cover the numbers found at the bottom of the cheque.
Those numbers communicate your banking information, which is required for the recipient to be able to deposit money in your account.
Alternatives to a void cheque
Not every Canadian currently has access to a chequebook.
But you can access documents that provide the same utility that void cheques do.
Most banks provide alternative forms to void cheques.
For example, CIBC offers a form called “Payroll, Direct Deposit, or Pre-Authorized Payment Form”.
You can download the form as a PDF from their website.
CIBC and other Canadian banks will walk you through the process of ensuring you always have documents to establish electronic payments.
Normally, once you fill out these online forms, you can print as many as you need and carry them as if they were void cheques.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do you get a void cheque?
The simplest way to get a void cheque is to just write “VOID” on a regular cheque. Once you do that, you just need to make sure it’s clear, permanent, and doesn’t obstruct your banking information.
The second way is to ask a teller at your bank to print cheques with “VOID” automatically printed on them. This method is simple, but usually costs more money.
While it’s not exactly a “void cheque”, you can use your bank’s alternative to void checks. They normally provide alternative documents that you can access from their website.
- Is it safe to give a void cheque?
Yes, it is.
If your cheque has been properly voided, it cannot be used to transfer money by you or anyone else. The information on your cheques can be used to send money to your bank account, but cannot be used to access your funds once it’s been rendered void. That’s why it’s important to make the “VOID” marking clear and permanent.
If you write “VOID” in pencil or if the “VOID” is not written clearly and legibly, your cheque can still be used to take money from your bank account. In the former case, all a criminal needs to do is erase the word “VOID” and forge your signature. Make sure you keep your banking access details private and void your cheques properly to ensure each void cheque is safe.