How to deposit or cash a personal check at an ATM

Can you deposit or cash a check at an ATM?

Most banks allow you to deposit or cash your check at an ATM. Call or Google search “your bank’s name + deposit check” to see if your bank allows for check deposits at ATMs. Some banks may offer a mobile app where you can deposit checks by taking a picture with your smartphone.

So which banks allow you to deposit or cash a check at an ATM?

  1. Bank of America
  2. JPMorgan Chase
  3. Wells Fargo
  4. Citigroup
  5. US Bank

And that’s only the beginning! Check deposits at ATMs are becoming a standard practice for banks.

Luckily for you, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about check deposits at ATMs. You won’t be wasting your lunch break running to an ATM without check deposits! Your time is valuable, here’s what you need to know.

20-076 -How to deposit or cash a personal check at an ATM

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Can I deposit or cash a personal check at an ATM?

Most banks allow you to deposit and cash personal checks at an ATM. Call or check online to see if your bank allows for ATM check deposits. Alternatively, some banks allow for mobile app deposits so you don’t have to leave your house.

For example, let’s say you bank at Bank of America. Do a Google search for “Bank of America deposit checks ATM.” One of the first search results is Bank of America’s FAQs on ATM banking.

Bank of America - Deposit check at ATM

You should note that you can only deposit checks at ATMs for which you bank with. In other words, you cannot deposit a check at a Wells Fargo ATM if you bank at Bank of America.

ATM check deposits are convenient if you live or work close to an ATM. However, mobile check deposits are faster. 

With mobile check deposits, you can take a couple pictures through your bank’s mobile app. Your check will be deposited with a few taps or swipes on your phone. Hold onto the check until you’ve confirmed the deposit online.

Again, check to see if your bank does mobile deposits. Google search “Bank of America mobile check deposits.” As you can see, Bank of America does allow for Mobile check deposits with your smartphone and their app.

Bank of America - Mobile check deposit

What types of checks can I cash at an ATM?

There are four major types of checks issued by banks, all four of which can be deposited in an ATM, including personal checks, third-party checks, cashier’s checks, and foreign checks.

However, not all check types are created equal, and your bank may require some additional information from you before making the funds from the check available.

Below, learn what types of checks you can deposit in an ATM and how to treat each differently.

Personal Checks

Personal checks are written between individual people instead of a check from a business to another person.

A personal check is drawn on personal checking or savings accounts. When you deposit a personal check from someone, it will deduct the check amount from the funds available in that person’s checking or savings account.

Personal checks are often handwritten, but still note the issuing bank’s information, which can come in handy if you’d rather cash the check immediately. To cash the check rather than deposit it, you’ll have the least amount of friction by taking it directly to the issuing bank and asking a teller to cash the check for you. This way, they can see the available funds in the account belonging to the person who wrote the check to you.

To deposit a personal check into an ATM:

  1. Head to your local bank branch. Personal checks must be deposited at your bank so that the ATM has access to your bank account.
  2. Next, endorse the back of the check by signing on the line indicated. Some banks also want you to write your bank account number on the back of the personal check, beneath the signatory line (but not below the line where it indicates “do not sign below this line.”)
  3. Use your ATM or debit card to access the functions on the ATM and deposit the check when it prompts you.

Your bank will take that physical check and process it to ensure that the person who wrote it has sufficient funds to cover the personal check. If they don’t, the check will bounce, meaning the bank will refuse to withdraw the funds from the person’s insufficient account, and you’ll be left high and dry.

Your funds will be available within the next one to two business days if the check clears, depending on the issuing bank.

Third-Party Checks

Very few banks accept third-party checks at ATMs because these double-endorsed checks require identification. However, some banks will accept third-party checks at an ATM if both parties on the check have existing accounts at that bank in good standing.

