Can I use White-out on a Cheque?

No, you shouldn’t use white out on a cheque. There are many other different ways to correct mistakes made on a cheque.

We have travelled through various trading modes in the history of money; from barter trading, to use of gold or silver or other precious stones or metal or items, to use of minted money, to printed money, to cheques, to bit coins, to mention but afew.

We now have the luxury of writing payments on pieces of paper as instruction to our banks to make payment to our payees. There is more luxury of using credit cards or making electronic transfers and what not. We do not have to carry money with us anymore.

We can make financial transactions without any money physically changing hands.

That has made financial transactions possible at almost any time and virtually any place. And the world is still advancing.

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I am certain to some countries the use of cheques is somewhat outdated or not used as much.

However, some people and companies too, still use cheques.

They are convenient, safe, can be post-dated, are affordable, can be endorsed, they save time you would have spent counting notes, they are accurate (you write the amount to be paid and don’t have to count the piles of money that you would miscount) and payments can be stopped incase of a change in mind or transaction agreement, among other pros.

Once in awhile if you use cheques, you will make a mistake when writing a Cheque/check. Besides, to err is human!

When this happens, there are many solutions one might think of including; erasing/rubbing it out, whiting-out, writing a new check/cheque, crossing out, among other possibly surprising ideas.

And some might not even notice that they have made an error on the cheque.

Finances and everything surrounding them is vital and holds potential legal consequences if not followed through as expected by the bank policies/rules.

That said, whatever method one uses to correct their error might have its own repercussions as we will see some below;


How To Correct A Mistake On A Check

Erasing/rubbing it out with an eraser:

When writing a cheque, we are required to use a pen, not a pencil. Reason being, you stand the risk of your cheque being manipulated if it is written in pencil. So, use a black or blue ink pen.

A pen; not a marker, not a pencil, a pen. Black or blue ink pen. Not red ink pen as red gets fainter with photocopying or scanning machinery and this will omit information that is important.

Since you are using a pen when writing a cheque, erasing your error is going to turn out rather untidy and fishy.

The bank will want to know what you were trying to get rid of, thereby raising suspicions of fraud.

Besides fraud suspicions, you stand a chance of ripping that paper as you try to get rid of your mistake with an eraser. So, erasing your mistake is a no go.


Whiting-out your error: NO, DO NOT USE WHITE-OUT TO OMIT AN ERROR ON YOUR CHEQUE/CHECK! No! Non! Nein! Nee! Na! The Bank will not accept your cheque if it is white-washed. The bank will consider this as tampering, and ultimately fraudulent.

The bank will want to know what you were trying to cover up, a mistake or fraudulent act. So, once you make an error on your Cheque, do not consider the white-out option ever.


What then should you do?

When you have made a mistake on your cheque, the best solution is to Void the check and write another one.

To VOID a check is to cancel it out. Simply draw two crosses running diagonally through your cheque and write the word “VOID” in caps.


You are free to do the same to the back of the cheque too. Then, make a copy of that cheque and file it, for your records or trash it/shred it but after entering the information in your cheque register that you voided check number this or that.

Voiding the cheque is the best and safest solution.

Other than voiding the check. You can cross out the mistake on the cheque.

Neatly run one cross through the error and write the correct information above the crossed error.

After that, make sure you sign right next to the corrected information.

By doing this, the bank will see the mistake, the correction and the signature authorizing and also legitimizing it.

It might look untidy but all the information is present.

However, some banks might still reject this cheque. This then takes us back to voiding the cheque.

So, call the bank before you take the cheque and ask if they do allow crossed checks.

Sometimes errors made on the cheque might be too small to require voiding it.

Say, the payee’s name changed unbeknownst you due to marriage or so, or you wrote a wrong date;

  • Incase of changed name, the payee will have to show up at the bank with proof of changed names.
  • Incase of wrong date, just cross it out and write the correct date and sign against that too. Though some banks might ignore date cases.
  • Incase the amount in words and figures don’t match, cross out the wrong one, correct it and sign against the corrected one.

Ultimately, when you make an error while writing a cheque, just void it to be safe.

Otherwise, while you write a cheque, be immaculate and attentive;

  • Ensure that the written amount matches the numeric figures
  • The date is correct
  • You have signed the cheque
  • Your signature matches the one on file with the bank
  • The name of your payee is correct

And as the payee/Drawee. If a client (the drawer/payer) gives you an errored cheque, please return it to them so they correct it or void it or you both agree on another form of payment that might be more amicable for you both, like cash or an electronic payment or a credit card payment, to mention but a few.

Besides, the world is daily evolving in every way possible, financially too. Always remember, there are always OPTIONS!