To quickly answer the question related to this article’s title, there is NO need to order new checks on address change. You can still use the same check with old address still printed there.
You only need to change your address in Bank records and that is sufficient. Your checks would not bounce.
Talking about checks may sound like a stupid topic but could be helpful if you have the following questions in your mind.
I am sharing these lessons from my own experience:
- First and foremost, the spelling is different than India.
They spell it CHECK while we read them as CHEQUE back home in India.USA believes in spellings which sound and look same! No silent letters.
I will address them as check going forward in this article.
- The check leafs in USA are NOT provided FREE.
Not even the basic check book. You have to buy them from bank or get them printed from stores like Walmart.
You might get a complimentary 4 leaf check book when you first open a checking account, but next iteration has to be paid for.
- You can use the old checks with your old printed address with new address.
You don’t need to change the address printed on your checks if you move or change your address.
I have used the same checks that I bought from Walmart during my first attempt 2 years ago. I have changed my address thrice since then and have been successfully paying my rent and my kid’s school fees with same checks.
- Certified Checks are different than standard checks.
Certified checks have some security features embedded for tighter security. They are sometimes demanded by rental companies before signing lease.You have to visit your bank’s branch to get these checks and they will certainly charge fees for it.
As per my experience, credit Unions offer pretty competitive rates starting at $3 for each check whereas banks like BOA charge about $5 per leaf. USPS also have this facility but again has starting rates at about $5 per leaf.
You might also need them if you are paying for Indian consulate services like renewing Indian Passport in USA
Where can I buy Checks in USA other than Bank itself?
I personally used Walmart and got the cheapest design printed. They sent 4 check books with 50 leafs each.
The terminology they use is BOX. So, if you order 1 box, you will get multiple check books with it. Please do look into the details section to know the exact number of check books and leafs.
I got it for about $10 including shipping. They are sufficient for a good amount of time (approximately 5-6 years) as they are used pretty occasionally here.
Do we really need checks in USA when everything can be paid online or by credit card?
If you are coming from India and have heard about the technological advances US has made, you would probably be under the impression that you don’t need paper at all!.
Yes, that’s true and you can pay pretty much everything online barring some specific cases.
For example, some of the rental communities would demand the checks on paper with your sign. Since, rental is going to be the first and foremost requirement for a new-comer, you would need the checks.
When you open a new checking account (known as ‘current account’ in India) here, they do provide about 4 complimentary check leafs. I have this experience with Bank Of America, your bank may have a different policy.
Where would I really be required to present Cashier check?
Cashier check come with a hefty fees, generally starting from $5 a leaf in Bank Of America. They have some special security features that make them quite difficult to forge and hence increase their acceptability.
I have personally used them for paying the money to hold/rent the apartment, off-course when that was the only option.
They are also demanded by our own Indian consulate/Embassy for their services like Passport renewal after 10 years in USA.
Can I deposit Check addressed to both me and my spouse in my single named account?
Yes, you can. There are two scenarios here that I foresee.
If you are trying to deposit the check with pay-to as both you and your spouse through the bank’s smartphone application i.e. clicking the check image and depositing from home, you should have the same LAST name. This means that the check should have the last names as same.
For example, Me and my wife use the same Last Name as ‘Gupta’. If the check was drawn on Anil Gupta AND Pooja Gupta, it would not face any issue.
And yes, only one of the guy needs to sign at the back of check while depositing it online. The one who has the account should sign.
The second case is when you use different last names. In this case, you both can visit the Bank’s branch with your photo IDs and then deposit it then and there. Bank official would verify your credentials and help you deposit it in a single named account.
If you are wondering who the hell in this world would send you a joint account check if you don’t ask for it, you may find yourself in surprise if you get checks from IRS or the rental community. We got he one above from our rental deposit as we both (me and my wife) had signed the lease together.
More questions about checks? Use the comment section and I would try to answer with the best of my knowledge.