To deposit a third-party check at an ATM:

  1. First, call your bank and ensure that the deposit won’t be declined. This can cause headaches and time wasted since the bank will need to mail the check back to you and may even void it.
  2. If the bank accepts third-party checks, first have the person the check is written to sign the back of the check on the signatory line. Beneath that, they should write “payable to” and then your name. Then, you sign the check beneath that.

Sometimes, the bank also wants additional instruction added to this section, such as “for mobile deposit only.” So, the back of a third-party check that’s ready for deposit into an ATM might look like this:

Pay to the order of

“Name of person check is being signed over to”

“Signature of person the check is issued to”


Payable to “Name of person check is being signed over to”

For mobile deposits only at “Name of Bank.”

“Signature of person check is issued to”

Banks will rarely accept third-party checks at an ATM, but the process is not unheard of. It’s always best to call your bank branch first to better understand their requirements and rules before dealing with the hassle of a returned check, or worse, thinking you have more funds available than you do.

Cashier’s Checks

You can deposit a cashier’s check into an ATM just like any personal check.

Cashier’s checks are issued from the bank’s account instead of someone’s personal account. This process guarantees that funds are available for the check’s amount since those funds are being drawn directly from the bank.

You can deposit cashier’s checks into an ATM by using your ATM or debit card to access the features on your account.

First, sign the back of the cashier’s check on the signatory line. Some banks also prefer that you add the account number for which you’re depositing beneath your signature.

As a reminder, never sign beneath the line that says “do not sign below this line.” Anything beneath that line is out of processing range for the machine.

When prompted by the ATM, deposit your cashier’s check into the machine, paying close attention to the direction the machine indicates the check should be deposited in so that it can read the check properly.

Cashier’s checks are almost as good as cash, so fraud is prevalent. If someone gives you a cashier’s check to deposit into your ATM, first call the issuing bank to verify it’s legitimate. Then, keep track of the check so it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Foreign Checks

Some banks will allow foreign check deposits in the ATM, which means the check was issued by a foreign bank in a foreign currency other than the United States dollar. However, you should call your bank before depositing a foreign check to ensure that the bank allows this.

Many ATMs cannot accept foreign checks or foreign currency, so this challenge is less a matter of rules and more a matter of capability. If the Federal Reserve System does not cover the check, the bank likely cannot process it.

Some banks, including US Bank, do allow foreign check deposits but want you to come into the branch in person with valid identification to deposit the physical check.

Most ATMs will spit out checks that they cannot read, so you’ll quickly know if the ATM does or does not accept foreign checks.

Take the check to a teller for cashing. Most banks will charge a hefty fee to deposit or cash a foreign check and extend the time it takes for checks to clear. Some people have reported that it took 30 days to clear a foreign check deposit through their credit union.

Can I cash a personal check at an ATM without an account?

A bank account is required to deposit money into your account at an ATM. You may only cash personal checks at your bank’s ATM. Alternatively, you can cash the check in person at the issuing bank, visit a cash checking store, or endorse the check.

With an ATM, the money needs to be deposited into your account for withdrawal. ATMs will also require the use of a debit card and PIN number to verify identity. Therefore, you need a bank account to cash a check.

The issuing bank should be able to cash the check for you. Not sure who the issuing bank is? The issuing bank will be listed on the check. You may be charged a substantial fee for cashing a check without a bank account.

You may also visit a cash checking store, like Money Tree. Most grocery store services have the ability to cash checks as well. However, you’ll likely be charged a fee for check cashing services.

You may endorse a check to your close friend with a bank account. To endorse a check, sign your name on the back of the check. Sometimes the back of the check will have a place for you to sign. Once endorsed, your friend can cash the check at their bank without a fee.

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Can I deposit a check at a different bank ATM?

Some banks allow you to deposit cash at any ATM, but not all.

Sometimes, you want to deposit a check after the bank branch’s business hours, and an ATM is a convenient way to do that if your bank does not offer mobile deposits.

For the most part, it’s best to deposit a check of any kind into an ATM that belongs to the bank where you have a checking or savings account.

