How Long Can a Bank Hold a Check Before You Can Draw on It?

The length of time a bank can withhold the availability of funds from a check depends on the type of check, the amount of time the account has been active, the amount of money for which the check is written and the bank's availability policy. Certain types of checks, including United States Treasury checks and government checks, must be made available to the customer on the business day following the deposit, according to the Federal Reserve Board.

"On-us" checks are also subject to the next business day policy. An "on-us" check is a check that is drawn on an account at the same institution where the recipient wishes to cash or deposit it.

Accounts that are less than 30 days old are often subject to longer hold times, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Each bank determines its own availability policy, which customers can find in their banking documentation.