It is common for kids to receive checks made out to their name when they receive money as a gift for a special celebration or perhaps a part time job. This is often an exciting event for children as they feel mature and grown up getting a check written out to their name, however in order to receive the money, the check has to be cashed.
Kids can’t typically receive the money on their own if they go to the bank, in most instances they’ll need parental assistance to help them endorse the check so they can cash the document. Since many kids don’t have bank accounts, they are not of age and do not possess an I.D. card to cash the checks themselves, their parents have to cash and endorse the check for them.
If your child receives a check made out to their name and is not in a position to cash the check on their own, there are a couple of different ways you an approach the situation and may also be dependent on the child’s age.
Here are a few tips on endorsing checks for kids:
*For Younger Children
It is acceptable when kids are not old enough to be able to write their own name for the parent to endorse the check for them. If you flip the check over and see the space to endorse a check, first clearly print your child’s name on the first line, then sign your name on the line directly below their name.
Bank policies may vary when it comes to endorsing checks for kids. Depending on bank policy, you may need to write your personal account number on the third line, write the words “minor by” as a part of the endorsement or place your signature and add “for <insert name of child>.
After the check is properly endorsed in this fashion you can cash or deposit the check the way you would a check written out to your name.
*For Older Children
If your child is old enough to correctly add their signature to the check, they can sign their name on the endorsement line. Even if they can sign their name, this does not mean they can exchange the check for money if the bank requires identification or they don’t own a bank account to use to sign the check against.
After your child signs the check follow the same procedure you would for a younger child who cannot sign their name and add your own signature; always be sure to follow individual bank policy if they are specific, chances are most banks are a little flexible.
*For Any Age Child
Another option is to deposit the check directly into a bank account. To do this you flip the check over and in the endorsement line write “For Deposit Only” and then add the number of the account you want to add the money to.
Checks are great opportunities to teach kids about money. Not only can they learn the workings of the banking system from endorsement to cashing or deposit, but if they have a savings account they can watch the money add up.
Endorsing checks for kids is relatively easy and is really only one extra step than if you were to endorse a check for yourself. The most important thing is to understand your bank’s policies and procedures and follow them, if you do this, there should be no problems endorsing a check for your child.