But if you must deposit a check at an ATM that your bank does not own, look for shared ATM networks. For example, TD Bank uses the NYC Shared Deposit Scheme so that you can deposit a check into a TD Bank account at any of these shared ATMs.

If you want to deposit cash at an ATM that doesn’t belong to your bank, be prepared to wait. It can take up to five days for that cash to clear in the account where you deposited it.

Banks that allow cash deposits at ATMs other than their own include Capital One, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, State Employees Credit Union, and TD Bank.

Bigger banks with plenty of ATM availability tend to disallow cash deposits in ATMs other than their own. These banks include Bank of America, Citi Bank, Chase, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.

Can I cash a check with insufficient funds?

You may cash a check as long as the issuer has sufficient funds. The check will bounce if the person who wrote the check doesn’t have enough money in their account. However, if you owe money then the bank may withhold a portion or all of your check.

How to deposit or cash a personal check at an ATM

To deposit or cash a personal check at an ATM, there are some required steps your bank wants you to take to ensure the transaction is safe and, most importantly, successful.

To deposit a personal check at an ATM:

  1. Use your ATM, debit, or bank card to access the ATM functions available for your account by inserting the card into the appropriate slot at the ATM.
  2. Sign the back of the check on the signatory line, which is usually one or two gray lines on the top of the backside of the check that says “Endorse here” and “Do not endorse below this line.”
  3. Check with your bank that no further information is needed, as some banks want additional instructions added to the endorsement line, such as bank account number.
  4. When the check is ready, indicate that you’d like to deposit on the ATM screen.
  5. Choose the account to which you would like to deposit.
  6. Follow the instructions on the screen to deposit the physical check into the ATM. Note that most ATMs no longer require envelopes for check deposits because the machine can read the amount the check is made out for, from which bank and account holder, and to whom. However, suppose the bank still uses envelopes for check deposits. In that case, you’ll need to insert your check into the envelope, seal it, and fill out any necessary information as indicated on the front of the envelope.
  7. The ATM will take the check, scan it, and display the information it reads up on the screen for you to see.
  8. Confirm that the ATM read the information on the check correctly, including the amount of the personal check.
  9. If the ATM could not read the amount – which is usually handwritten – it may ask you to type in the amount of the personal check on the screen. Double-check that the number you typed in is accurate, and hit confirm.
  10. The bank will now process your deposit. Depending on your bank and the bank that issued the original check, it could make a portion of the funds deposited available immediately, or you may need to way 2-5 business days for the check to clear before funds are available.
  11. Complete your transaction, take your receipt and take your debit or ATM card from the machine.
  12. Watch the screen to make sure it clears out before the next person in line approaches the machine.

To cash a personal check at an ATM:

Some banks allow you to cash, rather than a deposit, a personal check at an ATM.

If your ATM allows this, the option will appear on the screen when you go to deposit the check. You must still sign the check on the endorsement line and deposit it into the machine, as with the instructions for depositing a personal check above.

However, if you want to access the funds as cash from a personal check immediately, it’s likely that the bank will require that you already have funds equal to the amount of your check in your account. This protects the bank if the check bounces.

What to do if an ATM took your money but did not deposit?

If an ATM takes your money but does not deposit it, stand by the ATM and get someone from the bank branch. Have them either come outside and assess the situation or if after business hours, get someone from the bank on the phone. Do not leave the machine.

Take photos of the machine and any error messages during this process. If you took a picture of the check beforehand, it will also come in handy as the bank investigates.

The bank will initiate an investigation process involving reviewing the ATM logs to see what transaction was taking place and if a deposit was made. Then, the branch will need to examine the contents of the machine.

Unfortunately, there’s rarely an immediate fix when an ATM takes your money but does not deposit it. It can take weeks or even months for the investigation to conclude.

Can someone else cash the check for me?

Someone else can cash the check for you if you endorse the check. Sign the back of the check and write “pay to the order of” and your friend’s name. Your friend may now cash the check at their bank and give you the money.

