Cara2 21:38 12 Jan 2005

Sorry for being off topic, but there always seems to the answer here!

A customer has (mistakenly) dated a cheque as 12/01/04 and another one for 13/01/04. Of course this should read 05. Does anyone know if there is a time limit on cheques? It would just save the hassle of sorting this out with our new customer.


  gabriella 21:41 12 Jan 2005


That should be OK to bank and clear.

Kind regards


  davidg_richmond 22:10 12 Jan 2005

Should be accepted but they are within their rights to refuse a cheque more than six months old.

  acein1 22:16 12 Jan 2005

sorry to disagree,and please correct me im im wrong (someone), my understanding of banking cheques is in most cases 3 months or at the most 6 months regards

  keenan 22:20 12 Jan 2005

All about cheques click here

Offically 6 months, but may well be ok.

  Cara2 22:22 12 Jan 2005

M'mm - I think even on the internet it is hard to find the absolute answer.

I will have to sweat it out until I can ring the bank tomorrow - unless the definitive answer is out there!

Thanks for your replies

  skaria 22:26 12 Jan 2005

I agree i think its 6 months

  Hunte® 22:32 12 Jan 2005

It is usually 6 months but many banks accept hand written cheques for a few weeks at the start of each year. They accept that most of us get the year wrong for a while each January.

  Cook2 22:33 12 Jan 2005

Just found this. Legally it states 6 years.

Calling time on cheques

Validity lasts longer than you think
Eighty year-old Dorothy Lawson first contacted the programme when two of her husband's long-forgotten cheques were recently cashed.

She was surprised that it was possible after two years had passed, and even more concerned by the fact that the cheques were cashed from her husband's account, who had died during this period.

Her daughter Linda Davis lives in Manchester and she says: "We phoned the banking centre and we didn't get a satisfactory response.

"Merely two photocopies of the cheques, for which they charged us £4.

"I was under the impression that cheques had a limited life, and we never got a reply to the complaint."


Most of us use cheques at some point but don't actually know what their legal sell-by-date is.

After phoning around six different banks, who gave six different answers, we too found it difficult to get an authoritative reply.

To begin with, HSBC pointed out that only coins and notes of the Realm are in fact legal tender.

But cheques are legally valid for up to six years - even though most banks usually consider them as "stale" after six months.

This puts the onus of validity at the discretion of the bank; hence the confusion.

If the account has been closed, some banks will return the cheque to the sender but this isn't always the case.

The key is whether a bank deems "value has been given" - that is, the money has left one account and gone into another.

At this point, the transaction is said to have happened.


In the case of Linda's father, his bank, the Abbey says it did not discover that he was deceased until after the cheque had gone through.

"We are extremely sorry to have caused Mrs Lawson distress with her account.

We are investigating this matter and will be in touch with her as soon as possible to resolve this situation."

It has also agreed to refund the photocopying charges.

Sandra Quinn, from the Association for Payment Clearing Services (Apacs) explains: "What generally happens, is if an account holder has deceased, then the cheque is returned unpaid, because the account has been closed.

"But often in cases where there are joint account holders and one partner has perhaps deceased, then the account will still be open and therefore the cheque can be cashed."

  Cara2 22:38 12 Jan 2005


Now, that sounds more promising!

  Al94 22:41 12 Jan 2005

The simple answer is that no one actually looks at the dates on cheques any more unless they are very large. It is cheaper for banks to take the odd "hit" rather than pay staff to look at them! Only likely to be a problem if your customer claims to the bank they have paid an out of date cheque (6 months) Go ahead and lodge it

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