Do you need to cash a check, but you don’t have an ID?
Now that you’ve already received your most-awaited check from your employer or benefits provider, there’s one thing you probably need—an ID.
Good news: you can cash a check even without an identification card. We've researched a ton of ways to cash a check without an ID and learned from people who’ve actually done it.
Keep reading until the end so that you can avoid wasting time figuring things out on your own and risk having your check expire.
Don’t You Need an ID to Cash a Check?
Most banks require an ID or two when customers cash a check. Some even ask for government-issued IDs.
This process is complicated even more because every bank has different ID requirements.
Even though showing ID at the bank is a common requirement when you cash the check in person, you can get around this with a few alternatives, such as cashing your check online.
How to Cash a Check Without an ID?
In this section, you’ll uncover the top 5 ways to cash checks without an ID. These tried and tested methods won’t take up most of your time. Check out the options below to decide which one is for you.
Sign it over to another individual.
You might ask, “Can someone else really cash my check?”
Yes, through the use of third-party checks, you can have a trusted person cash your check for you. Plus, you don’t need to spend a dime on the transaction.
This is the best option for people who don’t have any form of ID, as it is likely that you also don’t have a bank account (which requires you to have an ID when you open it).
Here’s the process involving third-party checks.
- Confirm a trusted friend or family member’s willingness to cash a check for you. Make sure that you entirely trust the person since there’s money involved.
- Ask about that person’s bank, then inquire and verify if the said bank will accept the check.
- Find “Endorse Check Here” at the back of the check. Write “Pay to the order of,” insert the person’s name, then sign.
- Give the check to the third person for cashing at the bank. If possible, accompany your trusted friend or family member to have a smoother transaction.
Here’s a detailed guide on how to sign a check over to someone else.
Take note that it’s also possible to cash a stimulus check without an ID if you opt to endorse the check.
Use ATM check cashing.
With almost half a million ATMs scattered throughout the US, you’ve surely come across one. Did you know that it’s one of the places to cash checks without an ID?
Most banks offer ATM cash checking for free. With this, you can kill two birds with one stone: deposit a check without an I.D. and receive your money’s entire value.
You just need to find an ATM that offers check cashing (usually using the ATM locator page on your bank’s website). Then follow the steps below:
- Insert your debit card, then enter your PIN.
- Select the “Cash Back” or “Deposit Check” option from the choices on the screen. Some machines allow you to instantly get cash from the check. However, some ATMs only permit depositing a check.
- Insert the check into the ATM, then verify the amount. Make sure to assess if the details are correct. Avoid errors since they may put your account on hold or cancel the transaction.
Deposit via your bank’s app.
If you need to cash a check online instantly, then opt to deposit the check using your bank’s app. Bank app is important to make your life simpler and also helps to apply for car title loans. They help in keeping track of your cash. Most financial institutions offer this service for free and without the hassle of commuting to the bank.
Here are some banks which offer free mobile check cashing:
Here’s how you do mobile check cashing:
- Download your bank’s app, either on iOS or Android devices.
- Look for “Deposit Checks” on the navigation menu.
- Choose the deposit account where you want to receive the funds.
- Input the correct amount.
- Upload or take clear photos of your check’s front and back sides.
- Submit the details, including the amount, pictures, and other information the bank may require.
Notice that the process doesn’t require pictures of any ID. It offers an extremely convenient way of cashing a check even without an identification card.
Use a prepaid card with a check-cashing app
Prepaid cards, unlike credit cards, require you to load money on them before you can use them to pay bills and make purchases.
While it’s harder to get a prepaid card without any ID now, there are still some cards like the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card that do not require you to have any form of identification (e.g. SSN or ITIN).
You only need to fund a deposit upfront to get the card, and that will be enough to get the card.
Take note that when using a prepaid card, issuers and third-party apps (like the one we mention below) usually collect fees when cashing a check. Some banks even require a 2% transaction fee.
Here are the steps to cash a check using a prepaid card.
- Contact your card issuer if they support check-cashing apps, such as Ingo Money. Some financial institutions also offer their own apps with this feature.
- Download the app on your iOS or Android device.
- Link your prepaid card.
- Capture the check's front and back sides.
- Submit the photos for review, then wait for the bank to process the check.
- Expect the transfer within 3 business days or depending on the bank’s policies.
Use mobile apps.
Venmo for example, only needs your ID if you plan on making payments. You can still receive payments and send the money to a bank account (of a family member perhaps) without verifying your identity.
Venmo also offers the Cash a Check feature. However, it collects a 1% fee for every check you cash using the app.
If you want to try Venmo, check out these steps.
- Download the latest version of the app.
- Select the “You” tab with a single-person icon.
- Click “Manage Balance.”
- Choose “Cash a Check,” then verify the check’s information.
- Input the correct amount.
- Upload clear pictures of the check.
- Wait for Venmo to approve your check.
- Once approved, write “VOID” on the check’s front part, then upload another photo.
According to Venmo, this feature is not available to users who reside in the state of New York. If you’re experiencing issues but don’t live in New York, feel free to contact Venmo’s customer service.
Good news: there’s no fee in cashing a check with PayPal. As a result, you can get the entire amount indicated on the check.
So how can you use PayPal to cash a check?
- Download the app.
- Log in, go to Wallet, then click “Cash a Check.”
- Take pictures of the front and back sides of the check.
- Select when you want the fund to reflect on your account.
What are Acceptable Forms of ID to Cash a Check?
You might be here because you don’t have an SSN, or drivers license.
Fortunately, banks accept secondary IDs that show the owner’s signature, address, and a recent photo. Common secondary IDs are things like ITIN.
Here’s a list for other IDs you can use at a bank:
- Military ID
- Driver’s license
- Government employee ID
- Veterans Health ID
- School ID
- Birth certificate
- Employment ID
- Social Security Card
- Health Insurance Card
- Auto Insurance Card
- Insurance Statement
It goes without saying that your IDs must not be expired when you show it. Or you’ll get rejected at the bank.
How to Get a State-issued ID?
If you don’t have an SSN, you might be able to get a State-issued ID.
Every government institution or department has varying rules in issuing IDs, but here’s the general process.
- Fill out the identity card application.
- Set up an appointment at your chosen office.
- Bring the usual requirements, including but not limited to, application form, U.S. citizenship, valid ID, proof of residency, and Social Security number.
- Sign the additional forms at the office, provide thumbprints, and have your picture taken.
- Pay the application fee, if any.
Can You Cash a Check Without Using an ID?
Yes, you can cash a check if you use ATM check cashing, prepaid card, or mobile apps. Other methods include signing it to another individual and depositing directly to your bank’s app. No need to wait for a valid ID to cash your check!