Obviously, you should only endorse a check to someone you trust. You are giving ownership of all money to the person endorsed.

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Where else can you cash a personal check?

You can cash personal checks at the bank from which they were issued, check-cashing businesses like ACE Cash Express or Check Into Cash, local grocery stores, Walmart, and even 7-Eleven.

To cash a personal check at any of these locations, you don’t need a bank account, but you do need proper identification.

To cash a personal check, these businesses will require two forms of official photo ID, including military identification, a driver’s license, a passport, or a green card.

The best way to cash a personal check is to take it directly to the issuing bank, where the teller can confirm that the issuer has sufficient funds to cover the check amount in their checking or savings account.

Is it safe to deposit a check at an ATM?

It is generally safe to deposit a check at an ATM and carry the same risk as handling cash at an ATM.

While mistakes can happen at an ATM, rarely, the bank cannot address these ATM errors with proper time and investigation. It’s also rare that an ATM errors at all.

When using an ATM for any transaction, including depositing a check, make a note of the deposit in your checkbook to keep track. Or, check your online banking statement to ensure the check deposit was successful and recorded correctly. Immediately report any issues to your bank.

When handling any transaction at an ATM, pay attention to your surroundings. Typically, ATMs have rear-view mirrors on them so you can see what’s happening behind you while you’re facing the screen.

If you feel uncomfortable, remove your ATM card and leave the ATM immediately. Or, if you notice suspicious activity, complete your transaction inside the local bank branch.

What is the largest check you can deposit in ATM?

Very few banks have a deposit limit at an ATM for checks, so you can deposit as much as you’d like on any given day.

However, banks do have withdrawal limits that vary depending on their regulations. Bank of America, for example, only allows customers to withdraw $1,000 or 60 bills at one time, whichever is lower. The machine is only capable of dispensing 60 bills.

However, it is good to note that the FDIC only insures $250,000 in personal checking account deposits. This assurance means that you’ll get your deposits back if the bank fails. 

How long does it take for funds to become available after depositing a check?

Most banks will take two business days to clear a check deposit, meaning you won’t be able to access the amount of money you deposited until two business days after you do so because the bank has placed your check on hold.

If you deposit a check on a Friday, you won’t have access to your funds until Tuesday.

However, are there any instances where if you deposit cash or a check in ATM, is it available immediately? Some banks will immediately make funds available to accounts in good standing or if the check was also issued from the same bank where you hold an account.

Banks also offer partial funds available soon after a check deposit. For example, Bank of America and Wells Fargo offer up to $200 the next business day when you deposit an ATM, and the remaining balance of the check will clear in two to seven days.

If the check deposit is out of the ordinary, foreign, or for a large amount, the bank reserves the right to take a longer amount of time to clear the deposit. For foreign checks, you may wait as long as 30 days for the funds to be available.

Summary: How to deposit or cash a personal check at an ATM

As you can see, most ATMs will allow you to deposit or cash a check. However, you will need a bank account with the bank at the ATM you’re choosing to use. A check may not be deposited at an ATM without a bank account.

Check cashing stores and the issuing bank can also cash your check without a bank account. However, both check cashing stores and the issuing bank will charge insane fees. Instead, find a friend with a bank account and endorse the check to them.

ATM check cashing may be convenient if you work or live by an ATM. However, a lot of banks also allow for mobile deposits. Simply install the bank’s mobile app and you can deposit your check with a smartphone.

To deposit a check, simply use your bank’s ATM as normal. The ATM will require a debit or bank card with your PIN number. Follow the on screen prompts for check cashing or deposits.


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John is the founder of TightFist Finance and an expert in the field of personal finance. John has studied personal finance for over 10 years and has used his knowledge to pay down debt, grow his investment portfolio, and launch a financial based business. He is committed to sharing content related to personal finance based on his experience in his career, investing, and path towards reaching financial independence.