Can You Cash a Check Made Out to Someone Else?

Steve Jurvetson/CC-BY-2.0

Under certain circumstances, you can cash a check made out to someone else. The most common method used to cash a check made out to someone else is to have them sign the back of the check. The payee’s signature creates a blank endorsement, allowing anyone holding the check to cash it.

In some cases, a blank endorsement isn’t sufficient to create a negotiable check. If a check is printed with the words “not negotiable” or the back of the check includes the words “for deposit only,” then it can’t be cashed. According to the National Check Fraud Center, such verbiage creates a restrictive endorsement, limiting the actions that any party can take with the check.